Sunday, August 2, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Draft B

This page provides links to Draft B of Adventures in the Green, my clone of the OD&D rules.
  1. Book I: Characters
  2. Book II: Conflicts
  3. Book III: Campaigns
Draft A was never made public - it was more a mirror of Greyharp's Single Volume Edition.  In Draft A I was working to get all the original content sorted out and used the SVE as a sort of checklist.  The goal was to go through the original booklets and stripmine the content, sorting it into a ready outline.  This helped locate obscure rules that should not have been obscure and things that were never explained until later errata.

In Draft B I reorganized the material for better flow and to even out the page counts of the three booklets.  I also rewrote sections for clarity and consistency in presentation.  Draft B is the first version I'm willing to show others and is the version being play-tested in 2020.  There are still gaps in the rules and as I run across them I'm filling them in.

Known gaps as of August 2, 2020:
  • There are no rules for healing other than magic healing.
  • There are no rules for time to swap out weapons in combat.
  • There are no rules for time to ready a new shield in combat (assuming use of Shields Shall Be Splintered).
I imagine there will be a few more, but hopefully not many.  Please post here to let me know if you discover any other gaps or errors so I can fix them.

The next revision I will likely place on DriveThruRPG as Pay What You Want.  It will have art where all the placeholder material is and be as polished as I can get it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Book III: Campaigns

Draft B1.1 of Book III of my RPG, Adventures in the Green, is now available for others to see.  The PDF is available on MediaFire HERE.

Book III has all the Referee advice and the treasure tables.  I didn't do as much expansion on the material as I expected.  Mostly it was reorganize into something more coherent and to the point.  I removed a lot of passive voice.  I think the lack of expansion is because referees need to read widely other blogs and rules systems and assemble that knowledge in their own mind in a way they prefer.  A lot of what I do is compiled from reading how other people do things and picking out the parts that work for me and my game groups.

That is it for the writing phase.  Next up is the play-test phase to spot what I missed by needing it in play.  This phase will take a while as my play-test group only meets once a month, but we play all day [allowing for a dinner break mid-game].

If you give these rules a spin, please let me know what you think.  Feedback from many people is vital to improving what's in the booklets.  I'll be setting up a page that links to all three booklets and list that page in my Downloads section to the right of the blog text.

In the meantime, I will resume posting the session notes from my Monday Night games.  We just finished Book 1 of the Shattered star adventure path in Session 32, so I have like...12 sessions to catch up on ?!

I should never have let it fall that far behind.


Adventures in the Green
Book I: Characters
Book II: Conflicts

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Book II: Conflicts

Draft B1.1 of Book II of my RPG rules is ready for others to see.  The PDF can be down loaded from MediaFire HERE.

Draft B1.1 contains the current version of the combat rules and the catalog of monsters.  I've had one game session using it so far and there are some immediate changes that will appear in Draft C.  These changes are:

  • Move the treasure type table for the monsters from Book III to Book II.  Not having this in the same book as the monsters was a mistake.  The rest of the treasure section (the random tables and the descriptions of the magic items) will remain in Book III as part of the Referee Advice that comprises Book III.
  • The combat to hit tables and the combat sequence need to be copied into an appendix, preferably on facing pages, for quick reference during combat.  Having to page back and forth was inconvenient.
  • I need to specify how long a couple things take.
    • How long to ready a new shield after the previous one was shattered to avoid damage?  I want this to happen but I think I want it to cost an attack.  I think I want the opponent(s) to have at least one chance at attacking the lowered AC from the loss of the shield.
    • How long to switch weapons in combat?  Right now a person could attack with a ranged weapon in Step 2, switch weapons to a melee weapon sometime during Steps 3-7, and then attack in melee in Step 9.

I'm pleased with how the final version of Draft B came out for Book II.  I'm now moving on to Book III, which is mostly Referee advice.  This will require some re-write and expansion, but I plan to have it releasable by the end of July after my next game (scheduled for July 25).

After that is Draft C for all three booklets, where I will finalize rule changes, check consistency across the booklets, and insert the necessary OGL content.  I also want to start inserting artwork.  My initial goal is to use public domain wood-block art for a period feel and aesthetic.

Once THAT'S done, I'll offer them on DriveThruRPG.  I'll have an art-less version for PWYW and a version with art for a reasonable price (which I haven't set yet).  I'll probably hire someone to do page layout in real layout software (I use Word) and I'd like to pay them in real money, not "exposure".  There is money set aside for that, but I'd like to replace that and make some pizza money as well.

That's it for now.  More once Draft B of Book III is ready.  I'm also planning on resuming adventure notes posting in August as I'll be done with the writing on these rules by then.


Adventures in the Green
Book I: Characters

Book III: Campaigns

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Book II: Creatures and Treasures - Wrong Fork

So I got all the way to the end of Draft B of Book II and realized there was a better way to divide the sections between Book II and Book III so that all three books will have roughly the same page-count.  The new divisions will be as follows:

Book II

  1. Combat (possibly including the air and sea combat rules)
  2. Monsters (Descriptions and stats)
Book III

  1. Dungeon Design
  2. Wilderness Design
  3. Referee Advice
  4. Treasure Tables (which is primarily magic item descriptions)
It will take me a couple weeks to move the Treasure section out of Book II and into Book III and move the Combat section the opposite direction, plus I need to heavily edit the Combat section.  This will delay release of Draft B of Book II by a couple weeks, which is unfortunate but necessary.

In the meantime, here is a link to the version of Book II I will not be continuing with.  Sorry for the overall delay.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Adventures in the Green, Book I: Characters - DRAFT B available for comment

So I have been writing up my version of OD&D (the 3 LBB plus Supplement 1), taking what is there, reorganizing and reworking the text to be better organized.  I've added a few bits I like from other systems, notably the Spell Repertoire system from Adventurer, Conqueror, King System, but noted what the original text said for purists.

I chose "Adventures in the Green" as the name for my rules.  Book I: Characters contains everything you need to make a character and I now have a complete Draft B of those rules I'm willing to share as a PDF.  I've been working on it the last month to get it into shape instead of typing up session notes to post here, so I thought y'all should see what I've been up to.  The link above will take you to Mediafire and let you download the PDF.  I'd love to hear back what you think of it so far.

There are a few oddities in it that come from the original texts that were surprising to me, like no where do the rules for thieves state that humans can be thieves, like the rules do for Fighters, Magic-Users, and Clerics.  I ran with that.  I also renamed hobbits/halflings as Tolk, as a nod to where they were sourced from without their name feeling intrusive.

The artwork is all placeholder right now.  I'll probably go with public domain woodcut artwork when I go to final layout, but I want to do some playtesting of the rules as they are right now to see if I need to re-write or tweak anything.  The pages are A5-sized as I like the booklet format for rules now days as they take less room at the table.

BookII: Creatures is in an early Draft B stage and I'd like to have it done by the end of June, but that timetable depends on how busy work is and how things are going with my mother [long story that I'm not going into now other than she is now living with me part time and my sister the other half].

In the meantime, I'll get back to posting session notes for the Shattered Star AP.
[Narrator: He didn't.]


Adventures in the Green

Book II: Conflicts
Book III Campaigns

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Currently (re)writing

Sorry for the delay in posts.  I'm currently focusing on Draft B of my version of the OD&D rules, Adventures in the Green.  

Draft A was taking what was in the original three rule books and reorganizing the text so that rules for various topics were together and not scattered around.  I've also brought in content from Strategic Review Vol. 1, No. 2, to clarify the combat rules and how magic spells are supposed to work (both surprisingly missing as explicit rules in the original publications).  This took some doing as OD&D was written as codified notes for someone who knew the entire system and not for easily learning the game.  As I worked on it I started to understand how things were actually organized and grouped.  I followed Greyharp's Single Volume Edition for initial organization and as a checklist to verify I incorporated everything.  I've also added some things from Supplement 1: Greyhawk.

Draft B is reorganizing some sections better now that I have sections labelled and can see everything that exists.  I'm also re-writing most of the text to be a bit more concise and clear.  Mr. Gygax could be flowery in his writing style and I'm aiming for something more direct and lean.  I'm about half way through Book 1: Characters, which includes everything you need to create a character and equip them.  I'll be posting it on DriveThruRPG when I'm done as Pay What You Want so folks can download it and try it out during the play-testing phase [and maybe send some pizza money my way].  This will provide easy distribution and give me an idea if there is interest in further development or not as I'll get reports on number of downloads.

Draft C will take feedback from the play-test campaign to tweak rules and clarify phrasing.  This is the where I'll also start finalizing layout and maybe commission some art for the cover.  Right now I plan on using public domain art for the interior to keep costs down.

That's it for now.  I just wanted to let y'all know what was going on and why session notes have been more sporadic than usual lately.  Stay healthy and safe!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Ratpack – Session 20

[The Ratpack recover, do some shopping, and then resume their search for the second shard.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 30, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]

Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 3rd level Ninja
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Via Roll20
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Winston – male 3rd level Gunslinger

Day 13
The Ratpack slept in the Tower Girls’ common room inside The Crow, the Irespan support pillar the Tower Girls used as their current hideout.  The Ratpack did this so they could keep an eye on the entrance to the sublevels.  Marativy spent part of the time gambling with some of the Tower Girls.  She cheated while playing and came out ahead 76 silver coin with the Tower Girls none-the-wiser.

Before going to sleep, Marativy concentrated on the metal shard in her possession.  Previously, doing so showed the location of the next shard as the entry room of The Crow.  Now it showed a different vision, one of a golden room with an altar.  This suggested that the doors blocking access to the lower levels also blocked viewing the current location of the next shard.  This indicated that the next shard was indeed down in the sub-levels, confirming the group’s suspicions as to its location.

Day 14
The Ratpack went back into Magnimar to purchase some supplies and meet with Frederick.  But first, all members of the Ratpack returned to their homes to get cleaned up and put on fresh clothes.  [Frederick’s business was in the wealthy part of town and the Ratpack had been dungeon crawling and fighting, so were not very presentable.  Roscuro did not want to endanger their relationship with Frederick by embarrassing him in front of his clients or damaging his reputation.]

The Ratpack reassembled at the Blue Rodent in Underbridge and then walked to Frederick’s shop in the Naos district.  Frederick was chatting with a client in his shop, a dwarf, but he greeted the Ratpack and asked them to wait.  Marativy recognized the dwarf as a fence in town.  After a short time, Frederick wrapped up business with the dwarf and he and the Ratpack got to business.

Roscuro showed Frederick the silver sphinx statue.  Frederick was quite pleased with it and offered a good price.  Then Roscuro pulled out the journal pages in Azlant and Frederick’s jaw hit the floor.  Roscuro explained that Mend was used to rescue the pages, which is why there are only scraps and not full pages.  Frederick nodded and then gathered himself.  After some additional questions [including where all this Thassilonian stuff was coming from], Frederick and the Ratpack agreed on a price for the statue and journal pages.  They also confirmed the amount Frederick paid for the amphora, the coins in it, and the statue of the rune giant they delivered previously.  Receipts were exchanged so the Ratpack could prove the prices they were getting to their silent partners [the Tower Girls].

[The players took this time to do a general accounting of the various treasures they had sold and what amount of gold the party had in its account.  They also calculated how much they owed the Tower Girls for their cut of the sales and what everyone's current share of the loot was.  We allocated one share to the group fund in case any raise dead spells became necessary.  This all could have happened in-game during the Ratpack's downtime but had never been done due to real time constraints.  Once that was all done, play resumed.]

Roscuro asked Frederick if there was a shop where the Ratpack could purchase wands.  Frederick directed them to a shop named The Brown Scepter.  The Ratpack said their farewells and went over to the Brown Scepter where they bough a wand of Cure Light Wounds [fully charged] and a wand of Lightning Bolt [only 10 charges].  To pay for the wands, the Ratpack offered the Ring of Ferocious Action.  While the members of the Ratpack are fairly competent in many activities, barter negotiations is not one of them.  To seal the deal, the Ratpack agreed to pay an additional 400 gold coins to make the trade.

[Every member of the group has average to terrible Charisma scores and I rolled poorly.  On top of which, the GM was originally treating the exchange like we were selling the ring and then buying the wands with the proceeds instead of making an even swap.  We didn’t realize this until later in the session when he suddenly told us the Cure Light Wounds wand only had 28 charges.  To say we were upset is an understatement.  We did eventually work it out.]

After the shopping, the Ratpack returned to The Crow to continue searching for the second shard.  After making their way through the Tower Girls’ lair in the upper four floors, they descended into the sub-levels.  On the way through sub-level 2, they made a quick stop at the healing basin and filled up their waterskins with water from the basin [reminder: the water provides a Cure Light Wounds and a Lesser Restoration once per day].  At the door to the octagon room on sub-level 3, they paused to prepare to fight the abyssal larva on the other side.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Roscuro, Marativy, and Templeton.

Due to Zitch’s need to cackle to maintain the Protective Luck effect, the Ratpack gave up the element of surprise.  When they opened the door to the octagon room, the larva spewed its maggot breath weapon over the entire group.  Roscuro and Winston failed their saves and were sickened by it.  Despite this, the Ratpack advanced and attacked the larva.  Zitch got in the killing blow with the Lightning Bolt wand at the end of the second round.

The party healed up from the fight, using the Cure Light Wounds wand [this is when the discrepancy in the number of charges came up].  Then the group searched the room, including Zitch casting Detect Magic.  The Alaznist statue in the center of the octagon room was not magical, but the ranseur it held was.  It was also made of cold iron.  To release it from the statue required breaking the statue’s hand, which damaged the statues re-sale value, but magic weapons were in short supply.  Despite not being familiar with it, Roscuro ended up with the ranseur as he currently had no way to bypass the DR of the minor demons/devils the group was facing on this level.

Finding nothing else of value in the room, the Ratpack took the eastern door [as opposed to the southern or western doors].  Beyond was a short hallway to a room.  As the group approached the room they heard some noise, which Zitch identified as the sounds of a couple nupperibos, the least kind of devils.  [Zitch was on point whenever he made a Knowledge: Planes skill check that night.]

After a whispered discussion to put together a battle plan, the Ratpack quietly approached the room, stopping at the entrance.  Zitch cast Lightning Bolt from the wand and killed one of the devils.  Winston shot the other with standard shot, but it bounced off the nupperibo’s DR.  The remaining nupperibo charged the group of ratfolk and engaged in melee.  In the quick fight, all the ratfolk missed in their attacks except Winston, who got one shot in but failed to kill the nupperibo.  In the end, the nupperibo accidentally killed itself when it fumbled an attack and took its own last remaining hit point with its spear.  After the battle, the Ratpack collected the spear and named it “Demonkiller”.  [Because “Self-own” was too anachronistic.]

A search of the room turned up nothing.  The only exit was a set of stairs down to a lower part of this level.  The Ratpack paused here.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[Who ever named the nupperibo – I hate them.  It is entirely too long and complicated a name for such a minor creature and having to type it multiple times was aggravating.]

[The place we stopped the session was due to it getting late and the next day being a workday for some of us.  Due to family drama around my mom’s memory loss issues, the game for April 6 was cancelled as I had to drive to Austin and back.  The game for April 13 was all done via Roll20.  More about Roll20 in that set of session notes.]

Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14
Session 15
Session 16
Session 17
Session 18
Session 19

Session 21 [Not Written Yet]