My blog's evilness ==

This site is certified 38% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who gets the flu on their birthday?

Me, that's who!
Feeling more human today, but still good for little but aching and sleeping.
Should be back in fighting shape tomorrow...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shortlist of NPCS includes

  • Archdruid, the Steward of Earthways
  • Captain of Derros Castle, Claimant to Yrkaen Throne
  • Dwarf Lord of Agakan
  • Lord of Karnhekel, High Priest and Marshall General of the People, Claimant to the Yrkaen Throne
  • High Priest of Turus Yrkae
  • King of the Kobalds
  • Mariner Guildcaptain of Blackpearl
  • Mariner Guildcaptain of Lardos
  • Mariner Guildcaptain of Tsen
  • Priest of Iliks, the Young God
  • Scholar Erdua of Irikhold
  • Lord Steward of the Great Hall, Claimant to Yrkaen Throne
  • The Demi-urge of the Nameless City, a powerful wizard
  • The Golem Hanos, a powerful mage
  • The Lady Regent, the Honourable Dame of Blackpearl
  • The Wild Priest
  • Thieves' Guildmaster of Blackpearl
  • Thieves' Guildmaster of Lardos
  • Thieves' Guildmaster of Tsen

Overlord! Hie the Hence!

Have to close the home office front desk of overlord processing for the time being.
Probably just out-to-lunch though...

Got 6. This is gonna be real interesting! They've begun to graft things into the setting (they are unaware of any of the setting details I have - the double blind aspect of this (though imperfect) is neat-o...) Will post more on this later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Open Call for Overlords!

I've managed to get a few people interested in some at-table gaming, and they seem initially into Swords & Wizardry, which I'm sure will be cast through a Holmes Basic lens to some extent at first.
It is entirely possible that it will mutate into T&T or something else at some point.

So the starting point is on a large, isolated island with six 'kingdoms' separated by wilderness - this wilderness (of course) dotted with ancient ruins, bandits and other baddies, and such. I am hoping that I can talk some of you online persons to run NPCs in this environment (this has been refered to as Evil Overlord somewhere on the webnet - I have lost the bookmark - it's a good read though). The gist is that these online characters are higher-level characters instead of NPCs run by the GM - so the 'background' (of the tabletop game) is formed by agencies other than just the DM's addled pate.

If you're interested, email me at Your character and the disposition of your resources will be randomly generated. And thank you!

EDIT: Here's a link to the page that introduced this idea to me

And a 'testimonial' from someone who implemented it

PS: the "Evil" part of Evil Overlord is tongue-in-cheek - there's no evil requirement. (for the sqeamish - there's no evil prohibition either...)

Monday, August 24, 2009

my brain hexed

Your BrainHex Class is Socialiser.

Your BrainHex Class Your BrainHex Sub-Class is Socialiser-Achiever.

You like hanging around with people you trust and helping people as well as collecting anything you can collect or doing everything you possibly can.

According to your results, there are few play experiences that you strongly dislike.

Learn more about your classes and exceptions at

Your scores for each of the classes in this test were as follows:

Socialiser: 16
Achiever: 15
Seeker: 15
Survivor: 13
Mastermind: 11
Conqueror: 9
Daredevil: 6

Go to to learn more about this player model, and the neurobiological research behind it.

Feel free to take a copy of your BrainHex icon and display it anywhere you wish! Simply right click and choose "save as". All we ask is you provide a link to anywhere you use our images.

Thanks for taking part in the BrainHex survevey!

does daredevil 6 == wussy?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Instant Endgame

I've been kicking an idea around for a while now - or better, a bunch of ideas have been kicking me around, I'm finally getting fed up with it. I started up a free forum some time ago, thinking to myself that it would be good to start running a bunch of play-by-post games there.
Have not yet started any, though I've populated and emptied, populated and emptied it a few times with different setting info and introductions and whatnot.

Never stuck - so I never opened it up for perusal or membership.

I've been running a 'sandbox' style PBP game at Vin's Trollbridge for a while now (roughly 6 months) and enjoying the hell out of it - first time I've been able to run T&T in too many years. Been dwarfing it up in noisms' Warhammer FRP for just as long. So I think that I've become somewhat accustomed to the peculiarities of online play.

So - what to do with the forum space I set aside for running games? I still don't know exactly, but my thoughts on the matter are turning ever more frequently to 3 ideas.

1. An Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1e, mostly BtB, no UA) game with this premise: Characters are loaded on a boat at the behest of some Lord or King, who sends them to clear a wild island, to make it safe for further colonization.

2. A fantasy wargame. Rest assured, I do not intend to implement the 'game' presented in Galloway's Fantasy Wargaming book...(has anyone actually played this?) - no, I've been thinking instead that it would be interesting to have the players take on name-level roles, to determine their retainers and forces, fortifications and incomes and such, and play something more in the spirit of play-by-mail - where players have default orders, issue orders for their realm, and also decide on actions for their character as appropriate. Have no idea what game system to use for this - tempted to use Tunnels and Trolls, as it is the game I have the easiest time adapting to suit any purpose, but Rolemaster or AD&D could be serviceable also...with a dash of Diplomacy...

3. The Wizards War. Legends of many worlds tell of a time that wizards of great power came to conflict and brought wrack and ruin to each-other, wrought artifacts of awesome power, etc, etc, etc - 2 & 3 could really be the same game...

I dunno. I like the idea of refereeing a game where players are not necessarily co-operative, and maybe play-by-email is more conducive to this style, so that orders sent in remain private, and only published results offer information on the game-state.

Any interest, suggestions, thoughts, ideas, etc, are appreciated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fear, Rage, and Command

Continuing from prior post, three more tables (d10) to generate variations or details on such effects.
1Cringing - can take no action except self defence at -1 penalty
2Terrorized - can take no action
3Overwhelmed - takes no action, pays strict attention to source. Will surrender.
4Scared - runs away at double move rate
5Desperation - 50% runs away (as FEAR(4)), otherwise goes berserk.
6Dread - 50% fall unconscious, otherwise fall to floor and can be commanded.
7Doomed - hopelessly attempts to attack source at -4.
8Tormented - can take no actions. Experiences hellish hallucinations, will hate source.
9Demoralized - retains will and self control, but all actions at -1
10Panicked - Drops all held items and runs away at double normal move rate

1Fumes and simmers in private madness. -1 to all attacks, +1 to damage
2Focused - Attacks current or nearest opponent at +1
3Distracted - Attacks current of nearest opponent at -1
4Writhes with bestial spasms - attacks random target in reach (friend or foe)
5Attacks current or nearest opponent +1 to hit and damage
6Tantrum - 50% Tries to break whatever is held, otherwise throws it at source
7Lured - Charges at source to attack.
8Bully - Spits on corpses, kills helpless victims - attacks weakest targets.
9Self Abuse - smash head on wall, jump through windows, etc. Does not make attacks unless in doing so will certainly harm self. 50% suicide if option available.
10Fit - rage directed at inanimate objects only, but gets +1 damage against anyone trying to stop them.

1Begrudging - will obey, but try to subvert if intelligent (and possible), and any actions pertaining to command at -1. Retains memory
2As COMMAND(1), but will not retain memory of the experience
3Listless - obeys command, at -1 to any actions performed pertaining to it. Will not try to subvert.
4Obeys command, though may try to subvert. Retains memory of experience
5Considers command in own best interest and will obey. Retains memory of experience
6Obeys command. Will not retain memory, unless source desires that they do.
7Obeys command. At +1 to any actions undertaken to fulfill the command. Will retain memory only if source desires.
8Obeys the command without thought, the effect will last twice normal duration
9Obeys unquestioningly, +1 to any actions undertaken to fulfil the command. Will resent the source afterwards.
10Obeys enthusiastically, +2 to any actions undertaken to fulfil the command. Will offer services if applicable

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Influence Effect Tables (sys-neutral-ish)

Been digging through my unkempt piles of gaming-notes, map, etc, looking for several tables I made a long time ago and managed to keep because of their utility. Made them after thinking about the different ways to interpret some pseudo-common in-game terms (awe, charm, confusion, fear, command, and rage). Well - found 'em! Many of these terms are used as spell names, or have some delineation in your rulebook of choice, but these tables largely ignore those (edit: I slipped into vague D&D-isms...oh well). Some of the effects allow for secondary conditions (one can perhaps issue commands to one who is awed - or they may be so overcome as to go unconscious). Hope you enjoy! Now I'll never have to look for them again!

1Overwhelmed - stops everything, pays attention only to source of awe. Can be commandedEnthralled - pays attention only to source of awe. Open to suggestionTakes no action except self-defence
2Cowers and grovels in abject submission. Can be commandedOffers source object or service of valueContinues prior or current action at 1/2 effectiveness
3Shamed - develops aversion to source and seeks distance from it above all else. Friendship - Wants to help source. Retains free-will. Open to suggestionTakes no action
4Transcendent - feels that source has improved target in some ineffable way and is totally grateful. Can be charmed.Tolerant - will not instigate or assist actions against the sourceWander random direction at half normal move
5Pious - target believes source to be divine and to be adored. Can be charmed and commandedEnthusiastic - as CHARM(3), but all actions undertaken at the source's behest are at +1Wander random direction at normal move
6Dread - knees buckle, bowels loose, held items are dropped. Unable to take any action. If saving roll failed by large amount, consider a heart attackToady - takes no actions but complimenting source. No detail is too mundane to receive copious praise. -1 to all actions undertaken on behalf of source (too distracted)Wander random direction at double normal move
7Antithetic Conversion - as AWE(5), but target's alignment/outlook is reversed. Target believes that this change is for the better and is grateful that the source instigated the change. Can be commanded.Protective - Will defend and protect source to best of ability. Open to suggestion.Drop all held items. 50% chance target continues to divest itself of possessions beyond what is in-hand
8Epiphany - as AWE(4), but target gains experience points (1d6 per level times 100) from the experience.Respectful - as CHARM(4), but is inclined to to follow suggestions from source that coincide with own interestsContinues prior or current action at -d4 penalty to actions
9Revulsion - as AWE(3), but source becomes the center of lingering psychosisInfatuation - obsessive interest in source. May be romantic/sexual/possessive. Open to suggestionCannot remember anything. May defend self at -1.
10Fervor - target has no will of own but to serve and glorify the source. Very emotional and irrational. Can be commanded.Henchman - wants to serve source as a henchman. May be commandedStruck mute, seized by twitching spasms. Out of touch with reality. May be awed

Will continue with the others later

Monday, August 10, 2009

Troll Talk (unsolicited)

The only game I'm running these days is Tunnels and Trolls, and this is over the internet.

I don't write much about T&T, though, don't tinker or tweak much, having settled on a comfortably loose set of house-rules and guidelines early on. This is something that's come up at Vin's Trollbridge before (among other places) - that it's hard to get too worked up about different approaches, modes of play, etc (of course, in this way it probably helps that T&T never approached the kind of dissemination that D&D did - the pool of opinions never got too cloudy...)

It also never suffered from differences between editions (up until fairly recently anyway). It is a game that promotes a 'ruling-over-rule' approach, demands that the GM exercise personal judgement for determining how difficult a character's action may be to perform (which seems to be a big chicken-bone-in-the-sandwich for many players of games of more recent invention). No list of monsters, no list of magic items, very little in the way of 'implied setting' in this sense.

Tunnels and Trolls is a game that I don't write about very much, because it's a kind of a perfect specimen in my opinion (and the opinions of at least a few others)!

Of course, like any RPG that sees a lot of service in home games and longer campaigns and such, there were a lot of spells added to it, common items and monsters, standard practices for special cases and conditions - but at no point did I ever feel like I had to make up something to account for a deficiency in the rules, a kludge of a subsystem - nor that I had to outright exclude or ignore some part of the rules as presented as being too far out, or just 'that's not the way I'd do it'.

Rumours are in the air that a chaotic 8th edition is in the works. My hopes are that it is a variation on the 'perfection' of the 5th edition - since something being 'more perfect' is only meaningful in an Orwellian sense...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lovely post from fightingfantasist

FightingFantasist: Cracking Open The God-Isle

(another successful deflection of the internet!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

pregenerated spellbooks

Added a link to a PDF of pregenerated spellbooks for 1e AD&D Magic Users. There are 6 spellbooks for each point of intelligence, making a d6 easy to determine which is found or available. Kellri's got this stuff in spades, but here's another for the sake of wheel reinvention...also put up some tables to help generate some NPC details if you need to determine an elf's class, or an assassin's race, or a fighter's alignment...

Funniest thing I've read in 2000 years

The Tao of D&D: The Council of Passaic

alignment table re-do

I like this better.
01-16Neutral Evil58-69Lawful Neutral
17-24Lawful Evil70-76Chaotic Good
25-31Chaotic Evil77-84Lawful Good
32-43Chaotic Neutral85-00Neutral Good
44-57True Neutral

Think I'll lay off the alignment for a while.

Monday, August 3, 2009

yet more alignment

Here's a quote from Gygax in Strategic Review. At this point, the system of alignments is beginning to move from the Original D&D (Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic) into that presented in Homes Basic (Lawful Good/Evil, Neutral, Chaotic Good/Evil).

Considering mythical and mythos gods in light of this system, most of the benign ones will tend towards the chaotic/good, and chaotic/evil will typify those gods which were inimical towards humanity. Some few would be completely chaotic, having no predisposition towards either good or evil — REH’s Crom perhaps falls into this category.

I find this interesting on 2 points.
  • Allowing one and two term definitions of alignment to co-exist, and
  • stating that evil is 'inimical towards humanity', placing the interests of humanity as the objective standard (which is probably the safest approach, maybe the only approach...)

Holmes alignment is the one I've felt most comfortable with. Not too esoteric, but of finer resolution. Continuing to use Lawful and Chaotic as independent terms does not seem a serious complication, and one that allows the existence of objective Law and objective Chaos, in the realm of deities and such.

And to maintain the humanocentric interpretation of alignment, the last paragraph of this article says:
As a final note, most of humanity falls into the lawful category, and most of lawful humanity lies near the line between good and evil. With proper leadership the majority will be prone towards lawful/good. Few humans are chaotic, and very few are chaotic and evil.

Perhaps to reinterpret the 1e AD&D alignment, removing the neutrality of each of its variations (and get rid of True, same as adding it implicitly)...nah.

This is the alignment table I use for random determination
d%1e AD&DHolmes Basic
01-05Lawful EvilLawful Evil
06-15Chaotic EvilChaotic Evil
16-20Neutral EvilNeutral (evil tendencies)
21-35Chaotic NeutralNeutral
36-55True NeutralNeutral
56-80Lawful NeutralNeutral
81-85Neutral GoodNeutral (good tendencies)
86-95Chaotic GoodChaotic Good
96-00Lawful GoodLawful Good

So 60-70% of the aligned population falls into neutral territory, with a greater chance of lawful ethos where applicable. Boring? Realistic? Not sure. Somewhat comfortable though.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

How about 13 alignments?

(This is a total ramble. Sorry - it's saturday.)

I've never been able to implement the use of alignment into a game I ran that I thought was satisfying.

Really, I dislike the following ideas as much as I dislike virtually all ideas about handling alignment - except that one which advises willfull exclusion of it.

You can view the 9 axis AD&D alignment (LE-CE-NE-CN-TN-LN-NG-CG-LG) as a 2D array (like the picture on the page). Now sparsely populate the third dimension with doubles of the bases (LL-CC-NN-EE-GG) - say that these are the most exaggerated, atavistic or monolithic interpretations of these ideas...Neutral Neutral seems like True Neutral...UGH - at least there's 13 elements, which might scare prospective DM's off due to superstition and folklore, and those who skip from level 12 to level 14...


OK. Get rid of the conceit of 'common tongue' instead (maybe allow other less-inclusive ones like Tradespeak, Scholarspeak, Mercenarese, etc (thieves and druids do it, right?)). How about getting rid of all other languages as automatic to the character at creation - only the alignment language stays, so generally people can speak best to those'of like mind'...allow them to be learned as any other...

Eh. In a world without races, that could be cool.

Here's my personal binary favorite: PC and monster.

The concept is really fundamental to the game of D&D - in the sense that it's in the original rules, was there from the start (is it still there now?). Maybe, just maybe, my dissatisfaction with it is a shortcoming of my own. I've always hated using it while playing. I've always felt like players who make a big deal about their character's alignment have some kind of agenda to their play ('always' isn't the best word - maybe 'usually felt that'...anyway). I've always appreciated those games that don't even bother with alignment in the rules. There are, of course, good guys and bad guys in those games (PCs and monsters).

Nevertheless, I've always felt compelled to use it, or at least include it in setting and design for fantasy games, in some way just a cut above token inclusion. Take the swords and magic items that possess intelligence, ego, alignment. Opinions, outlooks, etc - these are elements of sentience - morality, ethics, what is right, what is wrong - you know the rap...

Seems likely that the anti-paladin was an invention very early in the history of the dissemination of the original game. Where's the evil anti-ranger, who hunts the edges of civilization, culling the sheep who stray too far from the village? (well, that role is filled nicely by wolves and monsters I guess...) As a class, I guess that's an assassin...

The endgame of OD&D vs say BECMI (hope I got the order right, BEMCI?). Wargaming vs at-home campaigns. Gross definitions vs fine definitions. Good Guys vs Bad Guys. Team players vs. Individualists. I'm not a big fan of 'epic' style games - so the identification of universal powers of such-and-such alignment always rubbed me wrong.

But, dammit! As a DM, I want to know if some NPC king in question is neutral, good, or evil! (Basically just so I can figure out which of them are fighting...) I still use it in design a lot. For that matter, I want to know if some prospective henchman is Chaotic Evil or Lawful Neutral. I end up writing small programs to automate NPC generation, with the idea that it'll help to populate villages and such (*herm* ok, i do it cuz it's fun) - but within these lists, inevitably, I segregate the NPC into groups of common alignment, to begin to piece together story-hooks and relations between groups...

Assuming you've made it this far, I'll apologize again.