[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2016-02-05

Fantasy Age: The Stunt Die

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:55

Fantasy Age logo

An ability test uses three six-sided dice (3d6). Two of the dice should be one color and the third a different color. The off color die is known as the Stunt Die. The three dice are rolled and added together, and then 2 more is added if the character has an appropriate focus (3 if the character has taken the focus twice). The final number is the test result.

Test result = 3d6 + ability + focus

The test result is compared to a static target number (TN) in the case of a Basic Test or the test result of another character in an Opposed Test. A character wins a Basic Test by meeting or beating the target number and an Opposed Test by beating the opponent’s test result. The results of the Stunt Die can be used to determine the degree of success and to break ties in the case of an Opposed Test.

[…]

  • Leave the dice on the table after a roll because the result of the Stunt Die may be important.
  • The Stunt Die only counts for successful tests.
  • In opposed tests, ties are broken by the Stunt Die, or the higher ability if those too are tied.

(Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook, “Mastering The Rules”)

Tuesday, 2016-02-02

Fantasy Age arcana: Faerie

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 15:20

Fantasy Age logo

A new arcana for Fantasy Age: Faerie.


Faerie Arcana

You know the proper etiquette for dealing with faeries, and can use some of their powers yourself.

  • Novice: Learn Faerie Bargain and Glamour.
  • Journeyman: Learn Transmogrify; gain the focus Intelligence (Faerie Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Walk Unseen; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Faerie Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Faerie Bargain

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 4
  • Casting Time: 1 Minute
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 100 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Voices Of The Wind, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You offer a small but appropriate gift to a minor local faerie, and get a small service in exchange. The gift offered is up to the caster to choose, but it is always some item of negligible value that the caster may be assumed to have on hand (a piece of cake, a silver coin, a saucer of cream, etc.). The magic of the Faerie Bargain guarantees that the type of faerie desired will appear and will accept the bargain. Some examples are:

  • A brownie will perform a single domestic service, such as cleaning and mending someone’s shoes or their clothing, repairing a household item, or cleaning and organizing a living area.
  • A gremlin will sabotage a single mechanical device or contrivance within 100 yards, to the extent that it will take a human at least an hour to repair it.
  • A leprechaun will lead you to the most valuable unattended item or collection of items (in the opinion of the leprechaun) within 100 yards, not including that which belongs to the leprechaun.
  • A sprite will scout the immediate vicinity for you (no more than 100 yards), answering three questions honestly but precisely (be careful what you ask for).

The etiquette of the bargain prohibits you from acting against the faerie’s interests, such as tricking it into attacking someone or leading it into a trap. If you have Faerie Arcana (Master), the number of services is doubled (for example, a sprite would answer six questions).

Glamour

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 2/hr
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 8
  • Range: Touch
  • Test: Perception (Seeing) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Lantern, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You project a minor illusion which makes you appear to be clean, healthy, attractive, and wearing clothing just slightly better than anyone around you. A target who has a reason to doubt the reality of the illusion and who makes a successful Perception (Seeing) test vs. your Spellpower will see you as you truly are. Glamour lasts for 1 hour and you can extend it for up to 5 hours for a cost of 2 MP per hour. This spell can be cast on others.

Transmogrify

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 8
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 14
  • Range: 30 yards
  • Test: Varies
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Ill Omens, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You magically transform a thing or creature into something else until a specific reasonably common condition is met. If the specific condition is not met within 24 hours, the thing or creature will revert of its own accord. What you can turn it into depends on what it was to begin with.

  • You can transform a thing or a small collection of identical things into any other thing or small collection of identical things. The things transformed may be as small as a coin or as large as a wagon. For example, a pumpkin could be transmogrified into a carriage until the stroke of midnight, leaves could be transmogrified into gold coins until someone tries to buy something with them, or a crude meal of tubers and gruel could be transmogrified into a grand feast until someone complains about it. Things are not able to resist the spell, but they must be unattended or under your complete control — you can’t change a chest into a matchbox if someone is in it.
  • You can transform a single animal into another animal that you have seen or into a person. The animal transformed may be as small as a shrew or as large as an elephant. For example, a mouse could be transmogrified into a horse until the stroke of midnight, a raven could be transmogrified into a man until it eats something, or a tiger could be transmogrified into a bunny rabbit until it falls asleep. The target can resist the transmogrification with a successful Constitution (Stamina) vs. Spellpower test. Each of the animal’s attributes are equal to its natural attribute or the attribute of its new form, whichever is greater, and the animal’s general demeanor is unchanged — a tiger transmogrified into a bunny rabbit is still quite dangerous. Animals transmogrified into people are able to speak and understand the caster’s native language, although they may not have anything interesting to say.
  • You can transform a single person so that they have the characteristics of an animal you have seen, but are otherwise still humanoid. For example, a man could be transmogrified to have the head of an ass until someone voluntarily kisses him, a woman could be transmogrified to have the head of a bear until she sincerely apologizes for her unkind behaviour, or a child could be made to have the tail of a pig until they share something they have with someone less fortunate than themselves. In each case, the transformation confers no useful abilities, the target must be told the condition that will end the spell, and it must be something within their power to perform. The target can resist the transmogrification with a successful Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower test.

Walk Unseen

  • Requirements: Faerie Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 10+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: None
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Winds Of Flight, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You move ever-so-slightly into Faerieland, allowing you to move unseen, unheard, and unsmelt in the mortal world. You remain invisible, inaudible, and unsmellable until you take an attack or Cast action, whereupon you immediately become visible, audible, and smellable. Walk Unseen lasts for 10 minutes and you can extend it for up to an hour for a cost of 2 MP per 10 minutes.

Monday, 2016-01-25

Fantasy Age specialization: Spellbinder

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 11:25

Fantasy Age logo

A new specialization for Fantasy Age: Spellbinder.


Spellbinder

While most mages use their arcane arts to impose their will on the world around them, spellbinders concentrate their attention on the subtlest of the arcane arts: the line between what is real and what we only think is real. This focus on the ephemeral gives spellbinders greater effectiveness in wielding (and resisting) such manipulations, and eventually deepens their understanding of the nature of reality itself. For some mages, this expertise is used to conceal and deceive, while others study this power to seek a deeper truth.

You have a talent for spellbinding magic. Choose one of the following magic talents to be your favored arcana: Enchantment Arcana, Faerie Arcana, Illusion Arcana, or Thought Arcana.

  • Novice: You gain a +2 bonus when resisting spells from your favored arcana.
  • Journeyman: Your knowledge of the subtle arts is deep. When casting spells of your favored arcana, their cost in magic points is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
  • Master: You understand the relationship between perception and reality. You can choose a second favored arcana from the list.

Saturday, 2016-01-23

Fantasy Age arcana: Demonology, Enchantment, Frost, Illusion, Shapeshifting

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:14

Fantasy Age logo

I am currently working on an electronic fillable character sheet for Fantasy Age. I think I have the Mage sheet just about done: the Rogue and Warrior sheets will be next.

In the meantime, perhaps you will find these new arcana (spells) interesting.


Demonology Arcana

Harness the powers of Evil.

  • Novice: Learn Demonic Servant and Hellish Vitality.
  • Journeyman: Learn Conjure Hellfire; gain the focus Intelligence (Demonology Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Demonic Warrior; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Demonology Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Demonic Servant

  • Requirements: Demonology Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 2/hr
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 8
  • Range: 20 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Lantern, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You summon a minor winged demon to serve your earthly needs. The demon has 0 in all attributes, is invisible, and will return to whence it came if it is attacked or it is commanded to attack. The demon can accomplish any simple task, such as cooking, cleaning, opening and closing windows, starting fires, carrying burdens, and so on, and it will perform these tasks to the best of its ability. The demon has a Speed of 8, and it can fly, but if commanded or forced to go more than 20 yards from you, it will return to whence it came. Your demonic servant will attend to your needs for one hour, but its stay can be extended for 2 MP per additional hour.

Hellish Vitality

  • Requirements: Demonology Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 3-9
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 10
  • Range:
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Healing Touch, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

Your body is invigorated with demonic energy, making you unnaturally resilient. You can choose to spend up to 9 MPs when you cast the spell. For each 3 MP spent, you gain 3d6 Health. This additional Health is lost at the end of the encounter, but can not reduce your Health below its normal maximum. You can only cast this on yourself.

Conjure Hellfire

  • Requirements: Demonology Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 7
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: 30 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Faith) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Lightning Bolt, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

A sulfurous blast of hellfire spews from your outstretched hand or arcane device to strike a single visible target within 30 yards of you. The hellfire inflicts 2d6 + Willpower penetrating damage. A target that makes a successful Willpower (Faith) test vs. your Spellpower only takes 1d6 + Willpower penetrating damage. Rather than using it to attack, you may instead use your hellfire to ignite all torches, candles, fire pits, pyres, and other such prepared combustible materials within 30 yards of you.

Demonic Warrior

  • Requirements: Demonology Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 15
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Awaken Tree, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You summon a soldier demon (see Chapter 9: Adversaries). It is friendly to you and obedient to your commands for the duration of the encounter. At the end of the encounter, or when it reaches zero Health, the soldier demon returns to wherever it came from.


Enchantment Arcana

The power to confound and beguile.

  • Novice: Learn Beguile and Influence.
  • Journeyman: Learn Sleep; gain the focus Intelligence (Enchantment Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Enthrall; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Enchantment Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Beguile

  • Requirements: Enchantment Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 2
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 10 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Dragon Age Players Guide

You ensorcell one visible target within 10 yards. A target that makes a successful Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. your Spellpower is slightly confused and suffers a -1 penalty on all ability tests until the beginning of your next turn. A target that fails the test suffers the same penalty and cannot take any actions on his next turn.

Influence

  • Requirements: Enchantment Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 4+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 10
  • Range: 6 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Spell Ward, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You can weave a glamour that lends weight to your words and actions. You gain a +2 bonus on all Communication tests directed at one target of your choice. This bonus lasts until the end of the encounter. By expending additional MP, you can extend this benefit to more targets: 2 MP per additional target, up to a number of targets equal to your Willpower. If you have the Enchantment Arcana focus, you can extend this benefit to two more targets, or alternately increase the spell’s bonus to +3. You can only cast this on yourself.

Sleep

  • Requirements: Enchantment Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 3+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 20 yds
  • Test: Constitution (Stamina) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Ensnaring Roots, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

A target within 20 yards must make a successful Constitution (Stamina) test vs. your Willpower or fall unconscious until the end of the encounter, until the sleeper takes damage, or until someone uses a major action to shake or slap the sleeper awake. Additional targets within 20 yards may be affected for +3 MP per target.

Enthrall

  • Requirements: Enchantment Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 11
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 17
  • Range: 6 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Self-Discipline) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Yora http://roninarmy.com/threads/2878-Idea-for-a-Mind-Arcana

You bewitch the target of the spell, bending their will to your own. If the target fails a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test against your Spellpower, they become your devoted servant. You may issue orders to the target, and they will do their best to obey; if not under any specific orders, the target will try to serve you faithfully to the best of their ability. Any time the target is ordered to do something that would cause serious harm to themselves or their friends and allies, or that would put them at extreme risk, or that would force them to violate their most devoutly held beliefs, they can make another Willpower (Self-Discipline) test against your Spellpower: success on this test ends the spell. What the target considers serious harm or extreme risk depends on how they perceive the situation, and they can be tricked into breaking the spell even if no actual threat is present. You can maintain a number of thralls equal to your Willpower at any one time.


Frost Arcana

The world will end in ice.

  • Novice: Learn Frost Cloud and Quick Freeze.
  • Journeyman: Learn Ice Sculpture; gain the focus Intelligence (Frost Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Ice Storm; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Frost Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Frost Cloud

  • Requirements: Frost Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 4
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 13
  • Range: 20 yds
  • Test: Constitution (Stamina) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Jolt and Shock Blast, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You create a cloud of freezing mist in a 6 yard by 6 yard area within 20 yards of you for 5 minutes. Anyone in this area takes 2 penetrating damage each round and suffers a -2 penalty to Perception (Seeing) tests. Targets that make a successful Constitution (Stamina) test each round vs. your Spellpower only suffer a -2 penalty to Perception (Seeing) tests during that round.

Quick Freeze

  • Requirements: Frost Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 3
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 10
  • Range: 6 yds
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Spring and Regrowth, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You cause an inanimate object up to 2 yards by 2 yards by 2 yards (8 cubic yards) in volume to freeze solid in an instant. This causes a volume of water to freeze into solid ice, and causes objects like doors and chests to be difficult to open, requiring a Strength (Might) test vs. your Spellpower.

Ice Sculpture

  • Requirements: Frost Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Defense
  • Cost: 6
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range: 6 yds
  • Test: Strength (Might) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Water Wall, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You conjure a solid mass of ice, up to 3 yards long and 1 yard wide. It may be any contiguous shape, such as a swan, mermaid, or wall. Anyone attempting to smash the ice sculpture or break through it must make a Strength (Might) test vs. your Spellpower. If you cast this spell more than once in an encounter, you can link together the sculptures into one continuous mass of ice. The ice sculpture lasts until the end of the encounter, at which point it will begin melting at the normal rate.

Ice Storm

  • Requirements: Frost Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 11+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: 50 yds
  • Test: Dexterity (Acrobatics) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Firestorm, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You create a brutal hailstorm with a 4-yard radius anywhere within 50 yards of you. Anyone caught in the area takes 2d6+Willpower damage and suffers a -5 penalty to Speed for one round. This spell normally lasts for one round but for 5 MP, paid at the start of your subsequent turns as a free action, you may extend the duration by an additional round.


Illusion Arcana

Seeing is believing.

  • Novice: Learn Minor Illusion and Phantasm.
  • Journeyman: Learn Grand Illusion; gain the focus Intelligence (Illusion Arcana).
  • Master: Learn Nightmare; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Illusion Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Phantasm

  • Requirements: Illusion Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 4
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 12
  • Range: 20 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Courage) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Flame Blast, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You bring into being an illusory monster which claws and bites one target within 20 yards. The target takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets that make a successful Willpower (Courage) test vs. your Spellpower only take 1d6+1 damage.

Petty Illusion

  • Requirements: Illusion Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 3+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 8
  • Range: 20 yds
  • Test: Perception (Seeing) vs Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Forest Blend, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook, and Maliloki http://roninarmy.com/threads/2710-Cold-Arcana?p=112049&viewfull=1#post112049

You create an illusion up to 2 yards by 2 yards by 2 yards in volume within 20 yards of you. The illusion may not move from its original location, but it may incorporate stationary movement (such as waving or shifting its weight). You can incorporate sounds into the illusion for +2 MP at the time of casting. The illusion can be programmed with a set motion, or controlled if the caster stays within range. A target who has a reason to doubt the reality of the illusion and who makes a successful Perception (Seeing) test vs. your Spellpower will realize that the illusion has no substance. The illusion lasts for one minute, but can be extended for 1 MP per additional minute.

Grand Illusion

  • Requirements: Illusion Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Utility
  • Cost: 6+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 13
  • Range: 30 yds
  • Test: Perception (Seeing) vs Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Veil Of Darkness, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook, and Maliloki http://roninarmy.com/threads/2710-Cold-Arcana?p=112049&viewfull=1#post112049

You create an illusion up to 20 yards by 20 yards by 20 yards in volume within 30 yards of you. The illusion may not move from its original location, but it may incorporate stationary movement (such as waving or shifting its weight). You can incorporate both sounds and smells into the illusion for +4 MP at the time of casting. The illusion can be programmed with a set motion, or controlled if the caster stays within range. A target who has a reason to doubt the reality of the illusion and who makes a successful Perception (Seeing) test vs. your Spellpower will realize that the illusion has no substance. The illusion lasts for one hour, but can be extended for 2 MP per additional hour.

Waking Nightmare

  • Requirements: Illusion Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Attack
  • Cost: 15
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range: 50 yds
  • Test: Willpower (Courage) vs. Spellpower
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Jason “Wired Wolf” Hanks https://www.dropbox.com/s/5bjgupwu48oly9z/The_Veil_Codex.pdf?dl=0

You overwhelm a target within 50 yards with visions of their darkest fears. Until the target succeeds on a Willpower (Courage) test vs. your Spellpower, they can do nothing but cower in fear. Each turn the target remains under the effect of the waking nightmare, they take 2 penetrating damage. A target failing the initial test may try again at the start of each of their turns until they successfuly face their fears and end the spell.


Shapeshifting Arcana

To improve is to change.

  • Novice: Learn Disguise and Shifting Priorities.
  • Journeyman: Learn Protean Gifts; gain the focus Intelligence (Shapeshifting Arcana).
  • Master: Learn True Shape; one spell stunt at -1 SP when casting Shapeshifting Arcana spells.
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net

Disguise

  • Requirements: Shapeshifting Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 3+
  • Casting Time: Major Action
  • Target Number: 10
  • Range:
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Lantern and Stone Cloak, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

Your flesh ripples and flows, allowing you to become thicker or thinner and up to a foot shorter or taller. You can change your hair length, your features, your race, and even your gender, but you can’t change your basic biology: you can’t change the number or location of your limbs, for example, nor can you change your flesh into wood or stone. If you have the Shapeshifting Arcana focus, you can attempt to mimic the appearance of another creature you have seen. Anyone with a reason to suspect that you are not who you appear to be can attempt an opposed Perception (Seeing) test against your Communication (Disguise) test; you may add your Shapeshifting Arcana focus to this Communication (Disguise) test. Disguise lasts for one hour, but can be extended for 2 MP per additional hour. You can only cast this on yourself.

Shifting Priorities

  • Requirements: Shapeshifting Arcana (Novice)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 6+
  • Casting Time: 1 minute
  • Target Number: 11
  • Range:
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Stone Cloak and Voices of the Wind, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

Your magically restructure your body, re-arranging your physical form to fit your needs of the moment. You may reduce your Constitution, Dexterity, and/or Strength, and then increase your Constitution, Dexterity, and/or Strength by the same amount. No attribute may be reduced below -2. This spell normally lasts for one minute, but you may extend the duration for 1 MP per additional minute. You can only cast this on yourself.

Protean Gifts

  • Requirements: Shapeshifting Arcana (Journeyman)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 8+
  • Casting Time: 1 minute
  • Target Number: 12
  • Range:
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Strings Of Fate and Winds Of Flight, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

You magically warp your body to gain a bestial form and associated abilities. You may select one of the following benefits, or another of similar usefulness with the GM’s approval.

  • Alate: You grow wings, which may be either feathered or leathery at your choice. You gain a flying Speed equal to your Willpower. You must use the rules for flying found in Chapter 2: Basic Rules, though you retain your land speed while on the ground.
  • Aquatic: Your fingers and toes elongate and become webbed, your skin becomes rubbery and smooth, and gills grow on your chest or throat. You are able to breathe either water or air, you can survive comfortably in the icy deep, and you gain a swimming Speed of 8 + Willpower. You also gain the focus Constitution (Swimming).
  • Ferocious: You grow claws, horns, spines, tusks, or another natural weapon of your choice. Your natural weaponry counts as a magic weapon (so it could hit incorporeal creatures, for example), and you are considered trained in the weapon. Striking an opponent with your natural weaponry requires an Accuracy (Brawling) test, and inflicts 2d6 + Strength damage (you can substitute Willpower for Strength when inflicting damage, if you wish).

Protean gifts lasts for 1 hour and you can extend it for up to 5 hours for a cost of 2 MP per hour. You can only cast this on yourself.

True Shape

  • Requirements: Shapeshifting Arcana (Master)
  • Type: Enhancement
  • Cost: 15+
  • Casting Time: 1 minute
  • Target Number: 15
  • Range:
  • Test: None
  • Source: Brandon Blackmoor bblackmoor@blackgate.net, based on Arcane Circle and Winds Of Flight, Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook

The fabric of your physical body magically transforms into any shape or substance you wish, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral. You may grow to the size of an elephant, or shrink to the size of a gnat. Your physical attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength) become those of your new form, and you gain any other physical abilities of that form, such as flight, armor, and natural weaponry. If you are reduced to zero Health in your new form, the spell automatically ends, and your are returned to your original form at one-half of your normal Health (rounded down); otherwise, one-half of any damage (rounded down) taken by your new form is applied to your natural form when the spell ends, applied proportionately. For example, if you lose fifty percent of your Health while an elephant, you will lose twenty-five percent of your normal Health when you return to your original form. True shape lasts for 1 hour, althogh you may choose to end it early, and you can extend it for up to 5 hours for a cost of 2 MP per hour. You can only cast this on yourself.

Tuesday, 2015-07-28

Musings on cinematic duels in roleplaying games

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 09:31

Ran across this (“Cinematic Lightsaber Dueling“) today, which reminded me of an ongoing game-design problem that I have never solved to my own satisfaction. In the source media from which I draw inspiration for my own games, it is often the case that a combat ends when one opponent successfully hits the other: a single hit ends the fight. This isn’t the case for every fight, even within a single genre — fistfights, in particular, tend to lend themselves more to the traditional “whittling down the hit points” game mechanic. But in duels with lethal weapons — whether using lightsabers, phasers, or rapiers — a single successful hit tends to end the combat.

The biggest problem is not in coming up with a game mechanic to replicate this. The “Extended Tasks” rules in Bulletproof Blues, for example, could easily be used to model this sort of combat. The hurdle for me is combining this type of conflict with the more traditional “whittling down the hit points” combat in the same fight. They don’t really work together.

At the moment, I am thinking that a possible solution might be to use the same “Extended Tasks” style of resolution for conflicts that seem, on the surface, to be more traditional fights, and treating the “whittling down the hitpoints” as a “special effect” rather than a fixed number representing a concrete (rather than abstract) effect.

It occurs to me that way back in the day (the early to mid 1980s), this is how some people interpreted combat in AD&D (first edition, although of course we did not call it that back then). It was not a widely held interpretation, and was observed more in theory than in practice even among its proponents.

Tuesday, 2015-04-14

My opinion on Savage Worlds

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 09:16

I am writing up my opinion on Savage Worlds here, not because I think anyone actually cares or because I want to talk anyone out of playing it, but because from time to time someone asks for my opinion, and I would rather direct them here than write this repeatedly. So here we go:

“Hey, Blackmoor, what do you think about Savage Worlds?”

I have played Savage Worlds with people who loved it. I may in fact be the one human being on Earth who does not like Savage Worlds. I do not like the extraneous fiddly bits just for task resolution (dice AND cards AND poker chips AND … wtf). Imagine having a roleplaying game where each time there was a test to see if your character is successful at some task, you had to play a game of Bop It — but the outcome of playing Bop It had no effect on whether you were successful or not. Whether your character is successful is actually based on a flip of a coin, but the color of that coin changes depending on how good your character is at a particular ability. If you are really good, you flip a red coin … after playing a full round of Bop It.

I do not like the “growing dice” mechanic that, when coupled with the “moving target based on dice size” mechanic makes character advancement an illusion, and in fact renders the multiple dice sizes merely one more extraneous fiddly bit. There is no way in Savage Worlds to set a task difficulty such that it is nigh-impossible for a novice but nigh-automatic for an expert. If you have an expert and a novice in the group of PCs, it makes virtually no difference which of them attempts to pick the lock or crack the code or hack into the computer system.

That’s how I experience Savage Worlds. It may be the most needlessly (and pointlessly) complex game system that I personally have ever played.

Personally, I do not care for it.

Monday, 2015-01-19

A handful of figures

Filed under: Art,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 18:29

I do not paint miniatures anymore. It takes me a very long time, and I simply have too many projects as it is.

Still, by the time I stopped, I think I had gotten pretty good at it. Below are the painted figures I have held on to, from oldest to newest. The oldest was painted in the early 1990s. The most recent was painted in 2009 or so.

2015-01-17_14-11-24 2015-01-17_14-12-12 2015-01-17_14-13-06 2015-01-17_14-13-50 2015-01-17_14-15-42 2015-01-17_14-16-06 2015-01-17_14-16-16

Wednesday, 2014-12-03

GamerGate meme

Filed under: Gaming,Society — bblackmoor @ 18:29

I was feeling wacky, so I made this.

GamerGate meme

Friday, 2014-10-10

What is “gamergate”?

Filed under: Gaming,Journalism,Society,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 16:36

Generally speaking, I avoid posting anything controversial here on my blog; despite the title, I prefer to focus on the positive. However, I have decided to make an exception, regarding the hate campaign terrorist group known as “gamergate”. Have you seen the term “gamergate” (or “‪#‎gamergate‬”), and wondered what it is? Here it is, in a nutshell:

A handful of unrepentant assholes who get a kick out of stirring up controversy (they may not even believe what they say — that’s not important to them, they just like “stirring the pot”) organized a harassment campaign against a number of women journalists. A larger number of socially maladjusted idiots have joined the campaign, because they are miserable, gullible creatures. The name of this harassment campaign is “gamergate” (although “gamerhate” would be a more accurate name). “Gamergate” comes from the same cretins who brought you “bikini bridge“, “ebola-chan“, and any number of other manufactured controversies that I hope you have been too smart to pay attention to.

Pretty much every argument you hear in favor of “gamergate” is either a red herring or a bald-faced lie. It’s not a real controversy: it’s simply a hate campaign a terrorist group created by malicious idiots, and anyone who sincerely thinks “gamergate” has any value is a pathetic loser who deserves to be pitied and then ignored.

If you make death or rape threats against someone for expressing an opinion that’s different from yours, or if you concoct ludicrous conspiracy theories about in an attempt to discredit them (instead of saying, you know, “I don’t agree with you. Here’s why…”, or — and here’s a novel idea — simply ignoring them), there is something seriously wrong with you. Seek help.

2014-10-19:: Personally, I think it’s gotten to the point where we need to start treating “gamergate” like any other terrorist group: don’t engage them (it only encourages them), deny them a soapbox for their toxic views, and report their crimes to the police.

2014-10-21: Chris Kluwe doesn’t mince words.

Saturday, 2014-09-27

Where are all the female superheroes?

Filed under: Comics,Gaming,Movies — bblackmoor @ 10:26
batcassie

A friend who has daughters shared with me this article about a guy who bought a Justice League board game to play with his daughter, only to find out there that there wasn’t a single female superhero in the game. Seriously?

I find it baffling that there are so few female characters in superhero movies, and that those few seem to get left out of the merchandising so often. I assume that women who like superheroes like female superheroes, and I know that guys like female superheroes (Black Widow was the best thing about the second Iron Man movie). So who is it at these marketing companies that keeps making the bone-head decision to drop Wasp from the Avengers but keep Hawkeye (a character so lame that he’s become the poster-child for ostensibly sexist comicbook art, overlooking the fact that any art with Hawkeye in it looks ridiculous), or to leave Gamorra out of the Guardians Of The Galaxy merchandise? We, the people who buy this stuff, totally dig the female characters (for different reasons maybe, but that’s okay). So who are the idiots in board rooms saying, “No, no, no! We can’t have Supergirl or Batgirl or Power Girl or Wonder Woman or Black Canary or Batwoman or Jade in this movie/game/poster/action figure set, that’s just crazy talk!”, and why are people still listening to them?

The board game story has a more or less upbeat (if not entirely happy) ending. Even so, the whole thing mystifies me, it truly does.

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