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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tattoo magic, Fantasy AGE.

Tattoo magic is fairly new in the middle lands. An art that traces it's origin to the eastern islands.

When a spell is transcribed to flesh the caster no longer needs an arcane device (which in the setting I'm running is required for most attack spells *) to cast that spell, as their flesh becomes the implement. The tattoo has to be exposed and glows with arcane power, the tattoo is used to focus or direct magic attacks making them no more or less stealthy to cast from.

Also spells cast from flesh benefit from +2 spellpower. But tattoo magic is not without its costs and limitations.

Mages must sacrifice 2 permanent magic points per tattoo. This is permanentl invested magic into the processes of getting the tattoo.

The number of spell tattoos a mage can have is equal to half their level rounded up. Any tattoos beyond that limit costs a sacrifice of 4 magic points permanently. These can never be recovered by leveling past the limit, it is cost at the time of getting the tattoo.

Spell tattoos can be costly. The time and material cost are big factors. Novice spells are often relatively simple, and journeyman spells are larger and more detailed. Master level spells are very large and can take up an entire limb, and are works of intricate art.

* In the setting I'm running Arane devices are required for any attack spell that says "from hand or arcane device" instead of being optional. In previous games arcane devices were optional but granted a +1 spell casting and +1 damage when used. These we're entirety setting rules.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Demon, Soldier Brute. Fantasy AGE RPG

Lumbering brutes who stand head and shoulders above the average demon soldiers. Often sent in small groups to soften up a defensive line or fortifications.

2 Accuracy (Brawling)
0 Communication 
7 Constitution (Stamina)
0 Dexterity 
4 Fighting (Bludgeon)
2 Intelligence
0 Perception
8 Strength (Intimidation, Might)
1 Will power (Courage)

Speed 10
Health 60
Defense 10
Armor Rating 6

Punch +4.       1d6+8
2h Maul +6.    2d6+11

Armor hide: abnormally thick hide. Magically infused, projects against attack that normally bypass armor.

Fist and Stomp: brutes are known for their superhuman strength. When not using a huge two handed maul they smash everything in their path with their fists.

Darkvision: Brute demons can see perfectly in total darkness.

Favored stunt: Mighty blow.

Bringing more narrative to your combat.

I see GMs and players complain about the "I hit it with my axe" limited view of combat. People often feel that if the rules don't facilitate a more narrative approach than it's not "part of the game".

I personally don't feel this is the games responsibility, the rules are the structure and dice are the hand of rate. Story should be facilitated by the storytellers, Both the GM/DM and players. I feel many GMs miss golden opportunities to help player to help themselves. Narrative combat makes the game more exciting, and narrative driven combat makes the GM's job easier.

The two biggest opportunities for this is during the players action, both before and after the die is rolled. These might seem like a no brainer to some, but stay with me.

Two very simple phrases GMs can use to help players get into combat as narration is "what do you do? Describe it", and "what does/did it look like?"

"What do you do? Describe it".
Before the player rolls the dice, ask the player to describe their attack. Ask for quick details about weapon swings or how the character is moving. To further facilitate narrative combat do the same with monsters and NPCs. Describe the grimace on the orcs face, the assassin's fast blade slashes, and the sneer on the city guards face as he sets his spear.

"what does/did it look like?"
Take the narrative and apply it after the roll as well. After the player rolls ask the player to describe the effects of the dice roll. Use the player's description to guide the reactions of other combatants. After the player describes jumping from the cart, while sinking his dagger into the guard smirking, describe how the other guards react. Give the characters description impact, nothing would be less rewarding and more discouraging to a player than to give an amazing description, just to be met with a none narrative reaction.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Unusual rolling and combat options.

We are all familiar with standard ways we chuck dice. Players rolling their initiative, attacks, damage, saves, and skill rolls. GM do the same for monsters and NPCs.

Some GM's tell players the target number for attacks and how many hit points monsters have, many don't. But the players usually always know their characters own health and bonuses.

I've seen a few discussions lately advocating hidden hit points, descriptive combat, and alternative initiative systems. I thought it might be fun to go over a few of these ideas, and see how I would, or have used these options in a games using the Basic fantasy system.

Clockwise D10, initiative.
This is one I use, especially for larger groups. Rather than each player rolling a d20 once for the entire combat and acting in order of high roll to lowest roll, a d10 is rolled by every player, adding their Dex bonus at the beginning of every round. But rather than acting in descending order, only the highest roll is important. The highest roll acts first, then play moves clockwise around the party. One major advantage is it's fast, another is that players act in a different order every round not having to wait for everyone to take a turn before getting to take their own turn again.

by action, Initiative.
This option can be used with the standard d20 roll or the D10 clockwise option above. Players announce their action before rolling, then roll initiative with modifiers based on their action they chose.
+3 ranged attack or spell without moving.
+2 melee attack without moving.
+0 melee, ranged, or spell and moving.

GM rolls all the dice, rolling technique.
I've only seen this option used, GMs use a control sheet with every players AC, hit points, and vital information. Players roll no dice, instead the GM rolls all the dice for the players. Players describe their actions and the GM describes the effects of dice rolls as story elements. Generally with this option players still track their own hit points, but numbers only follow after a narrative description. I feel like this option could be fun with the right group, but I know most players enjoy rolling dice.

Hidden hit points, rolling technique.
This option can be used with standard rolling style, or optional add on to GM rolls all the dice. The big difference here is players don't track their hit points, instead the GM tracks damage no matter who rolls the damage. The focus is entirely on narrative, all the players have to judge their mortality is the description the GM gives.

Players roll all the dice, rolling technique.
This option take more time in prep, but makes things easier for the GM during play. The GM can focus on narrative and storytelling. For this option players no longer have an armor class, instead they have a defense roll. Defense roll is figured by taking AC from armor -10, plus Dex modifier. AC 15 with a Dex mod of +1 becomes a Defense roll of +6. Monsters get an Attack stat, 11+ their normal attack bonuses. To defend against an attack a characters Defense roll is made against a creatures Attack stat. Monsters can either do average damage, or roll a list of damage rolls and use in order as needed. Which should be noted ahead of time.

For saving throws I often make 3-4 rolls ahead of time and write them in my notes next to a monsters stats, then later in game I use them in order. For a mob of goblins or other groups I might roll up 4-6 and if I need more I just start back at the time and run through them again. Monster initiative can be rolled as a pre set number based on 10 plus their normal bonuses.

Hero points in Fantasy AGE.

Adding Hero points is a way to add an even more heroic feel to your fantasy age game. Also allows players to bank stunt points at a 2 to 1 trade off.

Players start with 3 Hero points. Game masters can award more hero points as they see fit, most common being good roleplaying or teamwork. All heroes also gain a new stunt:
4: Fate smiles: gain a hero point.

Hero points can be used in a few different ways.

1: At any time a character can spend a hero point after have made a roll, they instantly get a reroll but must keep the second roll.

2: Characters can can spend a hero point to reduce a single source of damage they are about to take by half.

3: On a successful roll that gains the character stunt points a hero point can be spent to add +2 to stunt points, maximum 6 stunt points.

Arcane Adept, Fantasy AGE.

Arcane Adept
Classes: Rogue, warrior.
Requirement: Willpower 2. Unusual background.

You know how to use some magic, either from a small amount of training or heritage.

Novice:You have a small pool of magic points equal to 5+willpower+1d6. Choose an Arcana, you gain the novice level spells of that arcana. You do not have access to spell stunts.
Journeyman: your insight into magic increases. Gain Willpower+1d6 magic points and gain access to Powerful casting, Skillful casting, and Mighty casting spell stunts.
Master: your ability in magic increases. Gain Willpower in magic points. Gain the Journeyman level spells in the arcana you chose already.

Capt. Adrian (Hawk) Martel, Cortex Prime

Capt. Hawk is the leader of the newly formed spear's edge, Eco squad. After promoting his way up the elite and prestigious first company he was hand picked by General Sans to lead this newly formed spearhead unit.

Physical D6
Social D10
Mental D8

Keeping it frosty
Pack leader
"Don't believe everything you read kid".
"I'm not here to be your buddy"
D4(+1pp) or D8 

Aim D10
Athletics D6
Dodge D6
Pilot D8
Fighting D10
Notice D12
Bluff D6
Command D6
Cool D10
Knowledge D6

Twin Paladin auto pistols D8
* SFX Two for the price of one, keep a second  effects die, the second die is applies to a second nearby target.
* SFX In my crosshairs, step up an Aim die.
* Flaw pistols ran out of ammo, 1 turn to reload.
* Flaw pistol jams, this power can't be used til the gun is repaired, step up the next use of fighting skill.

Listen up knuckleheads D8
* SFX give command, after using Notice skill in an action, step up one skill die of a soldier under his command used in the same round.
* flaw Make the wrong call, 1pp to another player who agrees, step down any one die in their next roll. They choose and describe it's effect.

Lobo x-1 body armor d10
* SFX sealed system environmental reaction system, step up for environmental resist rolls. Lasts until danger is over.
* SFX Sensor sweep, step up notice die.
* Flaw the armor takes damage gain 1pp to step back armor die until repaired. (Can be reduced more than once).

Initiative in Index card RPG.

I've had some time to think about some of the workings of ICRPG. Being a tinkerer at heart I can't help but want to come up with mat...