As I mentioned in last night's post, +James Spahn (writer) and +Jason Paul McCartan (layout / editing) gave me a sneak peek at the first 56 pages of the soon to be released White Star RPG. It's pretty much the first six chapters.
Chapter One is the introduction and the basic attributes. The six ability scores you've known and loved since 1974. Bonuses for high abilities go up to + 2. I like that James bakes an assortment of "House Rule" options right in. The assumption is that GMs are going to tweak the shit out of White Star to make a system that fits the campaign they envision - James just gives some examples.
Chapter Two is all about character classes and races. The four default classes are Aristocrat, Mercenary, Pilot and Star Knight.
Aristocrats are leaders. You want a class that gets a bodyguard and hanger-ons at a later level? This is the one.
Mercenaries are your brute force. Heavy armor. Heavy weaponry
Pilots are... pilots. I love the Jury-Rig skill. It's like temporary HP for a starship. If you don't get things fixed before them temp HP are gone, you could real'y be screwed.
Star Knights are the lightly armored Paladins of White Star. Their way is simply The Way. They get some mystic power, but those aren't detailed until Chapter 7 :(
Alien Brutes are your Chewbacca's and Igoo's (Herculoids Cartoon.) A Mercenary in fur ;)
Alien Mystic - Be not. Act not. Do not. Roll Nat 20 You Do.
Robots - We all know what robots are. Danger Erik Tenkar! Danger!
Chapter 6 is where the starships reside. Yes, we are talking starship combat (we'll come back to chapters 3, 4 and 5 tonight or tomorrow morning.)
Starship combat is much like ranged combat between characters. To hit rolls, AC, max range and even hit points. It will feel very familiar even if there are some significant tweaks (Shield Strength comes to mind.) There are 9 ships included in the core rules. My God, what a ripe niche to expand upon.
You can modify your starship with tractor beams, proton missiles, Faster-Than-Light drives and a whole lot more.
White Star is very much a toolbox. Perfectly fine to run as is but so easy to modify and tweak for your own vision.
Chapter Three covers equipment, Four covers playing the game and Five covers personal combat.
White Star is based off of Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox:
How does White Star relate to Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox? White Star is based on the Open Gaming License material found in Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox and uses the same mechanics in play. All classes have d6 hit dice, gain levels, earn experience points, can use descending or ascending armor class and have a single saving throw. In short, White Star is 100% compatible with Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox, with no conversion necessary. A fighter from WhiteBox could blast off in a star cruiser, taking your campaign from the dungeon to the stars in an instant.
What I mean by "power slider" is should the adventure should be written with a certain level spread primarily in mind but include suggestions and options to decrease or increase the challenges presented within?
Basically, ways to beef up or tone down the traps, adversaries and even rewards depending on the DM's actual campaign and the party of PCs it will be used with. If nothing else, these would be examples for the end user to refer to as they make their own tweaks.
Yep, another week has passed and it's time for the Wednesday Night Tavern Chat held right here using the char box to the right side of this page. It's always a fun time and you never know who may drop in.
On a side note, my seasonal allergies from hell are quickly transitioning into a cold from the Ninth Level of Hell. I'm glad I did the writing I needed to get done over the weekend - if I waited till now, I'd have been screwed.
This thought occurred to me as I was finishing up my piece for +Michael Desing 's Saga of the Splinter Realm megadungeon Vault of the Goblin - do adventures need creatures with levels? Should they even have creatures with levels? Should it all be dependent upon what the DM needs for his campaign?
When I sent Mike my completed piece, I told him to stat out the creatures at the level needed to suit where he was plugging it in to the larger adventure. I told him how to balance "A" in regards to "B", but little more.
Which got me thinking? Would adventures be more useful if they indicated relative power level to the PCs instead of being written for a specific range of levels?
Of course, this could be the decongestants speaking...
+James Spahn is a workhorse. I look at, read and review his amazing output with awe. High quality and high volume.
Between blog posts and some work I owed +Michael Desing I wrote over 2500 words today (this post will inch it higher.)
I was lucky today. There were minimal distractions once I sat down to work (Rach has been catching up with her work documentation and my son was out of the house.) Heck, if it wasn't for the dog deciding she needed attention and a minimal amount of yard work, I would have been emulating my hero, +James Spahn ;)
Seriously, I have no idea how James does what he does. For everyone that thinks my blog posting is impressive, what James accomplishes blows me away. James called me a "sprinter", but he is a championship marathon runner.
Now, I did twist James' arm just a wee bit tonight to get him to agree to allowing me to preview something from his upcoming White Star release. Well, he needs to send me the preview, and it will be shortly before release, but I'm chomping at the bit for this one. I've seen peeks, and it is all I might want and more.
I've spent a good part of the weekend rewriting a piece I owe +Michael Desing for his megadungeon Kickstarter.
Things changed for me when this damn image kept coming to me when I was stuck on where I wanted to take everything. So, of course it is all being rewritten. The undead dwarves were inspired by the above Undead Dwarven Barkeep. (sure, Jim called him something else, but I see him as a barkeep)
In the meantime, let me stat our friend up for S&W, FAL and T&T ;)
The Undead Dwarven Barkeep (BUD)
The Undead Dwarven Barkeep, otherwise known as Barkeep, Undead Dwarven or BUD, is the result of a wizardly curse. The geas obliges the dwarven barkeep to continue serving stouts, ales, bitters and port until the caster dies a natural death. Sadly, in this case, the caster died prematurely from an unnatural death due to insufficient breathable air (poison gas.) Thus BUD is cursed to search for patrons to serve his ware to, whether they desire it or not.
BUD will attempt to ply his potential patrons with sour, stale and potential poisonous libations (any that drink his offerings must save vs. poison or suffer 3d6 damage as well as vomiting for a like number of rounds.)
In combat, BUD fights with a tankard and serving tray.
If slain, BUD will rise at the following dawn, cursed to wonder the world, serving libations to whomever he comes across.
Swords & Wizardry
Attacks: Tankard 1(2d6)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Will offer poisonous libations to PCs before engaging them in combat. Two consecutive successful attacks on the same target means BUD forces someone to drink from the tankard. Save vs Poison or suffer as detailed above)
Challenge Level: 9 / 1,100 xp
Tunnels & Trolls
Monster Rating: 60
Combat Dice: 7D6 +30
Special Damage: 3/ - Tankard contents spill in ones mouth. Extra 2d6 poison damage
Last night's weekly Blood Island session ( +Joe D 's heavily modified LotFP WF) was a no go, as we didn't have enough players to have a decent change of surviving what was in store. The closest thing we had to a tank / fighter was my magic user. He has access to the Illusionist spell of Phantom Plate Armor from UA - it gives him the best AC in the party, and with the 4 HP bump from the armor, I also had the best HP in last night's potential party. Oh, and we had no healer. Oopsie!
Instead, +David B offered to run a short session of D&D 5e for the group.
About 20 minutes later, we had a human bard, a thiefling magic-user and a dwarven cleric ready to go (anyone want to guess on the dwarven cleric's player?) Those 20 minutes included rolling abilities, as none of us are big on using standard arrays and the like.
Gameplay itself was short, probably less than 2 hours.
It played closer to the classic editions of D&D than 3e or 4e did.
Now, we didn't play a long session and it's only the single session thus far, but I think I like it. It isn't love, like S&W Complete is for me, but I'd certainly play it again as a player.
I'll know more once I get a chance to play it more.
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The Minotaur for Old-School Essentials
*Requirements:* Minimum STR 9, Minimum CON 9
*Prime Requisite:* STR and CON
*Hit Dice:* 1d10
*Maximum Level:* 8
*Armor:* Leather, including shield...