Friday, December 19, 2014

Neo School Hack: Wood Dragons (Leaf Dragons)

Wood dragons are creatures of the element of wood.  They appear in shades of green or brown, often with bark or leaf patterns which make them difficult to spot in the wild.
  • Chopped/innate, constant: wood dragons are vulnerable to elemental metal and take an extra wound from this type of magic
  • Saurian Soaring/innate, constant: dragons have large, powerful wings which give them the power of flight.
  • Pollen Breath/innate, focus, encounter: a poison pollen breath weapon; covers a 45 degree cone out to 60 feet; damage of 4 wounds, halved if make a Brawn save; victims take an extra wound the next round from the poison spores unless a curative is applied immediately



  • Thorn Field/focus: placing a claw on the ground, the dragon causes a wide field of thorns to spring up from the ground (or floor) in a 100 foot radius; all creatures in the area when it sprouts must make a Daring save or lose 1 wound; any movement in the field requires a Daring save each turn or lose 1 wound
  • Pollen Swirl/encounter: with a mighty wing flap the earth dragon conjures up a thick, swirling  cloud of poisonous pollen in a 100 foot radius; creatures in the cloud must pass a Brawn save each round they are in the cloud or take one wound from poison
  • Thorn Hedge/focus, encounter: with a bit of concentration, you cause a very dense hedge of dangerous thorny brambles to sprout up to 600 square feet in height and length and 18 inches in thickness; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
  • Chameleon Contrivance/constant: wood dragons are normally shades of green or brown but they can also consciously change to match their background, becoming almost invisible; -4 to Awareness checks to spot them if they are motionless, -2 if moving slowly
  • Barkscale/focus, rested: Letting the elemental power flow through all parts of its body, the dragon transforms into a huge, mobile tree; lasts until the dragon decides to change back; the transformation takes about a minute either way.
  • Scaly Sorcery: the dragon has studied a wizard grimoire and can cast one spell from it; dragons only become fascinated with one grimoire and will learn only spells from that one tome; this talent may be taken once for every spell in that grimoire.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Neo School Hack: Metal Dragons

The Metal Dragons, or Argent Dragons, are creatures of the element of metal.  They come in silver, white, and metallic gray.

  • Melted/innate, constant: metal dragons are vulnerable to elemental fire and take an extra wound from this type of magic
  • Saurian Soaring/innate, constant: dragons have large, powerful wings which give them the power of flight.
  • Argent Bolt/innate, focus, encounter: a silvery lightning bolt breath weapon; covers a 45 degree cone out to 60 feet; damage of 4 wounds, halved if make a Daring save; victims stunned and unable to move that round or the next
 
  • Adamantium Scales/focus, encounter: channeling metallic elemental energy into her scales, the dragon turns them into admantium for a short time; +4 to AC, lasts 1 minute.
  • Mirror Field/encounter: placing one or more claws on a surface you cause a smooth sheet of magical mirrors to appear in a 100 foot radius; any creature but metal dragons will see 1-3 illusionary reflections of any creature or object on the mirrors; one reflection can be seen for what it is by passing a Commitment save
  • Wall of Brass/focus, encounter: with a bit of concentration, you create a wall of brass up to 600 square feet in height and length and 6 inches in thickness; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
  • Magnetic Mastery/focus:the dragon generates a magnetic field which can be used to repel (+2 to AC or Brawn save required to approach), attract (pulls all objects in a 60 foot radius towards the dragon, with Brawn save required to resist), or cancel gravity in a 100 foot radius.
  • Now There Be Rust/constant: the element of metal can be withdrawn from objects made of iron, steel, or copper (including bronze and brass), reducing them to dusty corrosion; range of 10 feet
  • Scaly Sorcery: the dragon has studied a wizard grimoire and can cast one spell from it; dragons only become fascinated with one grimoire and will learn only spells from that one tome; this talent may be taken once for every spell in that grimoire.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Neo School Hack: What do you want to see next?

Okay, so I'm finishing up the last three dragons (metal, wood, and fire) for NSH and figure on posting them next week.  However, I'm sort of at a loose end with what to design next. I have a lot of vague ideas--but that's sort of the problem.
  • I will probably do more of the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance jobs and races, because I've always liked the class and race concepts of that game.
  • I'm also thinking that I need to do a few wizard spell grimoires, to add to the ones in The World Between for Fictive Hack, but don't have any specific ideas yet.
  • I've blocked out a quick "StarCraft School Hack" OSH-erization of the two basic troops types for each of the three factions in StarCraft.  But that's more a design exercise than a playable RPG setting for NSH.
  • I don't really have a proper science fiction hack yet, and no particular urges right now.  Some years ago I did a homebrew game provisionally called Neo Tokyo, which was a near-future setting with a random mix of furries, aliens, the occult, conspiracies, etc.  That might be fun to revisit.
  • A mecha game might be cool, but I haven't really thought about how implement it.
  • 40K School Hack, to transmogrify the tabletop Warhammer 40,000 wargame into an OSH RPG.
  • OSH-erization of the classes in the Diablo computer RPG games (mostly Diablo II).
  • Maybe some "adventure modules" or dungeons using OSH/NSH.  (Or even a full adventure path if I get on a roll.)
  • Pony School Hack, to complement the Ponyfinder game.  Yes, I'd go there...just dare me.
    Mane Eight Battle Ponies by ziom05 (deviantart.com)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Neo School Hack: Earth Dragons

 So to continue with my elemental dragons for Neo School Hack, here is the yellow earth dragon, or Amber Dragon:

Earth Dragons (Amber Dragons)

  • Riven/innate, constant: earth dragons are vulnerable to elemental wood and take an extra wound from this type of magic
  • Saurian Soaring/innate, constant: dragons have large, powerful wings which give them the power of flight.
  • Sizzling Spray/innate, focus, encounter: a yellow-green acid spray breath weapon; covers a 45 degree cone out to 60 feet; damage of 4 wounds, halved if make a Daring save; victims take an extra wound the next round unless they can quickly remove the acid

  • Earth Diver/constant, encounter: earth dragons may use their elemental earthen nature to "swim" in or through rock and earth as though it was water; also, when inside of earth or stone they do not need to breathe
  • Quake Claw/encounter: placing one or more claws on earth or stone you cause the area around you to shake with a violent earthquake; all creatures within a 100 foot radius must pass an Awareness save or fall and be stunned for a round; structures in the area may be damaged
  • Dust Storm/encounter: with a mighty wing flap the earth dragon conjures up a thick, swirling  cloud of dust in a 100 foot radius; creatures who do not have an elemental earth nature cannot see in the cloud and must pass a Cunning save each round they are in it or be blinded for one round
  • Wall of Stone/focus, encounter: with a bit of concentration, you create a wall of stone up to 600 square feet in height and length and 6 inches in thickness; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
  • Dust to Dust/focus, encounter: channeling your inner earth energy you can transform rock to sand or dust, or turn dust or sand into rock
  • Scaly Sorcery: the dragon has studied a wizard grimoire and can cast one spell from it; dragons only become fascinated with one grimoire and will learn only spells from that one tome; this talent may be taken once for every spell in that grimoire.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Journal of Katherine, Entry 58

My meeting with my superior goes better than most, for she agrees that my actions were best, regarding the codex.  How should I phrase my next question.  I want to be more than just a temple cleric.  I want to serve the community, to be accepted and advance in the priesthood.  Her reaction is worse than I imagined.  She believes the group I traveled with, especially Trevor, is trouble.  She again mentions the practice of sorcery.  I want to explain that I am unique and talented, and only use it for good.  She stops me short and tells me that others are scared - of me. 

I am stunned.  All my hopes are gone, crashing down like the rocks that fell and destroyed the monstrous army this past summer.  I hide a tear, as my mind races to find something.  How can I be here, but also not be here?  Do I break from the temple?  What about the new members of mine?  Then an idea.  I suggest to be in charge of a new orphanage since this town has none.  I would be in the community, but be away from it.  I tell her I have a rather large house by the water, but would make sure it is okay with my friends, first.  My followers and I can staff it.  My friends can be there, too.  Then the best news, the high priestess gives me her blessing to begin it.

About these friends, I thought that we would go our separate ways, but the Light works to keep us together.  Two issues must be handled.  First, the others should agree to let me use the river house for the orphanage.  And second, for some strange reason, Brute has a strong desire to report our failure to get the codex for Kalif. 

About the orphanage, Brute and Ohm Uri are fine with it.  Trevor agrees.  He is also very upset.  He spent an entire day overseeing workers to move almost everything out of the house.  He is more concerned with furniture and wine than with helping children, especially when they are so vulnerable.  But there is some good, for many secret passageways and a nasty trap are discovered. 

My superior must be right about Trevor.  When he was moving items from the house, he finds a locked chest.  He tells Ohm Uri to open it without first checking if it is trapped.  Trevor knows that I can uncover and find traps.  I am elsewhere, however, and it seems that Trevor is up to his old tricks, again.  Ohm Uri opens the lock and acid sprays, burning his face.  Then Trevor uses an illusion to hide the wound.  I eventually tend to the burn, but how can Trevor act this way?

The chest holds a single ring.  Finally, Trevor has smarts and gives it to me, so I can examine it.  I move into a different room, so the new followers do not see what I am about to do.  I have a knack with sorcery, so, I take the ring and start singing softly.  I close my eyes and focus.  The sorcery power is there, ready to bend and shape, to show me what this ring can do.  A sense of being light or weightless, it is working!  Then a darkness, and a vision of the witch Miranda appears in front of me.  She starts weaving a curse.  I open my eyes in a start.  The vision seems so real, like she was standing in front of me.  I rest, for working the sorcery is new to me.  I tell about the ring being light, but also cursed, like the other ring he found. 

Brute takes the ring and puts it on.  Nothing happens.  Knowing the curse, I am confident the Light will remove it.  Naturally, we try to remove it, and the curse holds it strong.  Then Camino, one of my new followers, pats Brute on the back, making him float to the far end of the room.  Brute's expressions are quite comical and I must cover my laughter, so I do not upset him.  The more Brute tries to control himself, the worse he becomes.  He tries to swing his sword, but has very little leverage, and his motions make me laugh even more.  Sometimes laugher is good medicine.

About the codex, all during our visit to Kalif, I bite my lip, hoping he doesn't ask me.  The conversations become precarious, but the whirly witty words of the Amazing Trevor spin a magnificent tale of our travels, thus, keeping Kalif from asking sharp questions.  I escape without saying a word.  Perhaps the Amazing Trevor has found a niche.

As we leave the palace, we see a heavily guarded caravan enter.  Brute and I notice something odd with the wagons.  I am not sure what I saw, but Brute is very impatient, willing his sword to ask the questions.  I calm Brute, for a confrontation here with little proof, can only end worse for us.  We agree to return this evening to investigate more.  I must stop writing this entry, for we are all here now, planning our next move.

Neo School Hack: Dragons

So, since Old School Hack is a hack of the original Dungeons & Dragons, I thought it only appropriate that I do some dragons for my Neo School Hack.  I've never quite liked the later D&D rules  with a wide range of ages of dragons from small young ones to ancient ones.  I prefer the idea that if you have the misfortune to meet a dragon it should be something really big and scary.  Thus for Old School Hack that means classing them as "Freaky Big" monsters, with stats something like:

HP: 20 to 25
AC: 14 to 16
Attacks: one 2d10 bite/extra heavy; two 2d10 claws/heavy; one 2d10 tail whack/heavy [but cannot use bite and tail whack in the same round]

Also from D&D we have it that there are multiple colors of dragons.  For my games I prefer to have just five types of dragon, based on the Chinese traditional five elements: water, earth, metal, wood, and fire.  These elemental natures will affect the HP, AC, breath attacks, and set of talents.  Each type of dragon has an innate vulnerability, flight, and a breath weapon talent, and then a set of unique six talents just like a character class.  Dragons will always have the two innates (vulnerability and breath weapon) plus at least three of the uniques when encountered, making their powers unpredictable.  In addition, one of the talents in all the lists is Scaly Wizard which allows them to learn from one grimoire of spells like a wizard.

And because dragons are a "boss" creature each should have a personality.  So on top of the physical/elemental characteristics above, there will be a set of twelve general dragon talents from which the dragon will take three.   In addition, dragons have Attributes like player characters (which also opens up the possibility of a game where all the PCs are dragons), but for dragons these are rolled with 1d10 +12.




 
So, here's the first dragon:

Water Dragons (Ebon Dragons)

Absorbed/innate, constant: water dragons are vulnerable to elemental earth and take an extra wound from this type of magic

Saurian Soaring/innate, constant: dragons have large, powerful wings which give them the power of flight.

Frost Storm/innate, focus, encounter: an ice storm breath weapon; covers a 45 degree cone out to 60 feet; damage of 4 wounds, halved if make a Daring save; victims frozen and unable to move for that round and the next

Of The Deeps/constant: water dragons breathe water and are comfortable and at home

Longfin/constant: You have very fine fins, making you an exeptionally fast and agile swimmer; +2 to any checks involving swimming
 
Cloud Chill/encounter: magically create a dense cloud of cold fog out to a 100 foot radius from you which blocks sight for anyone but water dragons and other elemental water creatures; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
 
Black Ice/encounter: placing one claw on the ground, you create a sheet of slick ice out to a 100 foot radius; creatures without claws or other serious form of traction must make a Cunning save each round or slip and fall down, and another such save to stand back up if they do fall
 
Wall of Ice/focus, encounter: with a bit of concentration, you create a wall of ice up to 600 square feet in height and length and 6 inches in thickness; it remains for 10 minutes or one action scene
 
Scaly Sorcery: the dragon has studied a wizard grimoire and can cast one spell from it; dragons only become fascinated with one grimoire and will learn only spells from that one tome; this talent may be taken once for every spell in that grimoire.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old School Hack: hacking Final Fantasy

Okay, so another game I've enjoyed in the past is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (for the Gameboy Advance, if you can remember that far back).  This is another game which lends itself well to OSH-erization.  So here's an OSH styling of the White Mage class from FFTA.

Cura by fivetinsoldiers (on deviantart.com)

Racial Limitations: Hume, Viera, or Nu Mou only.

Armor: not allowed to wear armor or shields

Weapons: staves only

White Mage Talents
Cure/encounter: heals person of 1 wound; or deals 1 wound to undead

Cura/encounter: heals person of 2 wounds;or deals 2 wounds to undead; prerequisite talent: Cure

Curaga/encounter: heals person of 3 wounds; or deals 3 wounds to undead; prerequisite talent: Cura

Esuna/focus, encounter: cure status ailments such as blindness, poisoned, paralyzed, etc.

Life/focus, rested: revive an ally who has 0 or less HP (but not dead), also heals up to 2 wounds; maybe used on undead to deal 4 wounds

Full-Life/focus, rested: revive an ally with 0 or less HP (but not dead), also heals all wounds; or deals maybe used on undead to deal 6 wounds

Auto-Life/focus, rested, unique: placed on a creature ahead of time, automatically activates the spell Life on them when they drop to 0 or less HP (but are not dead); a White Mage may only have one Auto-Life bestowed at any one time.

Shell/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection shell which reduces any magical damage to the protected person by 1 wound; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene

Shella/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection shell which reduces any magical damage to the protected person by 2 wounds; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene; prerequisite talent: Shell

Shellaga/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection shell which reduces any magical damage to the protected person by 3 wounds; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene; prerequisite talent: Shella

Protect/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection aura which reduces any physical (non-magical) damage to the protected person by 1 wound; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene

Protecta
/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection aura which reduces any physical (non-magical) damage to the protected person by 2 wounds; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene; prerequisite talent: Protect

Protectaga/focus, encounter: provides a holy protection aura which reduces any physical (non-magical) damage to the protected person by 3 wounds; lasts 10 minutes or one action scene; prerequisite talent: Protecta

White Mage Staffs
  • Judge Staff - a White Mage may bestow Shell once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Guard Staff - a White Mage may bestow Protect once per day by using this holy staff.
  • White Staff - a White Mage may cast Cure once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Cheer Staff - a White Mage may bestow Auto-Life once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Cure Staff - a White Mage may cast Cura once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Pure Staff - a White Mage may cast Esuna once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Spring Staff - a White Mage may cast Curaga once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Bless Staff - a White Mage may cast Life once per day by using this holy staff.
  • Nirvana Staff - a White Mage may cast Full-Life once per day by using this holy staff.