Saturday, 29 June 2019

More about Encounters

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Louise Bourgeois

Last time on TOILET WORLD we talked about encounters and making an encounter based on apex predators and said I might follow it up with
"
Show an example with lots more variety

Maybe do one with something other than an alpha predator

Or even building it around something that isn't part of the food chain (directly) like rogue golems, or wandering bands of undead
"

then a bunch of time passed

AND NOw

I will try those things.

The first my idea is just make sure every encounter refers to other encounter
3 variations
 a and b both aware
a is aware of b but not b of a
b is aware of a but not a of b

participants

monkey
crocodile
bone stealer machine

1. Crocodile is about to burst out and eat monkey
2. Monkey is quiet and scuttering around tree
3. Monkey is screaming and chattering and throwing sticks in water

4 bone stealer machine has recently left area and left behind monkey skin and meat sack
5 monkey is fleeing area, bone stealer machine in that area
6 bone stealer machine is lured up a tree too small for it and it's about to collapse , entangling it
the monkey will stay too long to tease it and risk getting bone-plucked

7 crocodile drifting through water being a log near bone stealer machine, will attack things fleeing machine
8. Bone stealer machine is crouched in shadows,  has a bone plucked pig hanging of a branch , crocodile drifting towards it
9 Bone stealer machine is on bank with one hook in crocodile but the other is battered off , crocodile attempting to pull bone stealer machine into the water to disable it
10 roll again, whoever not in encounter will show up .
Monkey will tease crocodile, Bone plucker will go for largest bones, Crocodile will go for easy meat

(I wrote all this  maybe a week or go and now trying to finish it but I can't quite remember where I was going with it all, and from this point things got vague )

Here is another idea with generating some encounters that link up to other encounters.:

SQUAGGLE MERE:
a dreary misty land of tight copse , fens and erratic boggage.
We have 6 inhabitants in Squaggle Mere

1 Axebeak (single predator)
2 Madhermit of the bog (single neutral)
3 Stilt squid (large herbivore)
4 Shaggy pilgrims (group neutral)
5 Bog Wight (single dangerous)
6 Murderers (group dangerous)


Predators will only be a hostile if they think they can get a meal, dangerous are always hostile, herbivores will have to provoked, and neutral will be useful or hazardous depending on context and conversations.




Then roll a d6 for each of them to generate another inhabitant to have an encounter with.
If we roll the same number twice , then we treat that as a single inhabitant encounter.
Or an additional single inhabitant encounter , if we include both multi-inhabitants on the encounter table as well as single.
We rolled:
.Axebeak + mad hermit
Mad hermit + murderers
 Stilt squid + Bog Wight
Shaggy pilgrims + axebeak
 Bog Wight + stilt squid
Murderers

So Murderers have an additional chance to run into them

Then from here we could include the single encounters as well or just have more complicated multi- encounters , giving us 12 or 6.

If we want to have roughly in the range of 1/3 chance of getting an encounter then using a d20 kinda works for 6 encounters, and a d30 for 12 encounters.
If you don't have a d30 you can just make d100 encounter table  and give each encounter 3 numbers.

I'm getting increasingly far away from anything I said at the start of the post but I'm just going to keep going.
If you are making a d100 table and starting with 12 encounters , you could then make each encounter have 3 versions
1 : a is aware of b
2 b is aware of a
3 both b and a are aware of each other.

(or make this d6 table to roll on  other getting the encounter.)

This expansion of course doesn't make sense for single encounters. One that does is this one:
(also you could do the awareness thing with perception checks)


1 About to happen ( if single encounter , hearing distance away)
2 Happening  (if single encounter , visual distance / 1-2 rounds)
3 Happened   (tracks or spore, 5 minutes away)


And again it could be a d6 addition roll instead.


Okay that's some ideas about encounters I had that I expanded on, sorry it's been so long since posts. A lot going on at the moment with life , work , art , rpg creations and poor old blog posts keep missing out.



Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Keystone Species Encounter Table

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This one of those "thinking aloud"post where I had an idea for something and see what it looks like when I write it out.
Which hopefully results in something usable , salvage , inspiring or at the very least interesting.

This idea is building an areas encounter table around a single species , in order to make it feel more alive and dynamic , and allow more forewarning to happen about the more dangerous encounters.

So you decide on a keystone "species" (though this can be any thing "ëncountable") and think how it would effect everything else.

What is a keystone species? Let me just copy/paste from wiki here:

"A classic keystone species is a predator that prevents a particular herbivorous species from eliminating dominant plant species. If prey numbers are low, keystone predators can be even less abundant and still be effective. Yet without the predators, the herbivorous prey would explode in numbers, wipe out the dominant plants, and dramatically alter the character of the ecosystem."


 A keystone species doesn't have to be a predator but we'll start with one because it's the easiest to d&d.
 

So let's take the Hydra-Moray from  the "Ramanan Sivaranjan Excellence in Gaming Best God Damn Book of 2015"award winning book Fire On The Velvet Horizon.

It's one of the simplest monsters in there, a hydra of eels , so it will do nicely.

Let's have it live a mangroove, because they are under used biomes. Mangroves are great because you have all kinds of water monsters there but have the party  still basically on land.

Real life mangroves are kind of a nightmare to travel on foot, the footing is treacherous, sharp protrudings from the mangrove roots ,  deep sucking mud and biting insects.

But for our purposes I'll say there's more reliable ground than there actually is.

What does a Hydra Moray eat? Basically everything.  It will eat the mussels and other shellfish , it will eat fish, it will eat alligators , it will will eat too slow climbers and flyers.

So I'm think it's unlikely to have another large predator here unless its swam in from further away.

However smaller & faster and/or more versatile predator/scavengers seem plausible (also I could always have something with some unusual property allowing its survival.)


So let's have some kind of tree climbing Hyena-Otter.


Like the Amazonian giant otter but hunting in packs and a rapid climber . They will scavenge, eat shellfish, chase smaller or weaker Hydra Moray away from kills, snip off stray bits of a meal or even a head, or just finish off the remains.

They will retreat into the tree tops when endangered and make large messy nests there.

Okay now for hapless prey animal.  Gibbons.The Bald-screamer gibbon which I'm making up , it's nearly hairless and has a look of constant fear on its face. It eats leaves, fruit , bark and occasional shellfish.
They will get eaten in the water and they will get eaten in the trees. They have the long limbed graceful  swinging in trees but in the water they have an absurd looking butterfly stroke .

They will squirt big jets of blinding green shit loaded with herbal toxins from their diet if disturbed, while fleeing and hooting.

This hooting will attract attention of the Otters but not the Moray.



Now I got 3 beasts lets build an encounter table.

I don't have a clear system about how I do these numbers , but generally I treat a hex/ turn of traveling like doing a room in a dungeon so I like a 3/3/3 of Definite threat, possible threat, environmental.
Definite Threat is something that is very likely to result in harm unless action is taken, a possible threat will result in harm only in specific situations or fuckery, and environmental is traces of the threat , clues, and resources.

Then with those categories , where needed, a third are unluckier than usual and a third  are luckier.

That's my guidelines here anyway. I'm still not 100% in these numbers and I actually deviated from it when making the below table. ヽ(。_°)ノ
Note that a lot of traditional encounter chances are created with them as a counter /penalty /risk to taking too much time/ covering distance , while I use them as a "what are we doing this session" generator.

Any Large amount of Noise (i.e Gibbons) , or blood in the water ,will trigger another encounter roll , only using results relating to Hydras or Otters

Definite Threats
1. A younger , wounded, or depleted Hydra Moray. It has less than normal heads (1d4+2) , will follow at a distance and attack if approached , the party seems weak, or there's a lot of blood in the water. It will settle for at least a dogs worth of meat.
2. A healthy Adult moray will become aware of the party and start slowly swimming towards them , waiting for the best moment to strike. It will want at least 2 adults worth of food , and if it incapacitates one while the rest of the party flee , it will stash the downed one under a root mass and continue 
 3.Adult Moray about to eat or currently eating a shark or crocodile . Will defend its meal against others. Roll again to see if anything else shows .
4. 1d4 younger Otters. Will follow just out of reach , both in the water or tree branches looking cute. Will attempt to snatch and flee with food or small animals , and attack isolated injured individuals
5. Standard pack of otters , 5+1d6 of them. Lolling about in branches and eating shellfish.  Will attack a weak looking party, try and chase off other packs or smaller morays from a kill. If the next encounter triggers an encounter roll , this pack will show up.
 6. Otter Nest. Looks kind of like a bunch of flotsam jammed in a tree. 2d8 pups present. 1d4 otters present that will chase off anyone getting close. Another 2d6 will show up if prolonged combat or aggravation happens. The pups are worth a lot for their fur, and use as  hunting./guard animal. 
The nest also might have rings or jewellery from limbs or heads brought back here for the pups to eat.
 7. Shark
8.Crocodile
9-15: Gibbons up trees . Will freak out if disturbed, shitting jets of blinding spray and making a lot of noise.
16 A corpse up a tree. Legs eaten off, rest of body stripped of bone. Some salvagable equipment
17. Battered down smaller trees
18. Submerged corpse under a root mass, with a single limb rising up. Hydra Moray that stashed it was driven out of the area.
19. Crocodile corpse caught up in emerging root mass, being picked clean by crabs
20. Knocked over Otter nest , ripped open.  Human limb and gibbon bones through the compacted nest surface of fur, plant material , and feces. Some jewellery.


Next post , if my or your interest continues , will have one the following goals:

>Make a  way simpler version of this.

>Show an example with lots more variety

><Maybe do one with something other than an alpha predator

>Or even building it around something that isn't part of the food chain (directly) like rogue golems, or wandering bands of undead

Friday, 12 April 2019

Exacts In the Theatre of the mind

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picture from Wonder Momo via  Hardcoregaming101 though the page seems to have become unfindable by me





 Well g+ got put-down and I have not a lot strong feelings about it.
Other than maybe comparing the user built connection networks to soil.
As you may or may not know uncultivated (cultivated meaning dug up, worked over or otherwise human messed with) good soil has the majority of its properties due to the work of micro and not so micro (i.e invertebrates s visible to the naked human eye) organisms.

Organic matter is and has been broken down into small pieces, tiny little tunnels have been dug, a certain amount of biofilm is also clumping the soil together.
Because of this good uncultivated soil has a good amount of available plant nutrients , holds water but has drainage, lets air into the top layers, resists water loss and erosion due to sun , wind and water action.

If you got some earth moving equipment, dug it all up and dumped it somewhere else the soil would then compact down due to the collapsing of the microtunnels built by countless little critters and no longer have the water and air permeability as good. If was repeated wet and compacted it would have worse and worse ability to let water and air through.

But as long as nutrients were available , its biome of flora and fauna would gradually return it to is former pristine state.


A social network platform closing is somewhat like this. The networks and awareness of others that makes a social network good are collapsed if the network closes. The users of it can certainly start again somewhere else and reestablish the connection they had previously but like the soil, it will take time.

Slowing down the process is if the users don't use same name and profile picture with their new account.

Not so much a problem with people that you spoke to often but more with the people who you didn't but  the awareness of formed your network.

This network is a map of everyone you disliked (but didn't necessary blocked), the people you disregarded, the people whose opinion you valued but rarely had anything to talk about directly.

The sum total of that is what motivates or deters one to bother reaching out or contributing to.

So that is what everyone (everyone who was using it on the regular anyway) has lost with google plus gone.

Where and if people start their new networks depends on a multitude of factors , but some of the most important I feel are A regular source of interesting and Not having To Interact with Worthless People.

I don't have the time and interest right now to settle down on some other platform and try and point forth content to help grow the nexus (the network of networks) or even search other platforms adequately to find growing ones.

So the next bit of that importance is currently of theoretical value to me; the Not Having To Interact With Worthless People.

I won't try exact define worthless here , but in general I mean people acting in such bad faith or who value internet conflict so highly that they negatively add to any conversation going on.

Domestic Abuser Zak Smith wrote alot about his rules for determining worthwhile people and how to push out Worthless people.

Towards the end his application of these were so blatantly about control that's it hard to remember having ever held them in regard at all.

Never the less it will be interesting seeing where creative and productive places happen and if any of his theories hold up in regard to them.

His stated goal of having better social spaces online that were still critical (i.e not just endless affirmation hug fests) is still one of merit, and I hope the conversation around it can continue without his malign influence.



 TO THE TOPIC AT HAND

So you aren't using miniatures or a hastily drawn battlemap, instead you are being a loose-goose and keeping it all "theatre of the mind" .


If someone is attacking someone they are beside them , if they aren't they aren't. If they are on something or behind it then that's where they are. Otherwise it doesn't matter.

OR DOES IT

Because there's a number of tactical options that new players will often try and then abandon when the dm seems to not really care that they are doing that.

These options get represented by more tactical systems and/or any with miniatures,  but are often overlooked by theatre of the mind play.

Which is a shame because they are fairly intuitive and can be fairly  crucial to survival.

Basically these are the positions that should matter , or at least be considered , with theatre of the mind.


Hiding behind something:
And that something being relatively static. This is easily supported by the existing mechanics but its important to not just think of it of something thieves can do.
SO:
Not just always assuming the monsters can detect and easily access the characters
Giving players information about this

Staying out of the way/Staying at range
Moving out the monsters reach and keeping there. This is far less supported directly by the mechanics
even when using miniatures, as for convenience moving and attacking often both happen in the same turn .  So a slow monster can move up and attack if it has initiative, and then the character that can move much further goes and moves out of range and (missile )attacks. While explainable in some situations is rather odd if generally the case.

A possible mechanic support for mind-theatre is some kind dex contest (but also modified by the rate of movement)  to determine if a character can stay out of the reach of the monster. Say die+dex mod vs die+ dex mod. With the die being Slowest d4 , Average d8, Fastest d20

SO: still good idea to be clear to players if a monster can reach them in its turn and if they want to do something about that


Using long weapons
Can get very mechanically complicated if you want to, but my main point is a new player will often expect it to matter if they have a long spear they are prodding something with and will be confused when the monster just effortless is beside them when it needs to be.
A possible simple mechanic : Resolve longest weapons first regardless of initiative 
Attempting to keep a monster always at spear length is more detailed of a combat matter than I'm getting into in this post

SO:
Either let players know that the chaos of the melee , unsteadiness of the footing , terrible light etc, makes the length of the spear matter little or have a mechanic to make it matter.


Intercepting/Keeping someone between you and enemy
The old Fighters In front of Mages / Marching order  deal. But also includes where someone is trying to cut off an exit or get between the tied up sacrifice and the Great Bile Toad Of Go'r'r
 For the amount you can mechanically support this one need only to consider Attacks Of Opportunity in 3rd edition.
A simple approach is when players state they are trying to do this have their attack resolved first and if succeeds the monster can't resolve their attack on anyone other than the interceptor.
Additionally where someone is trying to be a meat shield and circumstances are favorable, allow them to dive in-front of an attack resulting in that attacker having advantage to hit and damage them (even after a failed intercept).


Waiting for something to move before doing a thing

aka overwatch. Simple enough, the player resolves their attack when that happens. However in some cases, like waiting for the lizard man to close before striking, individual initiative might be still appropriate to see who goes first.

 The Basics:
Is Character above or below this?
Are they near or far from this?
Are they ontop of this?
Are they/ can they pay attention to this?


I've tried to keep this to just the most basic situations that still require some consideration and avoid stuff that is more like a stunt or specific combat tactic.
For example , climbing on giant things. That is a topic I will come back to at some stage though.

If you can think of anything else that seems like it isn't considered enough with MIND-THEATRE comment below!

 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

liKe TEARS in tHe Rain

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Here's brief selection of my  g+ posts that weren't good enough to be a whole post.

ANIMALS AND ALIGNMENTS




the only bad animals are pigeons and centipedes .


By pigeon I of course only refer to Columba livia domestica

cats are fine, except a lot of the time it's a person reincarnated as cat. The cats people talk way too much are actually their future soul prison send back in time.

These cats are terrible.

All primates should considered human , not animal, and thus judged by the same standards as we judge ourselves. So chimpanzees and monkeys are v.bad, but only by human internal standards.
By animal standards they are not animals , they are human.
This was mentioned previously.


Ants would be bad except fungus keeps them in line . However they are not to be trusted.

Wasps are bad but good inflicted on other animals, so this balances out.

Mosquitoes have killed more people than people have killed people , this counts as a good thing , ecologically speaking.

Ducks have been warned, but for now, are not bad.

Metaorganism such as corporations and some religions count as a subset(overset?) of human, and are not animal.

Future revisions might include them as virus .

Future revisions are considering have a 2 axis system , with Bad (Pidgeon) as the X axis and Bad (Centipede) as the Y axis.








GOING NO-WHERE SLOW

Instead of werewolves people turning in giant hands that crush people

Instead of Frankensteins A Very Large Toddler

Instead of The Mummy , A Murderous Painting that rests inbetween murders inside art and takes on different properties depending on what it just rested in

Instead of A Dracula , Sinister Spider Teen Gang

Instead of Fishman , the Ratking

Instead of Zombies, Skeletons that pull peoples skeletons out 


WIKIPEDIA ENTRY ON BALOR OF THE ONE EYE :

"This eye wreaks destruction when opened. The Cath Maige Tuired calls it a "destructive" and "poisonous" eye that no army can withstand, and says that it takes four men to lift the eyelid. In later folklore it is described as follows: "It was always covered with seven cloaks to keep it cool. He took the cloaks off one by one. At the first, ferns began to wither. At the second, grass began to redden. At the third, wood and trees began to heat up. At the fourth, smoke came out of wood and trees. At the fifth, everything got red hot. At the sixth...... At the seventh, the whole land caught fire"" 


"The baneful eye was at him. This eye was opened only in the field of fight. Four persons were necessary to raise an eyelid of his eye by four polish rods passed through eyelids. The army which would look in this eye, could not resist, even if be in many thousands by number"."

VIDEO GAMES MYSTERY

"video games are a unique artform that can be used to tell stories in new and exciting ways"
->makes video game
->neglects or actively suppresses any video game aspect beyond what you would find on a next generation encarta


 FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I mean the opposite of sub-realm would be a super-realm but why not call it a dom-realm





200 WORD RPG:

EVERYONE CATCHES RATS
PUT RATS IN BARREL. CLOSE BARREL . WAIT UNTIL ONLY ONE RAT LEFT. RELEASE CANNIBAL SUPER RAT . IT WILL KILL ALL THE RATS YOU FAILED TO CATCH.
CHOOSE A NAME FROM THIS LIST FOR THE RAT
1)MAUDE
2)BUBBLES
3)MISSY
4)BIG DOUG

if the rules of the contest mean it has to be 200 words exactly then assume I typed the word "rat" enough to take the word count to 200







alternate tag-lines from VEINS OF THE EARTH
"UNDERDARKEST"
"HOLE LOT OF LOVE"
"THE D"
"TOO DARK PARK"
"UNDERBELOWNEATHSCAPE"
"STONED WORLD"
"BLACK PLANET"
"THIS IS HOLE!! IT WAS MADE FOR ME!"

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Obituary for Zak Sabbath

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So looking back at my  regard for him as a friend and my  defending him, and the times that I would look at the evidence of his evil ways people would (very rarely even show) produce and would wonder if it was possible look past one's bias enough to make it worth the pretense of it.

Often this contemplation of biases would come after (fruitlessly) arguing with him about his bizarre refusal to acknowledge tone in online conversation or countless other shit.

Like .. is this guy actually insane? What would it take to convince me?

Turns out Mandy revealing just how fuck awful he'd been to her would indeed convince me:

https://www.facebook.com/amandapatricianagy/posts/10215845527064252

I'm a little curious if the insight Zak showed towards people ( even , stomach emptyingly, about the experiences of woman)  actually came from a place of genuine emotion.
Then all around that grain of care, layers and layers and layers of rationalization , in order to let him be an absolute cruel shit in pursuit of what ever he fucking wanted.
(so A Narcissist)

Or if it was just him just seeing a puzzle solution with no empathy or care about another human being?
(so a Sociopath)

I've seen plenty of people perform wokeness while trying to mask a callous disregard for others but that was always done in such formulaic and obvious way .
Never seen someone have genuine , intelligent shit to say about all that and simultaneously be evil.


Well, now I have. What a fuck. What an absolute wretch of a fuck of a little maggot of a man.
I thought for a while about a final confrontation before posting this but you  , Zak, deserve so very little now, and I can't see any outcome from that leading to decent reduction of your  chance of hurting other people in future.


And you do love the chance to talk in your defense , with your vast array of sophistry and term defining sleight of hand , I can't help but gleefully deny it to you here.
 I never did get why you gave so much of shit about your woke image being tarnished by slander, especially  if you were indeed a sociopath.
Is it because you had done too much work gaslighting and rationalization  and shield recruiting (hey welcome to my blog) and it was an affront to your pride to have it undone by some anime profiled weebs making shit up?

Like you have worked so hard to bury , contain, and invalidate any evidence, that the idea of people just making stuff up must of seemed so shocking to you.

Anyway, goodbye forever . I hope now only for an outcome in which you never hurt another person again.







Friday, 8 February 2019

DInosaur Naming Conventions

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Dinosaurs and other extinct mega-fauna are great.

They are big and large and dumb and you can use them as super beasts or dragons without feeling like you are cheating the mythology by just having them being large bastards that eat or step on people.

However they often have long ass hard to say names that can feel out of place amongst  the other monster and animal names.

So Now I will Talk About the Merits of Various Nomenclature for Megafauna  In Rpgs

This is arguably a redundant point considering  the amount of language groups and mythologies involved in the monster manual or even just a regular zoo. Surely one will adapt in time?

Possibly! But there's a certain satisfaction in this (small) aspect of world building .

For example the  rareness or familiarity of said dinosaur /mega fauna to the main culture groups is going to be reflected in the name. 

So something that a culture talks about a lot is unlikely to have a long name or one with unusual sounds.
If the name used is a loan word from another language it can often becoming shortened or simplified to fit that language.

I.e Tyrannosaurus Rex becomes T-rex, Orang Hutan becomes Orangutan (and not even said like how it's spelt here) .

Names of things very familiar to culture for a very long time tend to be short and simpler (cow , sheep, goat, dog)  and sometimes have words created from them  (dogged , doggerel)

 To mimic this you can retro-fit words for a creature, i.e called a brontosaurs a bridge, the idea being bridges were named after brontosaurs.

When something is discovered or introduced later to culture (and the existing name is unfamiliar or unsuitable) a quick or throw away description often becomes the name.
The name is created by modifying the word for something familiar and/or a closes resemblence to said thing
The familiarity seems to be more important than the actual resemblance (pineapple, sea mouse).
Then a word that references something else it resembles (mole cricket , crab louse)
Or
a differing property from a familiar form (red pine, water melon, sea turtle)
Or
 its region or environment (Barbary ape, Canadian goose, Sea snake).

While d&d has a lot of "giant" animals with the giant in the name (giant beaver, giant rat, giant bat etc etc), this doesn't come up a lot in real word naming conventions (obvious exceptions include giant squid, giant clam and a few others).

Probably because its rare that you have a giant animal and the regular animal in the same place , so the resident population would just see the giant animal as regular size.

Even when there is 2 similar animals of different sizes (Rabbit and Hare, Rat and Mouse, Gazelle and like one of those dozens of animals like a gazelle but a different size and horn shape) it's rare that one of them gets called giant.

I think it only gets done when some explorer or discoverer type is trying to impress people back home.

Sometimes when the name is a loan word used, the loan word can just be a common description in that language (orangutan meaning Man of The Woods, though there is possible a touch of reverence here) .

Where a loan word is used and its not particularly simple , its possible because the named creature was particular exotic or impressive and someone was trying to impress everyone back home.

Something particular impressive can then loan its name as new verb or adjective (mammoth ). This can be an excuse to name a beast after an adjective or verb in your world (the Mighty,A Wiggle, Flung)

When new names are created for extinct megafauna in fantasy one awful habit is  doing a weird fake tribal "part+ thing the part resembles", i.e Dagger Tail, Hammer head, Whip Tail.

Though the latin name of dinosaur are often this , there's few real world examples of this being used as a naming convention.

To my ear these names tend to be too long for something familiar to culture and too banal if its something unfamiliar and impressive.


Here's my list of megafauna I'm using and the names for them. They are mixture of different language groups, bad puns, descriptors, archaic words , and mashed together combinations of the above.

T-rex: Tyrant , Tyrant King, Tyrant Lizard
(medieval bestiarys had a habit of trying to name one particular animal as the King animal of that type. The basilisk was referred to as the King Of Poison which I always liked)


Ankysaurus: Fortoises
(assuming namers of it would compare it to tortoise and some wag would have made this joke. The only thing close to a real world name created portmanteau syle like this  that I can think of is the old word for giraffe "camelopard". Referring to it having spots like a leopard and a neck like camel)

Gyphadont: Armadazo
(armadillo means little armoured one , this means big armoured one. It's an excuse to mix up the language origins without straying too far from the familiar)

Pterodactyl. = skinbird
:small: skinhawk
Medium , ridable : Picador

(these are common enough to even be a steed. Picador refers to the military unit that uses them and has become a name for the animal itself.)

Quetzalcoatlus  Emperor Skin Bird

Stegosaurus: Massif
(a geological term meant to be referring to the shape of its back. I won't be able to say this without thinking about the "Because da Jungle is MASSIF" joke but that's not a problem.


Triceratops: Trino
(Micheal Raston of Lizardman diaries came up with this and it's fucking gold)

Brontosaurus: Behemoth
(it's good word and I wasn't using it for a super monster. Doesn't have enough mythological richness for me personally to "waste" on just being a big animal)

Velicoraptor: Raptor (popular culture has done the work here already)

Megatherium: Slothlord (More because it sounds good than applied real world naming conventions)

Paraceratherium: Indrik, Hummock
(Indrik is mythological creature that these were named after at one point. Hummock is type of hill and nice mouth shape word)

Mosasaurs; Devil-whale (The Vikings had a lot of "evil whales" and some of them are described pretty similar to a Mosasaur. I would use one of their names but I can't pronounce them easily)

Plesioaur : snakefish, brinewyrm. tideworm
(I feel I can get away with the slightly inaccurate and unimpressive "snakefish" this as there isn't a lot names like this here and marine animals tended to get named like this , "whale shark", "sea lion", "sun fish". Plus I like the incongruousness of it being called a snakefish? 

Andrewsarchus: Kingpig
(I might be overusing the King thing here but Kingpig is good word)

Chalicotherium: goat-ape, knuck-cuu

 (as its not as terrifying as some of the others I feel it can have more mundane name like goat-ape. Knuck-cuu ; like a cow but walking on its knuckles

Monday, 28 January 2019

Weapon Proficiencies

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Weapon Proficiencies:

A weird lumpy limb that wiggled forth somewhere in d&ds many lives.
Often disdained, but generally forgotte.

 And not something I've seen anyone try to  "OSRify" . 


BUT TODAY

I will do something with its wretchedness. 

If you have spend anytime reading homebrew content you will have encountered numerous house rules for making weapons more complicated and differentiated . 
So that it matters that a spear is long and an axe chops and a warhammer is really good for punching holes in plate etc.

The other thing you might read is rules for people doing tactical stuff in combat like "full dodges", "suppressing fire"  , "shield bashes" etc

The trouble is these are often over looked, forgotten or neglected by players.

Which is BAD if you are perpetual tinkerer dm who wants to try out all these little mechanic options.

And you don't (and shouldn't ) want to have constantly remind the players about them.

However there is going to be some players that do care about it, and chances are they are playing a Fighter.

So making use of all this underused potential is give Fighters a form of Weapon Proficiencies.

Except I'm calling them Training Regimes , (Regime  for short) 

The Dempsey Roll might be known to a boxer , but unless they have trained , sparred , and keep themselves in condition they will be unable to apply it to its best potential. 





A regime means the fighter has studied and regular trains in the use of particular weapon, weapon technique, marshal strategy, special move, new foot work , esoteric stance , etc


A Regime will allow a fighter to , for example, not just use a spear like everyone else, but use it with those weird reach rules you came up with.

 
They have one per level actively undertaken and practiced enough for it to be as second nature to them as drawing breath.

They can know far more than this, but they limited on how many they have available in their muscle memory and reflexes.

More regimes can be learned from studying books, sifus, weapon masters , secret schools and sometimes their own experiments. It will take anywhere from a week to a month to learn one.

They can swap a regime over, but it requires a week to get up to speed again with the techniques involved.


Examples of Fighter Training Regimes:

Desperate Defense : The "shields will be splintered" rule

 The Long Stance : Always resolve your attacks first when you have longer weapon

Opportunity Knocks: Free attack with a shield bash if your opponent misses twice in a row

Cloud Step : If fighter does nothing but move and avoid attacks their base armour class is their dexterity instead of 10.

Le jeu de la hache : while using an axe 2-handed or axe type pole weapon , if this fighter reduces an opponent to zero or lower hitpoints , they can make immediate additional attack against someone/thing in reach . The benefits of this regime can only be used once in a round



Notes
This assumes any class can use any weapon or classes have a set list of weapons available to use. It's not another thing to spend proficiency on , but I guess it could??

Its also very similar to feats; however they can be swapped in and out in downtime and shouldn't stack or provide passive bonuses like feats. Some feats could be repurposed to this system though.


All Regimes don't have to be in equal in power, and some could even be better versions of more common ones.

 The time and resources it takes to learn a new regime is going to vary on how rare and/or powerful it is as well.

Let how much you make wizard players sweat to learn new spells be your guide for how expensive or difficult it is to learn a new regime.
 




Sunday, 20 January 2019

Votaility

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Volatility :

I've been trying to come up with a formula for "volatility" in a location and location.
By volatility I mean a setup that will change in complex cascading ways  in respond to nearly any player action or inaction.
Something that can give the most potential for adventure and campaign material for the minimum of content.  

The "complex and cascading" ways don't need to be directed at the players , they just need to create change in the campaign world and be "chaotic" , i.e difficult for the d.m to foresee the future results more than 1-2 steps and with early minor factors capable of causing disproportionate results.

An example with limited Votality:
Secret Grove that if the players stumble on the Blood Druids will be freaked out and try and kill them unless placated etc.
 It's a fine encounter or hex filling but the results and potential interactions are not as rich as I want for an adventure.

An example with Volatility :

Lizard people and toad people in a landscape of swamps.
They are  evenly matched, distrust each , but have to share a rich fishing spot because neither can risk or afford the loses caused by conflict.

Especially as there's a small border town nearby that would love to clear the swamp and build a trade route through there. However they lack the martial might to do so , but can find investors to hire mercenaries if the numbers of swamp people are depleted first.

The Lizards and Toads will monitor the pcs moving through their respective territories but only resort to conflict if they pcs interrupt their fishing (as they take turns fishing and can't afford to lose their allotted time).
If the players kill enough Lizards or Toads , the other faction will attempt to drive the rest out. If they manage to kill an even amount of both they wouldn't.

Regardless, after the players leave the swamp and (assuming) they go to town , the town will ask them for (and offer to pay for ) information , as detailed as possible.

If the players refuse to give any information the town will kick them out.

They will then send scouts to confirm if the information  was legit.

The Lizards and Toads then freak out , assuming an attack is imminent , (even if the town decides not to ) , unite , and start a process of guerilla warfare , with a high chance of wiping out the town.

Potential Future consequences (  even if the players ignore everything)
-A new trade route where the swamp was makes the town grow
-Lizard and Toad refugees show up in other places
-The town being wiped out
-and depending on if there/where the survivors end up and how much influence they have , the kingdom the town is part of might send a retributive force and/or resettlement
-this might trigger escalating miltary tensions with the kingdoms neighbours



So a basic framework for "volatility" could be

Stasis between intelligent agents.
Too Expensive/risky or unable to change status quo

Must be a fulcrum /resource that players could conceivable want , the "conceive" might only exist in the minds of the intelligent agents.

Always least risky for the intelligent agents to assume any new activity involves other party.

and possible  a third factor  (can be intelligent or unintelligent) that will leak in if status quo changes?)

 
I've been milling over this post for a while , trying to have more to add , but I don't .
Was going include 2 other under sized posts  but I think there's enough here to chew on , so y'all get those posts sooner than 3 weeks . Huzzah