Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Neo School Hack - Some Thoughts on Making Magic Items

One area which was not covered in the original Old School Hack (OSH) rules, probably because it was a beta version, is how characters create magic items.   Now I figure an easy way to handle magic items for OSH is to treat magic items simply as objects with talents and/or attributes, a sort of "inanimate character" one might say.  So you could have a Swashbuckler's Sash which grants the wearer +1 to Daring rolls, or a Parrying Dagger which grants the wielder the Fighter's Parry talent.  An object can have multiple attributes and/or multiple talents.

Each attribute bonus of +1 and each talent could be considered a "level" for the object.  So you add up the "levels" and that's how much work and expense it takes to make that object.  Now, most talents are more powerful than a +1 attribute bonus.  However, many talents are not continuous and thus their power is moderated.  But for simplicity let's just stick with everything being worth one level for now.

Then let's consider that making magic items usually includes materials, rituals/crafting, and possibly tools/equipment.  The materials and equipment can be mundane or magical.  In some cases specifically magical materials or equipment might be required.  But OSH is all about elegant simplicity so we don't want to get bogged down in a lot of detail and record-keeping.  One simple way is just to say that X gold pieces worth of materials and equipment are needed, expended over X days or weeks of crafting, to create an object of X levels.  This approach is simple and also makes it easy for DMs to regulate the ease of creating magic items in a campaign by altering the cost and time required per level.  But a drawback of this approach is that it is rather boring.  It's more like accounting than role play gaming.

I'd like there to be various magic item creation talents, a bit like the item creation feats in D&D 3rd Edition. Having several allows character specialization and adds flavor.  But for simplicity let's just have one generic one for now, Arcanist:

Arcanist/rested-focus: Summoning forces beyond the ken or ordinary mortals you pour magic of your choosing into crafting materials to prepare them for fashioning into an object of arcane power.  Each arcanist performance requires the expenditure of 100 gold coins worth of supplies.

Each level of attribute or talent in the object requires the inclusion of six fully "arcanized" materials.  (I'm just grabbing six here to mirror that there are six talents per class, six domain talents per deity, etc.  This number is adjustable by the GM to fit the desired power level of the campaign.  Six is just easy to remember.)  Special very rare materials, such as mithril, count as two common materials.  Each material must be arcanized six times to "set" the magic into it.  The crafter of the item may arcanize into it any of the six character attributes (Brawn, etc.) but only up to a maximum of a bonus of +6.  The crafter may also arcanize in any talent personally known (GMs may place limits on certain talents).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Old School Trench

Okay, so I've been laboring along in the background, on and off, on a WWI version of Old School Hack.  I've found it tough going to go from a simple swords & sorcery fantasy game to a modern setting while keeping everything simple.  Here is the intro, the six classes, and some other stuff.

Old School Trench: A Game of WWI Awesomeness
This game is a hack of the excellent Old School Hack rules by Kirin Robinson.  Thanks also to Andrew Shields and his Fictive Hack version of OSH.

The Setting
This game is based in a steampunk/supernatural fantasy version of the First World War in Europe.  War between the Continental Powers rages on the continent itself and in their many colonial possessions.  The shattered landscape is a seemingly endless battlefield littered with trench networks, bunkers, dugouts, barbed wire, poison gas, and corpses.  There are also huge fortresses of concrete and steel, often linked together by tunnel systems.  The heavy use of experimental poison gases created monstrous creatures who roam the landscape and infest the fortresses.  In addition the restless aggrieved spirits of the departed are everywhere, expressing their angst and rage whatever way they can.  Nevertheless the war between the Continental Powers drags on despite massive loss of lives and strategic stalemate.  Dressed in gas masks and clunky metal armor and burdened with equipment, the characters struggle across the terrain and delve into fortresses.

Random Character Motivations (roll 1d10)
1.    It was enlist or go to jail
2.    For the Fatherland!
3.    The enlistment bonus was great.  Too bad that sargeant in the barracks was so good at cards.
4.    Nothing really matters anymore
5.    Your <friend/family member> is missing out here somewhere
6.    It's fun to collect medals (your own or other people's)
7.    You're going to come back a hero or in a box
8.    The sooner you kill all the enemy the sooner you can go home.
9.    I really, really hate ghosts.
10.    All that matters is that we all make it back alive.

There are six classes in Old School Trench.  The Stormtrooper is a heavy infantry soldier specializing in special trench and fortress assault tactics.  They wear the heavy infantrie panzer body armor and lead the attack.  The Colonial Askari is a native from a colony of a Continental Power, trained and equipped as a continental soldier but otherwise retaining most of your native culture.  The Field Chaplain is a servant of the Church; lightly armed they minister to the soldiers and deal with the restless spirits of the dead.  The Sister is a nurse trained by a religious healing order; she heals, deals, and toughs it out in a job few can survive.  The Pioneer is a combat assault engineer, heavily armed and trained in the use of flamethrowers and explosives.

Starting Equipment: Basic kit; Mauser rifle, bayonet, grenades
Signature Item: infanterie-panzer armor
Limitation: Limited training; good with your basic kit weapons, but -1 with all others.

Available Talents:
- DEADEYE delayed attack, usable once per arena
Any delayed attack you attempt to make with a Ranged weapon gets a +2 added to the attack roll if it's not interrupted by the Attack Turn. Outside of combat, as long as you aim for at least a minute at something that you can see, you will always hit it. You can initiate combat this way.
- TOUGH BASTARD constant ability
Getting beat up as often as you do has its advantages. You're tougher than most, and can take more punishment because of it. You start off with seven hit points instead of the usual five. Plus you've usually got some old war stories and a don't-mess-with-me countenance that gives you a +2 on any Charm check when trying to talk someone out of violence.
- WEAPON OF CHOICE constant ability
You've become adeptly familiar with a specific weapon of your choice, and you use it as a natural extension of your body. As long as you are wielding it, all your attack dice are Face Dice. If for whatever reason you take up a new weapon, a week of training will switch your Weapon of Choice to that one.
- TAKE COVER! rested ability
Countless close shaves have taught you how to find safety anywhere.  You make a Daring or Cunning check at +2 to avoid any incoming danger.
- TRENCH FIGHTER. constant.
Any time you roll a 1 on the Face Die, you have pulled a dirty trick on your target. Maybe you hit them somewhere sensitive besides the face, or threw sand in the eyes, etc. Add +2 to hit or inflict +1 Wound, decide after rolling. (You may choose not to use this talent if in a “fair fight” because it violates whatever code of behavior applies.)
- INFILTRATE focused ability, usable once per arena
Despite their name, stormtroopers are actually trained to infiltrate enemy defenses, bypassing strongpoints to strike deep.  If you win a Daring check against an opponent's Cunning you get +2 on your next attack against that foe for out-maneuvering them.

Colonial Askari (a colonial native trained as a Continental soldier)
Starting Equipment: Basic kit; Mauser rifle, bayonet
Signature Item: wicked native melee weapon (player creates)
Limitation: must be native to one of the colonies of a Continental Power (DM option: character can actually be a from the Continental Power but in disguise for some deep personal reason)

Available Talents:
- CHARGER double action, usable once per arena
You're an expert at rushing in to attack. Once for every arena, you can make both a Move action and an Attack action in the same round, with a +2 bonus to the attack.
- NATIVE WEAPON constant ability
You are adeptly familiar with a wicked one-handed melee weapon unique to your native people. As long as you are wielding it, all your attack dice are Face Dice.  Also, brandishing it threateningly gives you a +2 on any intimidate checks against non-Askari.
- TRACKING constant
 Identify who or what was present, and where they went. Add difficulty for elapsed time, rain, difficult terrain, and so on. Can test Awareness to know one important fact about what happened or the state of those making the tracks. Can be opposed with Cunning if those being tracked are attempting to cover their tracks.
- CANNY PREY constant
Either a base Awareness test when none would be allowed, or +2 to a normal Awareness test, to detect traps and ambushes. You also know how to set traps, where they should be, and how they work.
- GHOST STRIKE arena only
Your culture is closer to the spirit world in everyday life.  You know how to strike ghosts and spirits as though they were physical. You can use this with a melee weapon, a thrown weapon, or flame.
- SPIRIT FRIEND focused spell, usable only once after rested
A spirit of a dead soldier has somehow become attached to you.  You can summon it with a few moments of calm meditiation and some kind words.  It appears as a floating light source that follows your commands, including being able to shine as brightly as a torch or as dim as a candle.  It can also guide you towards safety for a short while.

Field Chaplain
Starting Equipment: Basic kit; mace, Luger pistol
Signature Item: Chaplain's bag (holy book, candles, incense, silver holy symbol, etc.)
Limitation: Must adhere to the tenets of the faith at all times

Available Talents:
- TURN UNDEAD focused spell, usable only once after rested
By invoking your god and displaying your holy symbol, you acquire a holy aura around you and those nearby. Any non-Minion undead must test their Daring against your Commitment (at a +2) to be able to attack anyone in your party, while Minions can't attack you at all.  If you remain undamaged for three rounds of concentrating, you can disperse the aura outward, either destroying any one undead or group of minions in the same arena.
- AURAS OF EVIL constant.
Above and beyond simple malevolence in someone's heart, some places, things and people in the world reek of true evil, whether they are touched by fell gods or by demonic taint. You can sense this kind of greater evil by merely taking a moment and focusing, and by taking the time to make an actual Awareness check you may be able to discern the source or nature of the evil if it is disguised.
- BLESS WEAPON focused spell, usable once per arena
You can clutch a weapon and imbue it with divine essence at the cost of a little bit of your health. When touching a weapon, you must declare a purpose for its blessing, whether for something quick or for a long-term goal. Any weapon thus touched does an extra point of damage each time a successful attack is made with it for that purpose, but your character is permanently down a hit point. Once the purpose is reached or is declared unobtainable, the weapon loses its property and you get your hit point back.
- ARMOR OF FAITH constant
Field Chaplains do not wear armor, because faith is their armor.  Gain an additional Awesome Point each time you fight in real danger without armor.
Pray with those faithful to your god for at least 5 minutes, and all of you get 1 Awesome Point. Have a worship service of a full hour, everyone gets 3 Awesome Points.
- ACHTUNG! rested
As a focus action (upgrade to move action), draw the attention of every eye in the area; for a few seconds, everyone stops talking and looks at you. For the next few minutes, your voice will project up to 1 arena in every direction per Commitment rating.

Starting Equipment: Basic kit; Luger pistol
Signature Item: Medical kit (bandages, pills, bottles of medicine, syringe, etc.)
Limitation: Female-only class

Available Talents:
- I'LL BE FINE rested
Each point of Commitment allows you to ignore the fatigue of 1 sleepless night or the hardship of a day without food. When you can sleep or eat again, you catch up 2 points each day you get half of what you need.
- CONFIDANTE constant
 If you can get a target talking, the target will reveal things the target didn’t mean to talk about. Every minute of conversation, test Charm against the target’s Commitment or Cunning. If you win, gain another useful statement or line of inquiry.
- IT'S IN HERE SOMEWHERE special item, usable anytime outside of combat
You have an extra, unofficial bag stuffed with medical supplies.  Take 10 minutes to heal a wounded person for 2 wounds.
Spend a focus action on an unconscious ally (not dying or crippled) to give the ally back a Wound and the capacity to rise and fight on next round. If treating a crippling injury right after the fight (less than 10 minutes after) allow another roll on the critical chart to possibly get less damaging result. Also, spending 1 hour tending the wounded counts as 6 hours of bed rest for the wounded, once between periods of rest. ?effects of spending an AP?
- LIFE OF FAITH rested
Schwester are not expected to follow the strict work of prayer required of monastic nuns, but some have embraced it. When you follow a strict regimen, including prayer at dawn, mid-morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening, you gain 1 Awesome Point per your level the next morning.
- RESCUE DOG constant
You have a sympathetic, helpful animal companion with Wounds equal to your Commitment. While they are sympathetic, helpful, and more clever than most of their kind, they will not react well to abuse or being exposed to extreme danger while you are safe (unless they volunteer.)  The dog wears a saddlebag type vest for carrying things which is stocked with medical supplies.  The supplies can be used as a Rested action to provide an additional use of Healing Touch; each additional use per day beyond the first requires the use of an AP.

Pioneer (Assault Engineer)

Starting Equipment: Basic kit; flamethrower or MP18 submachinegun
Signature Item: Beilpicke (pioneer's pickaxe)
Limitation: Little experience with regular guns: -2 shooting Mausers or Lugers.

Available Talents:
Either a base Awareness test when none would be allowed, or +2 to a normal Awareness test, to detect booby traps or mines. You also know how to set them, where they should be, and how they work.
- FIRE IN THE HOLE rested;focus action
You can see load-bearing points and weaknesses in structures and machines. Test Awareness to make a plan to bolster or collapse the structure or machine.  Do 2 extra wounds of damage to a structure or machine attacked after a successful application of this talent.
- MR. FIX-IT rested
You can fix it. Whether it is the engine on a tank, the wireless telegraph set, or a malfunctioning Maxim gun, you have the know-how to get it working again. Scale determines time frame; a boat or wall, 1 day per task. A gate or room, 12 hours. Wagon or door, 6 hours. Hinges or wheel hubs, 1 hour. Anything smaller, 30 minutes. Halve times with ideal conditions. Confronted with an unknown device, test Cunning to figure out how it works.
-  I GOT THIS constant
You can carry 1 more Heavy Thing than your Brawn normally allows.
- SACK O' GRENADES focus action/constant item
You have a special sack full of stick-grenades slung under each armpit.  As long as you throw carefully using a focus action you never run out of grenades.
- TUNNEL RAT constant
Your familiarity with them gives you a +2 to Commitment and Awareness checks inside of tunnels, trenches, and fortresses.

In Old School Trench weapons are grouped into classes.  With most weapons you roll 2d10 to attack with it and cause one Wound if successful; some weapons use 3d10, and some do more than one Wound on a hit.  They are also typed as melee, thrown, or ranged.

- Light Weapons (1 point of damage)
Smaller and quicker than other weapons but close ranged.  Using a light weapon allows you to roll 3d10 instead of 2d10, ignoring the value shown on the lowest die. [Examples: Luger (pistol/ranged), knife, sabre, Beilpicke (pioneer's pickaxe), mace, axe]

- Reach Weapons [1 point of damage]
Anything which allows you to keep an enemy at a distance of several feet while you strike [Examples: rifle with attached bayonet, uhlan (light cavalry) lance, long chain, whip]

- Typical Ranged Weapons [1 point of damage]
You attack earlier in the combat order and can attack an opponent in adjacent and far arenas as well as the one you're in. [Examples: Mauser (rifle/ranged), Karabingranate (rifle grenade/ranged)]

- Heavy Weapons [2 points of damage]
More dangerous than most weapons, they do an extra point of damage if you hit. Some are ranged.  [Examples: Maschinenpistole 18 (submachinegun/ranged), Stielhandgranaten (a stick hand grenade/thrown), maul]

- Very Heavy Weapons [2 points of damage (sometimes 4)]
Frickin' big and dangerous weapons, requiring both hands to use.  They also do an extra point of damage; plus, beating an opponent's armor class by 5 or more does two extra points of damage. Some are ranged. [Examples: Flammenwerfer (flame-thrower/ranged), bundle of dynamite (can be thrown), Maxim (medium machinegun/ranged), Field Gun (ranged), aerial bomb]

Weapon Range Table
Luger            Short (~15 meters)
Flammenwerfer    Short (~15 meters)
Dynamite, tossed    Short (~15 meters)
Stielhandgranaten    Medium (~50 meters)
MP18            Medium (~50 meters)
Karabingranate    Long (~200 meters)
Mauser        Very Long (~500 meters)
Maxim            Very Long (~1000 meters)
Field Gun        Very Long (1000+ meters)

Basic Kit (all classes get one free)
Stalhelm helmet, canteen, bread bag, mess kit, gas mask, knapsack, blanket roll, entrenching tool, and a field manual.

- No Armor: AC 8
- Just a Stalhelm (helmet): AC 9
- Infanterie-Panzer (clunky steel body armor, including helmet): AC 12

Other Equipment
Pocket watch
Electric torch (flashlight)
Messenger Pigeon Basket (with 2 pigeons) and bag of seeds
Regimental Battle Flag
Rescue dog (used by medics; wears harness with red cross badge and medical supplies)
Animal gas mask
Box periscope
Whistle on a lanyard
Diary and pencil
Good Conduct Medal
Football (soccer ball)
Hip flask
Playing cards

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Journal of Katherine, Entry 52

My day starts in the usual way, by doing my chores at the usual time.  However, today, I notice something strange with the others here.  Before, they were cherry and outgoing, but now, when I approach, they become quiet - more to themselves.  I suspect rumors of my past has reached them.  But I can hope for the better.

Later in the morning, early for one that enjoys his rest that is, I see one of my friends: Trevor.  A welcomed face to rest my eyes on, far from the suffering of the injured.  My spirit is renewed with energy.  I see him when I am about to talk to my superior about this item, and Trevor invites himself, despite my pleading that he not go.  He insists.  I am in a small room with the two people I never want to meet: my superior, one to look up to for guidance towards matters involving honesty, morality, justice and charity, and Trevor, the one that awoke my forgotten sorcery power and just about the opposite of my superior.  Let me rephrase that.  ... and Trevor, the exact opposite of my superior.

I tell of the dinner, of the request, and how we dealt with the witch and other members of the council, but sticking to the facts.  I leave nothing out, except details about the total amount, and any part with Trevor, unless questions are asked.  There are none.

I also add that I dreamt of it.  Trevor adds that he too has a dream of it, only the item oozed blood.  My superior says that I should go find this item, as a form of atonement.  When I ask of aid from the temple, my superior informs me that because others here do not trust me, they will not go.  I protest.  I only do actions that have a benefit for the Light.  Trevor also protests.  He should be spared this detail of my life.  The decision is made.

I make one more request of a different matter:  have Trevor become a member and true follower of the Light.  At this request, my superior is grateful as followers are always welcome.  I bite my lip hoping that Trevor behaves.  In a short ceremony, it is done.  I almost spontaneously radiate light for I am so happy.  I muster my training to contain the swelling of emotions.  I look down.  I find myself  hiding a reserved smile.  Yes!

After we leave, I am truly grateful of Trevor for his decision.  Then I state that I must try to retrieve the item.  I tell him I want to meet Kalef again.  Trevor is surprised about this, but I have a plan.  Since the decision is to go, we make our way to the market to resupply, specifically things for adventuring to a desert.  Once finished, we start towards the palace, but we happen to find a merchant selling jewelry.  

I stop.  In a flash, my head wonders to years ago, when I would have had a girl's fantasy of trying the items.  More recently, my life was dark, and I could barely find food.  Now, I have plenty of extra coins even after my tithe.  With the fist full of coins, I enter the store.  Now, I can enhance my priestly aura with a silver tiara and simple bracelets.  Trevor, seizing on the moment, points out a gem filled necklace, possibly emeralds, to match my hazel eyes and to my surprise, buys all of these for me, before I could deny his doing.

We have our meeting with the once ruler.  I try to scout his intentions, but he is vague.  I initially state that I accept, but I cannot give him a guarantee.  If I find the item and it is cursed or worse, my beliefs will not allow me to give it to him.  Then Trevor wants more time to decide and he agrees to give an answer in two days.  We take our leave.

We gather at the mansion and prepare to leave through the mirror to the desert.  Brute is his usual sure self.  Kull has a sled packed with items.  He hoists the stuff up the narrow, spiral stairs.  The bumps and noises he makes leave scratches on the walls.  Trevor is here too, ready.  Like expeditions that I read about, I feel a sense of amazement of the unknown, to survive with only our wits.  Once through the portal, we have only a short way to travel to the city of Andough.  I look at everyone, and notice Ohm Uri is not here.  What could he be doing this night?  Earlier this day, I asked if he would go. Without hesitation he replied yes.  We must wait till his return.  

Finally he returns, but he is not his usual self.  We decide to rest before we go.  

I look again at Ohm Uri.  My second view of him reveals something more.  A sight I have not seen in years.  One that my father would wear after being out.  I know the signs.  Ohm Uri has this same look now, one of a conquest victorious.  My intuition tells me it is a woman of power, but who?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Neo School Hack: Elemental Races

Yes, I'm one of those gamers who understands instinctively that humans are boring.  I'm not sure why they even have them in the game at all.  Choosing to play a human in a fantasy RPG is like saying you'd like a sandwich made with just two pieces of white bread and a layer of mayonnaise.  Or one of those topping-less, so-called "cheese" pizzas.  Why even bother?  So, here are five elemental races for Neo School Hack so spare you the crushing boredom of ever having to play a dumb old human again.  As with the races presented earlier, each has three talents to choose from.

Ifrit (of the element of fire)
- Cool Customer/continuous: +2 to Brawn or Daring saves vs. fire and heat effects
- Too Hot to Handle/continuous: +1 to Daring rolls
- Where There's Fire/continous: with a moment of concentration can sense fire and other strong heat sources from a bowshot or two away.

Oread (of the element of earth)
- Stonefaced/continuous: +2 to Brawn or Daring saves vs. acid effects
- Hard as a Rock/continuous: +1 to Brawn rolls
- Earthy/continuous: with a moment of concentration can read rock formations nearby and sense impending earthquakes well in advance

Sylph (of the element of air)
- Hard to Shock/continuous: +2 to Brawn or Daring saves vs. electricity effects
- Breezy Personality/continuous +1 to Cunning rolls
- Weather Eye/continuous: with a moment of concentration can know what weather is coming in the next 24 hours

Undine (of the element of water)
- Warm Hearted/continuous: +2 to Brawn or Daring saves vs. cold effects
- Smooth Customer/continuous: +1 to Charm rolls
- Tide Runner/continuous: with a moment of concentration can sense the state water depth, tides, and currents nearby

Entine (of the element of wood)
Heartwood/continuous: +2 to Brawn or Daring saves vs. poison effects
Deep Rooted/continuous: +1 to Commitment rolls
Tree Hugger/continuous: with a moment of concentration can sense the state of vegetation nearby

My heraldric moldings finally installed!

Yeah, yeah, I know.  This is supposed to be a blog about role-playing games stuff.  But I just had to show off how my hand-painted moldings looked up.  (I mostly play fantasy/medieval RPGs anyway and these are medieval-themed, so there.)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Shifting Sands (Pathfinder adventure path)

Okay, so I just finished reading through the third part of the Mummy's Mask adventure path from Paizo Publishing, entitled Shifting Sands.  This book has a great mix of adventuring, including in-depth researching ancient information, role-playing with important NPCs, a camel chariot race, dungeoneering, and sandbox exploring in the desert.

For the researching they have an interesting mechanic which helps reflect the time and work involved in doing research in an extensive set of archives.  Each library has a Complexity rating (the DC you need to roll against) and Knowledge Points (KP), which work like Hit Points.  Researchers get one skill check per day.  Each success reduces the KP by a certain amount based on class.  For instance, Bards reduce it by 1d12 + Intelligence modifier.  KP are set in multiples of 5 and for each 5 points it is reduced the researchers learn a bit more information.  At first the information learned is more general, but with each level reached it becomes more specific and valuable.

For the chariot race a nice flowchart or track of challenges is provided.  I like that it provides all the key information needed by the GM while leaving room for improvisation by GM and players.  I got the impression that this track is similar to how Paizo's chase card decks work.  (Those decks are on my wish list, BTW.)

The pdf version comes with the usual separate map pdf where you can turn notations and grids on and off.  I really like these--I've been wanting maps like these for many years.  These make it easy to print out plain versions as handouts or to add different notations to use the maps in your own adventures.  One omission is that the final encounter area, Chisisek's Tomb, was not included in this map pdf.

The two powerful NPCs the players will have to interact with to get access to the various research archives and libraries both get full write-ups.  The seven new magic item treasures are all very cool and most have a strong Egyptian theme to them.

The book also has a great section on the city of Tephu with a good map.  This is extremely useful not only for the early part of this adventure but also for any adventure.  Since the city is famed for harvesting the papyrus reeds in its vicinity and making papyrus there is a short "equipment" section on special papyrus types for magical and mundane uses.

Then there's a section on the various types of mummification (not just the Egyptian method) as taken from real-world examples.  This section also includes a bunch of abilities, feats, and spells for variant mummies to keep the players guessing.

The book also has the next installment in the included Pathfinder Journal fiction story to accompany the adventure.  I wasn't thrilled with this installment, but as with the previous two it includes extra bits useful for the adventure.  In this case there is a map/sketch of a caravan encampment and a map of a papyrus workshop.  I should perhaps say here that I was not at first happy with Paizo's inclusion of fiction in their adventure path books.  However, I am liking this new approach of tying the story more closely to the adventure and including some "gamey" bits like maps.

At the very back is the usual section on monsters.   Overall I wasn't thrilled by the entries here, except for several types of mummified animal which will be very handy for stocking tombs.

Bottom Line: I liked it and am glad I bought it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Neo School Hack: Gods & Goddesses of Anubia

Okay, so it's been a while since I posted but I've been working on a huge chunk of stuff for my Egyptian-themed Old School Hack game.  I decided I needed a name for the new campaign and I'm leaning towards "Anubia".  It's based on my favorite Egyptian god Anubis, but made to sound more like a country.  So for now that's my working title.

Now, a campaign world needs deities and the original gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt are the obvious starting point here.  The creative people over at Paizo just did a set of twenty for their Mummy's Mask adventure path so I thought I'd use that list as a jumping off point.  After going through them and adding and subtracting a few I ended up with 14, which should be plenty.  (Eventually I'd like to do sets of "foreign" gods from the ancient Babylonian, Greek, and Hindu cultures.)  For Neo School Hack I'm giving each deity a set of six unique "domain spell" talents (like in D&D 3E and Pathfinder).  These will give the clerics of each one a strong flavor, while stacking with the six generic cleric talents.  I haven't worked out the details of each of the talents but I did at least decide on the set of six for each deity and whether each was continuous, encounter, etc.

Each god and goddess has certain symbols but there are also universal holy symbols.  The Was Sceptre (or Staff) is the symbol of ruling or command; a cleric brandishing one gets to add +1 to any roll based on Charm.  The Ankh is the symbol of life; a cleric brandishing one gets to add +1 to any roll based on Commitment or increase the effects of any healing spell by +1 HP.  The Sistrum is the symbol of music and merriment; a cleric playing one gets to add +1 to any roll influencing positive emotions; some talents may provide for a bonus if a sistrum is played.

Neo School Hack - Gods & Goddesses of Anubia

Symbol: cat, sistrum
- Purr Charm/focus
- Summon Celestial Lioness/focus-rested
- Remove Disease/focus-encounter
- Exorcism/focus-encounter
- Scary Hiss/focus
- Prowl/continuous

Symbol: cow, sistrum
- Create Holy Milk/focus-rested
- Joy Dance/focus
- Horns of Goring/focus
- Create Cloud/focus-rested
- So Hawt/focus-rested
- Hew Tunnel/focus-rested

Symbol: falcon, wedjat eye
- Sunlight/focus-rested
- Moonlight/focus-rested
- Headlight Eyes/continuous
- Wedjat Eye (Protection vs. Evil)/focus-encounter
- Wings/focus-rested
- Command/focus-encounter

Symbol: ostrich feather
- Truth Spell/focus-encounter
- Soul Balance (determine alignment)/focus
- Summer Heat/focus-rested
- Winter Frost/focus-rested
- Spring Showers/focus-rested
- Autumn Winds/focus-rested

Symbol: throne, sun disk with cow's horns
- Charm Person/focus
- Resurrection/rested-focus
- Healing Zone/rested-focus
- Plant Growth/focus
- Kite (bird) Transform/rested-focus
- <pick one Wizard spell>

Symbol: flail
- Command Mummy/focus-rested
- Mummify/focus-rested
- Necroshield/focus
- Sanctified Repose/focus
- Soul Speaker/constant
- Summon Anubi Angel/focus-rested

Symbol: snake
- Chaos Shadow (darkness and confusion)/focus-encounter
- Dragon Speak/constant
- Chaos Fang/focus-rested
- Blindness/focus-rested
- Hypnotize/focus-encounter
- Eclipse/focus-rested

Symbol: sun disk
- Noon Sun/focus-rested
- Solar Disk (halo)/focus-encounter
- Summon Falcon/focus-rested
- Falcon Sight/continuous
- Heroism/focus-encounter
- Giant Falcon Mount (falcon wings, ram  head)

Symbol: Was sceptre
- Darkness/focus
- Storm/focus-encounter
- Disease/focus-rested
- Command Murder (Psycho Killer)/focus-rested
- Dismember/focus-rested
- Create Undead/focus-rested

Symbol: lioness, red linen
- Blood Rage/focus-encounter
- Ward Disease/focus
- Heal Battle Wounds/focus-encounter
- Flame Blaze/focus-rested
- Lion Head/focus-encounter
- Party Girl/continuous

Symbol: crocodile
- Sobeki Friend/continuous
- Crocodile Jaws/focus-encounter
- Summon Crocodile/focus-rested
- Command Crocodile/focus
- Scaly Hide/focus-encounter
- Battle Strength/focus-encounter

Symbol: papyrus scroll, ibis, baboon
- Know Language/focus-encounter
- Divine Science & Knowledge/focus-rested
- Glyph of Warding/focus-rested
- Glyph vs. Invisibility/focus-rested
- Glyph vs Illusions/focus-rested
- Moon Beam/focus-rested

Symbol: "sa" sign, hippopotamus
- Command Hippo/focus
- Summon Hippo/focus-rested
- Flood Surge/focus-rested
- Lovely Birth/focus-rested
- Hippo Size/focus-encounter
- Soul Cleanse/focus-rested

Symbol: scarab beetle, blue lotus
- Industrious (perform work at double speed)/focus-encounter
- Stench of Dung/encounter
- Summon Scarab Swarm/focus-encounter
- Chitin Armor/focus-encounter
- Early to Rise (gain 1 AP at dawn)/rested
- Summon Giant Scarab mount/focus-rested