Archive for the My games/projects Category

FA update and flat rate flattery

Posted in Fantasy Adventure, Game design, My games/projects, Uncategorized with tags , on May 17, 2010 by Olorin

I really haven’t had a chance to test even the slight changes in the previous post about Fantasy Adventure, and have already come up with new ones. Good thing I find game design enjoyable. :)

Characters & Abilities

  • Characters can now gain Talents, which are Things You Normally Can’t Do or Don’t Know About. They complement the regular abilities, by giving you some new ways to excercise them. E.g. Traps (to discover traps and secret doors, and to arm, disarm and rearm those), Disguise (disguising yourself, or someone else).
  • Different abilities net you different amount of Talents. A Talent gain happens on levels 4 and 8. Fightering and Rangering give you one Talent per gain. Thievering and Journeymanning give you two per gain. Wizarding and Clericing give none.


  • The magical resource of wizards and clerics is derived from the size of the relevant ability die, dividing its value by two (e.g. d6 -> 3).
  • Magic-users regain their resources by spending one full healing cycle in meditation/worship. The player announces how many resource points she’s trying to regain and multiplies that by two. That’s the difficulty she has to beat with the appropriate ability to succeed. And no, there’s no automatic refresh. You have to put some effort into it, to use that sweet ultimate power.
  • There are no more fixed spheres of incfluence in neither Wizarding or Clericing. The player just picks some keywords for her character, and defines that way what sort of magic-user he is. Examples of applicable keywords: destruction, healing, fire, movement, darkness, death, cursing, blessing, animating, mind etc.
  • How you hurt someone works in a way similarly to healing. The difficulty is based on the intended damage you want to cause. Againts one target, the difficulty is simply the intended damage. Against a group of enemies (like a fireball), you double the intended damage.

Also, I got my beta-invite to Flattr, which I think is an marvelous idea and needs as much support as possible. So if you like my writings and want to Flattr me, go ahead. Here’s the button.

I’m still baffled ’bout how the hell I can actually add it here permanently. If you have any insight on the matter, please speak up.

Currently playing: Abney Park – Airship Pirate



Posted in Random ideas with tags , , , , , , on March 19, 2010 by Olorin

I originally got this idea around 2007 IIRC, and it had been mostly laying dormant ever since. A week or so ago it suddenly sprung back into my mind, and at the same time evolved a little.

This is one of those projects I’m really uncertain of whether I ever will concentrate on, and that’s why I’m putting it up here. Maybe someone else can do something with it.

So I present you Hexenhammer.

It takes place on our homely planet in the ambiguous near future after a Great Cataclysm a.k.a. a very very destructive worldwide war. The remains of humanity have gathered into cloistered domed cities, that keep them safe from the surrounding hostile environment/atmosphere. The society in these cities is pretty much fascist, where the naturalist worldview is enforced on people by the ruling class of scientists. The reason behind this is that the main reason seen behind the Great Cataclysm was religion, or to be exact, the clash of differing religious worldviews. So for that, people are kept “religion-free” with chemicals, and religions and other superstitions of that sort are simply outlawed.

And of course, it’s never the nice status quo the guys on the top would like it to be. For one reason or other, there are people running around free of the government-sanctioned daily medication. These people are called Witches. They are aware of how their leaders are practically telling them what to think and what to believe. And they want to change that. They want freedom. They aim for liberation. They fight the power.

On the other side are the Witchhunters. They have to protect the acquired stability. If they fail it might all crumble, and what would happen to humanity then. Another great war might be the last one. They have to bring the rebels, those terrorist, down. For humanity’s survival.

There is no objective good side in this conflict. Members of both sides might as well be the protagonists as they could be the antagonists.

The main idea behind this setting is my own atheism/scientific worldview, and the desire to study it in completely different circumstances. Religions have caused many bad things, but you can be a bad man without believing in imaginary friends. Is full obstruction of spiritual freedom too big a price for peace? How about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that’s been kept secret? How would and could a Witchhunter react to that, if he bumped into it in some forgotten archive? And how long is a Witch willing to go for his ideals? How much collateral damage is acceptable?

That’s about it. The style of the setting would be biopunk.

Currently playing: Marilyn Manson – Arma-Goddamn-Motherfucking-Geddon

Fantasy Adventure, addendum

Posted in Fantasy Adventure, Game design, My games/projects with tags , on February 20, 2010 by Olorin

My original idea was to have my next post have some Unknown Armies stuff, but that post seems to be more taxing to put together than I initially thought it would.

So, just to fill the silence here are some additional ideas for my project Fantasy Adventure, that I’m going to try out during our next playtest.

What’s in a race
I want to make the differences between different (player)creatures a bit more concrete, so I thought each of them should have some distinctive and unique features. Thus, all non-humans should have two advantages and one disadvantage.

If a character is a halfbreed of said race and a human, the player can choose to either have both advantages and the disadvantage of the other parent, or pick just one advantage without the disadvantage.


  • +1 extra hitpoint when gaining hitpoints.
  • They always double their healing. Yes, even if it’s magical.
  • Extremely greedy for precious gems and metals.


  • Their night-eyes let them see normally, no matter how faint the light is, as long as it’s not complete darkness.
  • Dreamtrance gives a very effetive rest that is comparable to a good nights sleep for a man.
  • For their closeness of nature, they must always protect trees.

Snake persons:

  • They don’t see in the dark, but they do sense sources of heat from a decent distance.
  • Can breath normally underwater.
  • Can’t stand cold. If it’s cold enough, they’ll begin to fall into dormancy.


  • Because of their foul blood, they are immune to all kinds of poison.
  • Primal rage gives them +1 to damage when they drop to half HP or below. And yes, this applies to magical damage too.
  • Their feral nature makes them lust for blood.

To even things out a little bit, humans get one free experience point in the beginning.

Magical resources
Just to put little leash on the overuse of divine and arcane might, there’d be resources for both. Wizarding would have mana and Clericing something akin to responsiveness/goodwill.

Whenever a character rolls a one (1) on a Wizarding/Clericing-test, he’d lose one resource point. When out of points, she has to perform certain rites to replenish the resource. A priest has to engage in some sort of worship (a ritual sacrifice is always good choice) and a mage has to spend time alone, meditating. No matter which, it will require one full healing cycle (a day or a night).

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to finish my UA-stuff for the next post, that’s a promise. :)

Currently playing: Tori Amos – Secret Spell

My projects: Fantasy Adventure

Posted in Fantasy Adventure, Game design, My games/projects with tags , on February 2, 2010 by Olorin

The background

So, for quite some time I’ve been looking for a lightweight old skool type of system that I could use whenever I want to run something akin to D&D. Light-hearted adventuring and beer & bretzels dungeoneering. So far every system I’ve checked has either been too cumbersome or too much like old D&D (I damn you to Hell, thac0!!!). The system must be at the same time flexible and yet provide enough crunch to keep it “interesting.”

In the end, there’s only one answer: DIY

This is where Fantasy Adventure comes in. A little over two months ago, some time before December, I got this one idea. The idea was mostly about the function of a character sheet, how it could easily illustrate where your character is going as he gains experience, and also tried to minimize excess erasing. In the optimal situation you, when leveling up, could just check small boxes and be done with it.

I really didn’t have the energy come up with a huge list of things beforehand, so playstorming was the way to go. Come up with things, and refine them, on the fly. The first iteration of the system sprung from that original idea of strict level and class based charsheet. However, during the session one player proposed that what if the different classes would be used as the “abilities.” I
promised to think over it.

During the holidays I began to fiddle with that idea, and after awhile I realised that I had just written 1,5 A4’s worth of notes. This just might be it, I thought.

The system


  • The system uses dice from d4 to d12, bigger is better.
  • Characters have six abilities, which are rated at levels from 0 to 10: Fightering, Rangering, Thievering, Journeymanning, Wizarding and Clericing.
  • Every odd level raises your ability die by one step, so level 1 is d4, level 3 is d6 etc.
  • Every time character tries to do something that doesn’t come as an automatic success, you roll the die of the appropriate ability. If you don’t have even that measly d4 in the proper ability – sucks to be you.
  • Thusfar I have defined the target number of the rolls mainly by instinct – I haven’t yet decided on a set formula. A roll of 1 is still always an automatic failure, however.
  • The first option is to take an opposing die and roll them against each other, so that bigger result wins. The other option is to take the TN as [the opposing die/2, rounded down], and then try to beat that.


  • Every even ability level gives character more hitpoints. Different abilities give different amounts (Fightering and Rangering give +3, Thievering and Journeymanning give +2 and finally Wizarding and Clericing give +1). Human-like things start off with 2 hitpoints, smaller cretins (goblins et al.) with 1 and bigger creatures (like trolls) with 3.
  • If you want to attack in close combat, you use your Fightering die, and the opponent defends with his, if any. The other option is that both opponents roll against the derieved TN, so that both might get hurt at the same time (basically, at the same turn).
  • With a ranged weapon you use your Rangering die. I have thusfar ran it so, that, similar to melee, you defend with the matching ability. In this case though it feels a bit clunky.
  • The damage you deal is formulated like this: You begin with a base damage of 1. You also always do at least one point of damage, as long as your attack succeeds. You deal an extra point of damage for every to die levels your opponents ability die is below yours. So if you have a Fightering of D8 and the goblin you’re fighting has D4, you deal it 2 points of damage if your attack succeeds. Also, the difference between abilitylevels 0 and 1 counts as two die levels. Yeah, it sucks if don’t know how to fight.


  • Both aspects of magic system are mainly handled freeformish. There are no set lists of spells or powers, mut there are some restrictions/general guidelines about what can be achieved with each.
  • With Clericing you can heal, curse and grant blessings. Curses and blessings work as re-rolls atm. I also thought about bonus and penalty dice.
  • With Wizarding you can deal damage, break the laws of nature and [thus far our EVIL WIZARD PC has animated several skeletons, including the skeleton of a huge Mist-twisted catbeast, so it might be something in that sphere].
  • I’ve also added one special feature on the current setting we play in, called The Mist (actually I just ripped it from Final Fantasy XII 8-). The Mist is “the thing” that actually makes magic possible. It’s everywhere and in everything, and when it concentrates on some areas, something usually ends up twisted. I divide areas of concentrated Mist in to two categories: First is Dense Mist. There are quite certainly some oddities in the landscape, it’s flora and fauna, but it is still somewhat safe and predictable up to a point. But then there is Deep Mist. That’s where you can ditch all your safe assumptions, and should expect to see/meet just about anything.

    Rules-wise, Dense Mist gives the wizard one bonus die on spell casting and Deep Mist gives two. When casting a spell, you roll all the dice just normally and look for the biggest to use as your casting die. If you have scored the highest number possible on the die, congrats! It “explodes,” so you can throw it again and add the results together. There is no limit how many times it can explode. But of course, there is a catch. If even one of those dice turns up as a 1, you’re screwed. You’re spell turns on you (or your comrades) one way or another. So far our PC wizard has twice blinded himself when trying to cast a Light-spell. I just can’t wait that moment he goes on a Misty fireball-rampage. >:)


  • Magical healing: You can either restore hitpoints or cure one ailment (such as blindness…). When restoring hitpoints, you decide how many hitpoints you try to heal and use that number as the TN to top. You, of course, need to be touching the patient.
  • Natural healing: If you are resting in good conditions (rest, food, water and herbs) you always heal automatically 1hp per one rest cycle (=one day or night). You can also make a Fightering test similar to that of magical restoration. If you fail, you still get that one free point. In inadequate conditions the natural healing does not happen, but you can still try the Fightering test.

Gear and equipment:

  • Adventurer’s kit: Contains usually everything an adventurer might need from bedrolls to ropes, from cooking equipment to torches, and so on. Every kit has a quality die which you roll when it’s needed to know whether the character has a useful thing or other with him.
  • Weapons and Armor: I have no idea whether these should have a mechanical effect, and what sort of effect that should be.


  • Characters are awarded 1 or more experience points per completed quest/adventure. They can also be awarded bonus points for special occations, like passing some barrier in a creative way.
  • When raising abilities you pay experience points equal to the new level of that ability. So buying Fightering from level 5 to level 6 costs 6 experience points, etc.

The direction

That’s about all I’ve thought up so far. I have already come up with some ideas to give different races twists of their own, but I think I’ll first check them with my players.

What do you think?

Currently playing: Fiona Apple – Not About Love