Monday, December 21, 2015

Wilderness & Wizards: a b/X-LOTFP hack to play tolkienish games

Apropos of my last post thinking about a different way (for me) to do skills, I whipped up this little notes for a hack (really for LOTFP but you could use B/X if you did ascending to-hit and AC) that you can play simple-tolkienish games. Assumed to be heroic, so 4d6, drop lowest roll, per ability score and deathblow/cleave rules. The WIP ones are especially vague. The Doom idea instead of insta-death at 0/negative hp is somewhat inspired by +Patrick Stuart's doom idea. I have no idea how to implement in the game - I want something to replicate, in the movies, Aragorn falling off the cliff but being saved by a fate, Frodo almost dying to the ringwraiths, the death of Thorin, and Boromir's last stand, without losing the benefits of D&D's bathos. I'm torn between some sort of chart where luck determines if it's a last stand or a lingering wound or something, or a new school thing where you lose a Fate point or something and pick your outcome. Maybe just make every death Shakespearean - you get to make a last stand while negative hp, but definitely die at the end with some time for last words?

The next 'new rule' in here are some travel rules based on constitution limiting how much stamina someone really has to travel. Travel to me is one of those frustrating rules I'd like to get a simple but rewarding experience. One thing that could make the difference is a simple number of days for tracking food supplies, without getting into the fine grained minutiae of how many lbs consumed per day.

* btw, I would use these rules with a lot of the One Ring rpg's adventures (modifying to be more location based). You can also draw Hobbit Tales cards for your random encounters.

LOTFP Tolkien hack
- classes: fighter (+2 BaB, d8), wizard (cast one daily +WIS, but know 1+int, can learn new spells with speak lang), ranger (better surprise/ambush, +4 skill points (default Hunt 3, Stealth 2, Sneak attack +d6), elf (good search 4 (keen eyes)), start 1 spell, cast spell+WIS, all 11+s required), dwarf (construction 3, high CON req, resist flame dam=CON bonus, d8), hobbit (stealth 4, sleight 4, small - max Strength 10, 4/d4 hp); thief climb 5, sleight 2, sneak attack +d6, tinkering 2 in 6.
- hp min. 8 for Fighter/Dwarf, 4 for others on usual d6
- level up: roll hp, improve saves, and pick: +1 attack (fighter/dwarf default), or +2 skill points (ranger/thief/hobbit), or 1 more spell daily (must have reason for magic) (wizard default); elves default odd levels spell, even levels +1 attack
- spells (require shout/incantation, interpret creatively, default 10 min./level for light, 1 target per level): access to all (not cleric/mu), basic starting spells: 1 detect magic/power, 2 sleep, 3 light (can blind), 4 flame touch, 5 bless/inspire, 6 word (command), 7 glamor/minor illusion, 8 fear/remove fear, 9 speak animal, 10 charm, 11 gust, 12 shield (no magic heal).
- LOTFP skills, same plus heal, all rolled by Referee secretly after PC describes action (add bonuses for equipment and ability score bonuses when appropriate/active use); start based on class, +1 skill point per INT; (Architecture/Construct (1 in 6) Bushcraft/Hunting (1 in 6) Climb (1 in 6) Languages (1 in 6) Search/ (1 in 6) Sleight of Hand (1 in 6) Sneak Attack +d6, Stealth (1 in 6) Tinker (1 in 6)); (eg rulings, DEX adds to strength)
- single Saving Throw:16-level/HD (i.e. 15 at 1st), can add ability bonuses
- combat: (check surprise, if surprises can take slow rounds), fast (1 action) or slow (2 actions, like move and attack), all fast then all slow, higher DEX then goes first (generally NPCs/usual monsters lose), but heavy armor/slow lose (whatever makes sense based on narrative), to hit, damage usual, +- 2 for tactical advantage or penalty (eg defensive fighting -2 attack, +2 AC), long range -6 to hit (+6 AC); combat maneuvers are attack rolls, then targets gets save to avoid the PC's declared action
- death blows: after dropping an opponent to 0 hp or less, can make a 'free' immediate follow-up attack if there's an adjacent enemy within reach of killer's weapons (DM may allow a
- armor 12+DEX clothes, 14+DEX leather/heavy furs, padded tunic (no DEX bonus to skills), 16+DEX chainmail hauberk, maximum DEX +2, slow reaction, shields +2, 18 reinforced/heavy chainmail, 0 max DEX bonus, slow, open helm with hauberk (or -1 AC if lost), great helm with heavy mail (easier to be surprised -1, -2 search, -2 AC if lost).
- death & doom (WIP) when 0 hp, pass out; negatives save; if fail mortally wounded but can have glorious death; if succeed, survive choose/roll Doom (death! (Badass last stand, die at end), survive but fate - Lingering wound, vulnerable to enemy/certain fate,  (today is a good day to die/mortal wound last stand (go -10, reroll all failed rolls once/advantage), lingering wound (roll body part), gain madness (definitely work on this), maybe 1 fate for elves, 2 for men/dwarves, 3 for hobbits, lose 1 fate per deadly wound, but recover (mabye recover with permanent ability score loss) from injuries (also lose fate for terrible/cruel actions, regain fate for noble deeds?); when 0 fate and hit, die with heroic last stand
- travel: can travel up to CON daily in miles, beyond that CON save or lose 1 hp (double distance if transport/mounts, double if road, infinite on ship), also sets pace, force march up to 2x miles daily, thick terrain or raining 1/2, very bad weather or terrain (mountains, swamps) 1/4; each night warm shelter or save to not lose 1 hp, extra check if cold/wet/extra miserable, if fail, no natural healing; searching for herbs or hunting or looking for landmarkes lowers travel to max 10 miles daily (and the 10 miles takes all day). Fast mounts (i.e. real palfreys, not your ponies and wagon like regular mounted) travel 24 or 30 miles daily in open terrain, penalties same.
- recovery: if shelter and sleep, 1 hp and spells back; quality housing or hospitality, 1d3 nightly and spells; no warmth or halter, no healing; heal can treat wounds, poisons, and diseases with appropriate treatment or herbs, need at least short period rest and downtime. Must find specific herbs and cures, herbs must be fresh (2 weeks) to be effective and often require extensive preparation, also mushrooms and berries. No real magic healing, but first aid can restore 1 hp per d6 on Heal check if successful.
- encounters/social interaction: add CHA to reaction roll based on speaker, knock down 1 level to whatever rolled if traditional animosity (dwarf leader in elvish hall, man in rival kingdom), maybe 2 if orcs (some chance they may parlay).

Random encounters (1-2 every day/20 miles)
1 wolves, 2d12, will generally track for days (double CON), pick off weak, especially aggressive if hungry/winter
2 storm comes or grows more intense
3 giant spiders (check surprise), 1d12
4 settlement (roll other chart)
5 merchants or travelers 2d10, whatever race logical, 
6 natural obstacle (landslide, fallen trees, fire)
7 Orc warband (2d20)
8 warriors from local hold (loyal to nearby settlement authority), led by 5HD
9 spirit (undead, angry ghost or awakened barrow), guardian spirit (like maiar or faerie)
10 ruins or menhirs (elf stones) (magical knowledge?)
11natural landmark (waterfall, rocky outcropping, lake)
12 trolls (1d10), local type by variance

Settlement random factors (WIP)
Race, ruler (council, respected elder, noble family, warlord & cronies, witch or fey, dedicated or knightly order), prosperity (abandoned, poor, prosperous, bustling/busy), issue (ruler succession struggle, disease/curse, raiders on supply, neighbor war (roll another), missing person, distrustful of strangers, local monster, renowned product), name elements

1 comment: