Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Balrog for Basic

HD 13 (65) [1+]
AC 11
Attacks: whip/whip/blade 2d6/2d6/2d10
Saves: F13 +2

Resistances: half damage weapons, requiring magical to damage; full damage from lightning, silvered weapons. Immune to fire damage.

Special defenses: Aura of fear and flame, must make fear save -2 to approach 30', next to heat of balrog causes 1d4 hp fire damage. Weapons shatter after damaging the balrog on a roll of 1-3 on their damage die (magical weapons can be reforged from shards)

Notes from gameplay:

I thought this Balrog would actually be too much for my 5-7 level characters, but they defeated him handily after I fumbled a few attacks and by use of a magic wand. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Hill Troll
(For use in Tolkienish b/x and acks D&d games)
No. 1d6 
HD 6+2
AC 4
Damage: 2d6+2 club or grab below
Special Attacks: once per round rather than attack with its club, the Hill Troll can pick up an medium or smaller enemy in one hand. If it hits, the citing must save v paralysis or will be gripped and unable to move except to talk but may save every round to escape (DM choice on falling damage). The hill troll can attack with its club against other targets with up to 1 held victim, or devote it's round smashing the held target with its damage (no attack roll, just roll damage).
Weakness: exposure to direct daylight will turn hill trolls to stone, they may save v paralysis every round. A light spell can blind them for similar reasons, making them lose a round if they fail a spell save.
Saves: F6
Morale: 0
XP: 600

Olog Hai
No. 1d6 (always found at the direction of the Enemy in his fastnesses and with his lieutenants)
HD 1d6+2
AC 10 (hide + iron plates)
Damage: 2d8, sweep 
Special attacks: sweep- olog hai are trained to smash through enemies with their great iron mallets, they roll one attack and hit up to 3 enemies in an arc in front of them based on the same attack roll.
Weaknesses: olog hai are vulnerable to sunlight and can be stunned 1 round if failing a spell save for any round light is cast on them or every round fighting in sunlight. Bred by magics, they do not turn to stone as their cousins.
Morale: +2
XP: 800

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back to Pendragon!

So I got back together with a face-to-face group and we've regularly been playing D&d for nigh 9 months now. It's great, but I find that I also long for some more dramatic happenings and intrigues. And knightly combat, fealty and thematic events, not just burning oils on monsters. 

So I convinced a rump part of the dnd group to try out Pendragon a few weeks ago (the whole group of dnd players is too big, I have like 7 players to herd like cats). They quite liked it, despite the power gamer almost dying in the second year of the campaign. 

Some things I'm going to try based on what I learned from my past pendragon sessions:

1. No rolling for traits when a character does something unless the trait is 16+ or somehow the trait is being particularly affected (seductress fey v. Lustful). Just give a check or auto increae for any notable trait actions. I hated "checking" to see if non-extraordinarily traited knights did things (and it's slow).

2. Simple holdings. I'm going to use the Book of the Estate for any holdings: extra income goes strait into investment, no need for rolling yearly harvests. Stewardship is for repairs when Saxons raid.

3. More family involvement using the excellent transom tables in the core book. More emphasis on station for wives finding acceptable. More focus on marriages as alliances, not just dowry collection. I also will probably use the random events table from the Book of the Manor cuz it's got great stuff like wyvern attacks and brownie infestations.

4. Simplified battle rules of my own creation (the Book of Battle rules are WAY over complicated): unit leader rolls battle, modified by intuitive conditions (terrain, relative army sizes, morale situation), against enemy commander or just to succeed (open charges). Roll randomly on table of enemies, knights fight, then commander rolls again with modifiers based on success of last rounds fighting. Criticals give opportunities like fighting enemy leaders bodyguard or camp. 

More to come, I'm hoping to do some play reports to keep track of the games progress. 

[pendragon inspiration] knights and warriors

Knights in Uthers time.

A typical Saxon invader.
A noblemen of the time.

A knight's manor.

[pendragon inspiration] ladies

An enchantress or enchanted maiden on a noble horse.