Wednesday 28 December 2016

The Black Hack : The Beastmaster Class

Starting HP : 4 + d6
HP Per Level/Resting : 1d6
Weapons & Armor : Anything that doesn't use metal.
Attack Damage : 1d8

Special Features
Super Beast
When you create a Beastmaster choose a beast that will fight and adventure alongside them. Good choices would be something like a Bear, Lion, Giant Snake, Mega Eagle and to a lesser extent the Rabbit of Caerbannog (google it, if you don't know) 

This will be the creatures 'preferred form' however it can change into another animal, for a number of Moments equal to the Beastmasters Level, before turning back. The Beast can do all the normal things you would expect a creature of that type to do - fly, climb, swim etc.

Shared Existence
The Beastmasters and his beast are the same thing, both are physical incarnations of the same spirit. They share the same Attributes, HP and any negative effects. If one is taken Out of Action, so is the other. Both the Beastmaster and their Beast can move during a turn, but they can only take one action - and must choose who takes it.

Wild Nature
As the Beastmaster adventures and shares time with their Beast, they will eventually take on aspects of its nature - that influence both the Beasts' and their own abilities. At Levels 3, 5, 7, 10 choose one of the following, you cannot choose something you have chosen previously:

  • Aspect of Flight, gain Advantage on checks to avoid falling damage and jumping/clearing distances.
  • Aspect of Vision, gain Advantage on checks to see something.
  • Aspect of Nimbleness, gain Advantage on checks to manipulate small intricate things.
  • Aspect of Speed, gain Advantage on Initiative checks.
  • Aspect of Strength, once per session gain +2 STR for the duration of a combat.
  • Aspect of Agility, once per session gain +2 DEX for the duration of a combat. 
  • Aspect of Ferocity, once per combat deal half damage when you would have missed with an attack.
  • Aspect of Cunning, once per combat take half damage when you would been hit with an attack.
(NB this list isn't extensive, nor complete, GM's and Players should probably come up with their own - use these as a guide to how far reaching the mechanical effects should be. ALSO if you do come up with some, let me know)

Friday 23 December 2016

The Black Houserules : Critical Armor

People have been talking about Hit Points, Gristle, Meat and Armor - this sets me thinking, and creating new rules. It's worth noting that i'm thinking out loud - so all this could well be shithouse. Who knows? You probably.

In this house rule Armor Points (AP) don't reduce damage, they are now a measure of how hard you are to kill. This makes narrative sense, so were all good there (people in Plate & Mail are traditionally much harder to stab to death, right?) This means that HP is really just a measure of Stamina (and could easily me renamed as such) .. how much fight a person has in them before they are taken Out of Action (OofA)

Here's what i'm thinking. You get reduced to 0hp and are taken OofA as per normal. Then you roll a D6 - if you roll under your Armor Points you have taken a Light Wound, this is good for you - well not good for you, but its better than the alternative which is .. Rolling on or over gets you a Critical Wound ..very Warhammer.. obviously Critical Wounds are bad.

Then after the battle you roll on either the Light Wound or Critical Wound tables to see what happens. Do it afterwards to build some player drama round the table!

Here are the dials we can alter to fine tune this system.

The D6 we roll to see how we were wounded. Different creatures could make you roll higher die, Dragons would be a D10. Greenskin Skuttlers would be D4. We could go as far as calling this die a 'Threat Die' or something. Dunno.

Thanks go to +Warren Denning for suggesting we simply use the Powerful Opponents rule, adding that to the d6 we roll. Simplicity at its best - and using a mechanical device we already have. Bravo.

The Light Wound and Critical Wound tables. The actual results on these tables matter a lot. As is TBH's OofA table is kind of split down the middle into Light and Critical Wounds anyway .. look closely .. 1-3 is bad, but 4-6 are much worse. How forgiving Light Wounds and how gross and deadly Critical Wounds really matter.

Armor Points (AP) will be a huge measure on survivability. In vanilla TBH Plate & Mail gives you 8 AP so obviously you wont be able to critically wound someone if you're just rolling a D6. We could easily reduce them to a range Gambeson 1AP .. Plate & Mail 4AP with Shields giving +1/2AP for the Light and Heavy variants.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Death Beneath a Frozen Earth : Things

Here's my notes and working thoughts for 'Things' for DBaFE. A lot of thanks goes to +Chris H for working through some feedback and providing me some excellent ideas and things for my brain to chew on. You're a top guy.

The Thing
HD 3
HP 12

Amorphic Constitution: When another creature is assimilated, 1/2 its current total HP are added to the Things HP pool. The Thing has no maximum HP allowance, as long as it can continue to assimilate creatures, it continues to acquire additional HP. This is the only way A Thing may gain HP.

Exhaustive Potential: As an action during its turn a Thing may 'spend' its HP in order to perform a number of special actions, detailed below. The cost is given in brackets.

  • Crawling Spawn: (4HP) A Thing can detach part of its body that contains muscle mass, bone and other tissues. Choose one - Head, Forearm, Lower Leg. This then transforms into a Crawling Horror - see below.
  • Perfect Mimic: (4HP) Assume the unscathed form of another creature that has been assimilated by any Thing. If a Thing reveals its true form by using Whipping Tendrils. Rending Maw and Unnatural Mobility - it will need to perform this action to go unnoticed again.
  • Whipping Tendrils: (2HP) A This can grow a number of vicious fleshy, whip-like tentacles. These can tooth filled mouths or barbs - and attack a Nearby creature as part of this action. The Thing may attack again in each subsequent turn without spending HP.
  • Rending Maw: (2HP) A Thing can grow a large tooth filled mouth in any location on its body - and attack a Nearby creature as part of this action. The Thing may attack again in each subsequent turn without spending HP.
  • Unnatural Mobility: (4HP) A Thing can grow an addition method of movement (Pair of Legs, Tail, Wings) assuming it has assimilated a creature that has those original features - and move Nearby as part of this action. If they wish to use these features to gain additional movement on a subsequent turn (effectively giving them double movement) they must 'spend' 2HP each time they do so.
Alien environment: The Thing is not native to this Earth and the atmosphere is slowly and surely killing it. In order to survive it must constantly use its Exhaustive Potential and spend HP to stay alive - at the start of every day A Thing loses 2HP.

Crawling Spawn
HP 4

Mindless instincts: The Crawling Spawn doesn't have the capacity to think in the same way as its progenitor. It will do one of three things

  • Play Dead: The Crawling Spawn will stay in the form of the 'shed' body part, awaiting a suitable creature to come Nearby. Then it will perform the action 'Scuttle' detailed below.
  • Scuttle: The Crawling Spawn will Sprout several body appendages and attempt to assimilate a Nearby creature, by crawling up and onto them - attaching itself to a suitable fleshy area. Mouths, Faces and Arses preferred.
  • Flee: Sensing danger the Crawling Spawn will attempt to flee to a dark uninhabited place, where it can lay in ambush for creatures to come Close, then it will likely attempt to 'Scuttle'.

Monday 12 December 2016

The Black Hack : Conditions

When I first put together The Black Hack a number of things got left on the cutting room floor, some for 'lofty' designs goal I'd set myself - others due to the small page count. One of those things were ongoing effects and conditions. I forget why, however. Each of these effects should Finish at the end of the affected characters next turn unless stated otherwise.

Hindered - You can only make one basic attack (no spells), you can still move.
Distracted - You can only move nearby this turn, no attacking or casting spells.
Stuck - You can't move, otherwise you act as normal.
Paralyzed - You cannot move or take any actions.
Dazed - All ability checks to attack are taken with Disadvantage.
Helpless - All ability checks to avoid damage are taken with Disadvantage.
Weakened - All ability checks are taken with Disadvantage.
Stunned - All ability checks are taken with Disadvantage and you cannot move.
Vulnerable - All damage taken is rolled with Disadvantage.
Ongoing Damage - The creature take damage equal to its Level (HD) at the start of its turn, an Ability Test (GM will determine which) should be made to see if the damage continues next turn.

Its worth noting that theses use the most recent incarnation of the Advantage & Disadvantage rules (that should be available in the 'Additional Things' supplement) .. but for reference they are repeated below :

Advantage - Two die are rolled and the player decides which result to use.
Disadvantage - Two die are rolled and the GM decides which result to use.


Here's a thing I should share on my blog, some of you wonderful, beautiful people might not be connected to me on G+

Sunday Nights are gaming nights, either on Google Hangouts or Roll20, Run something or play, everybody is welcome. Drop a comment here if you wanna know more.

#SNG #SundayNightGaming

Saturday 10 December 2016

Death Beneath a Frozen Earth

This page will serve as my design notes for an adventure im feverishly writing - currently called 'Death Beneath a Frozen Earth' .. expect updates, changes and shit that won't make sense. If you like The Black Hack and have any remote intention of playing anything I write .. stop reading. If you're here because you might run it, or you're looking for ideas to steal. Crack on.

The players will start the game with four 0 level funnel characters. Don't bother with stats, roll them as soon as that character needs to make a test. We want players up and running as fast as humanly possible. I already made some TBH funnel sheets when I ran a DDC back in the summer. i'll adapt those.

Game/Scenario Objective
The characters are part of a lost and presumed doomed expedition into the deep frozen earth. The fluff and mcguffins need working out, but the crux of it is they're trapped underground and have to search for a way out before their food runs out or the cold kills them. Also they've managed to unearth some horrid extra-planar-shapeshifter thats slowly eating them one by one. Even if they make it to the surface, if the Things do too - its game over. Players will control both the 'Humans' and the 'Things' - so they will have split priorities, some will want the Humans to win, others the Things.

The gameplay is split into two distinct phases, Day and Night.

Day is very much a traditional dungeon crawl in the old school tradition. Deadly, weird, probably not a huge amount of monsters - certainly no 'higher-races' or super intelligent beings. Maybe shambling frozen undead. I'll work on that.

Night is slightly different - normally you just assign watch and fast-forward the clock, not so in this adventure! Characters should quickly realise the cold will kill them, so they must build a fire for the night. Unfortunately there wont be enough spaces round the fire for all the characters, some will have to sleep huddled in the cold, the players first task during the night phase is deciding who.

- If 'A Thing' sleeps round a fire the gradual thawing will reveal its true nature, initiating a combat (assuming the other characters don't just lay down and allow themselves to be eaten)

- If a Human DOES NOT sleep round a fire they will gain a 'Numb Die' (this is a working title - I might change it to reflect a more madness inspired vibe)

Nightly Actions - In addition to to the campfire mechanics - players must decide what each of their characters are doing for the night. They should pass the GM secret notes for each of their characters declaring what they will be doing. There are 3 possible actions.

Humans can:
- Sleep. They will wake in the morning rested and can remove 1d4 Numb Die.
- Stay Awake. They will have DISADVANTAGE on all tests they make until they next Sleep. They can only Stay Awake for 3 consecutive nights. They will then be forced to Sleep.

Things must:
- Select one character to convert into another Thing. If they choose someone who is Staying Awake, they will be revealed. If they choose someone who is asleep .. that person is now A Thing.

Once all the actions are declared the Night phase will end and the GM will pass back notes to the players (for each of their characters) letting them know how the night went, there are a few options:

- You had a good nights sleep, remove 1d4 Numb Die.
- You're tired, but alive. You have DISADVANTAGE on all test until you next sleep.
- You are now A THING.

After all these cards are handed out the players roll their Numb Die - i'm still working out what this does, but its not good.

Also i've got something i'm working on called fears. Basically if characters have to do something they are afraid of they gain and have to roll their Numb Die.


More to come

- DB