Saturday, March 10, 2018

Final Fantasy XV Elemancy for Into the Odd

I know I'm late to the party, but I've been playing Final Fantasy XV and thought I'd adapt the magic system to Into the Odd. It's not even really a great system because every spell is just a zap, but I like idea of modifying spells even if it's never really used in a clever way. I'm still thinking about a way to make it more interesting, but for now this is a pretty straightforward adaptation.

The system revolves around pulling magical elements (which I'll call mana) from sources (which I'll call springs), and combining them into exploding flasks. In the game, the flasks are permanent however I'd have them be single use, if only because I'm always looking for more ways to spend the players' money. This essentially makes them the same as bombs, but with added effects. I'd put the cost of elemancy flasks at between 5 and 10 shillings. This makes them more expensive than your typical tool, but much less than a bomb (which deals d12 damage on its own). Even then you still have to find springs and components. Canonically, this ability is restricted to royalty. You can decide yourself who has access to elemancy and who doesn't in your game.

There are three elements: fire, ice and thunder. Magic-users will need to keep track of how much mana they have stored of each of the elements. I'd recommend a hard cap of 10 per element, just so the numbers don't get out of control. When pulling mana from a spring, roll 1d10 to determine how much of that element you are provided with.

Fire and lightning spells ignore armor (as Heat Ray/charge monsters from Supercapacitor). Ice spells freeze the target in place until they pass a STR save (as Chilling Cloud). Certain enemies may be resistant or weak to certain elements.

Basic Spell Crafting
When crafting a spell, you spend mana equal to the level of the spell you want to cast. You may mix elements, however only the majority element counts as the spell type. For example, a spell composed of 4 Fire and 3 Ice would be a fire spell. If there is every a majority tie, flip a coin to determine the spell type. 

You cannot craft Level 4 spells, as they can only be created with special components outlined below.

Elemancy Table

Advanced Spell Crafting
Adding certain components when crafting a spell will change its properties. The components are left intentionally broad, so feel free to make them more specific to fit into your game.

Component: Animal bones, claws, antlers, gemstones
Allows you to roll multiple dice for a spell and keep the highest result. The more components added, the more dice can be rolled up to a maximum of 5. 

Component: Poison barbs/stingers/bristles, antidotes
Inflicts additional poison damage directly to STR. The damage is equal to 1 per component spent, up to a maximum of 5 damage. 

Components: Animals hoofs, insect parts, fish fins
Causes an opponent's next few attacks to be impaired. The duration of the curse is equal to the number of components spent; with 1 causing d4, 2 causing d6, and so on.

Components: Metal shavings, rust
Each component increases the level of the spell by 1, however the caster must succeed in a WIL save when casting the spell or it backfires and damages them instead.

Components: Crab pincers, bird talons, scorpion pincers
Damages everyone within a 30ft radius, including the caster. The range can be increased by 10ft with every component added up to a maximum of 80ft. 

Components: Curatives, healing herbs, fresh tomatos
The pain inflicted by this spell heals the caster's HP. The amount healed is equal to the number of components spent; with 1 healing d4, 2 healing d6, and so on.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Simple Weapon Table

The following was made for Into the Odd but you could apply it to any kind of dungeon game. Roll for the weapon type, and then for the description.

Weapon Type
1 Sling (d4)
2 Dagger (d4)
3 Spear (d6)
4 Staff (d6)
5 Mace (d6)
6 Bow (d6)
7 Short Sword (d6)
8 Hand Axe (d6)
9 Longsword (d8)
10 Battle Axe (d8)
11 Longbow (d8)
12 Polearm (d8)

Weapon Description
1 Inscribed
2 Practice
3 Crude
4 Sinister
5 Worn-Out
6 Foreign
7 Fancy
8 Ancient
9 Gigantic
10 Mediocre

The weapon has some kind of inscription on it. It could be meaningful, or total nonsense.

The weapon is for training purposes and is not meant to be lethal. The damage becomes d4 regardless of what kind of weapon it is.

The weapon appears to be crafted in a rush or by primitive methods. While it works just fine, it looks like a piece of junk.

The weapon is scary looking, or has some kind of creepy decoration. You will spook commoners carrying something like this around.

The weapon is a hand-me-down, was scavenged, or is otherwise very old and battered and it shows.

The weapon came from another place, and looks kind of weird.

The weapon is elaborately decorated. Worth double the asking price, but makes you a target of pick-pockets.

The weapon is from another age, dug out of the ground of pilfered from ruins. Is of great interested to historians and collectors.

The weapon was crafted for a humongous person. Damage is considered to be die step higher, but only if you have 12 or more STR. Otherwise, all attacks are impaired.

Nothing special about this weapon at all.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gun Hexes for Into the Old West

I was putting together a list of magical gun effects, when I decided it was much more interesting to have gun curses. Listed below are the kind of afflictions a witch might place on your gun. Guns can usually be cured by a gun doctor if treated within 1 to 2 weeks, but after that the curse may become permanent.

1 Humphrey's Snack Attack
Regardless of what kind of ammunition you load, the gun continues to shoot peanuts. These peanuts deal no damage, but they kind of sting at close range.

2 Skyward Sniper
Bullets fired seem normal, but after about a foot will start flying straight into the air, far off into space. Shots fired are impaired unless your target is directly above you.

3 Guntongue
The gun no longer fires bullets, but instead fires out a string or profane insults. Luckily, this hex is easy to remedy. You just need to clean the gun's mouth out with soap.

4 Isolda's Eternal Gunman
The gun is stuck in your hand by an unrelenting force. You can still use it, of course, but try using anything else with that hand of yours.

5 Thirsty Man's Madness
Your gun now squirts water. Also it's salt water so you can't even drink it.

6 The Friendly Assassin
Each time you intend to pull the trigger, you are compelled to shout a warning out to whoever may be around. It's usually something like, "GET DOWN," or "WATCH OUT."

7 Action Hero Hex
You are unable to pull the trigger without saying a witty one-liner. If the one-liner is terrible, the attack is considered impaired.

8 Lacracia's Turnabout Bullets
Bullets fired loop around and fly at whoever fired the gun. Particularly dangerous, unless you you're shooting people behind you.

9 Garden Gun
The gun fires seeds, which after a few months (with enough sunlight and water) will sprout a bullet flower.

10 Gunman's Impotent Rage
Bullets fired always peter out and fall to the ground after a few feet. The gun's still lethal within a yard or two, but outside of that even the peanut curse is better.

11 The Insatiable Monster Mouth
The gun fires normal bullets and operates fine, however you have no idea where these bullets come from because the chamber has been replaced with a mouth that constantly begs for water. No water, no bullets.

12 Pervert's Only Shot
The gun ejects a strange sticky substances that latches on the target and will attempt to reel them in like a fish. Certain particular weirdos don't even consider this one a curse.

13 Queen's Curse
The gun fires bees, which could be a useful method of attack if the bees weren't impartial and just as eager to sting you as anyone else.

14 Lacracia's Coward Bullets
Bullets fired only hit people who aren't looking at you. For anyone who can see you, the bullets pass cleanly through them.

15 Slippery Hand Hex
Every time this gun is fired, it falls out of your hands. It doesn't matter if you nail the damn thing to your wrist--it will find a way to wrestle itself loose and fall to the ground.

16 Underwear Snare
The gun will only work if you are stripped down to your underwear. You have no idea how the gun knows this, and for whatever reason it doesn't work if you're naked.

17 Poet's Curse
Everytime you fire the gun, you must recite the phrase, "I shoot the gun," and then follow it with a line that rhymes. It has to be a different line every time, or the gun misfires.

18 Beuracracy Bullets
Each time the trigger is pulled, a small contract ejects from the barrel that must be read, signed, and returned to the barrel. After this has been done, a bullet will fire within 3-6 minutes.

19 Nosey Neighbor's Nightmare
Each time the gun is fired, your nose gets longer.

20 Elzandra's Metronome
This gun sends out a never-ending clicking sound that repeates infinitely, and can only be fired to the beat.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Into the Old West (ItO Old West Tables)

Here is your starting equipment table for Into the Old West.

3-7 Pistol (d6)
Hidden Blade (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Sense nearby sorcerers
Pistol (d6)
Hidden Derringer (d4)
Bottle of Whiskey
Sense nearby Arcana
Shotgun (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Immunity to acid, lye, etc.
Pistol (d6)
Saber (d6)
Immune to charms
And poison
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Longbow (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
8-9 Rifle (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Hound (3HP, d6 bite)
Rifle (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Rifle (d8)
Protective Gloves
Shotgun (d8)
Pistol (d6)
Shotgun (d8)
Grappling Hook
Longbow (d8)
10-11 Saber (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Rifle (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Pistol (d6)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Ferret with telepathic
Cutlass (d6)
Shotgun (d8)
Talking Parrot
Minty Breath
Saber (d6)
Never Sleeps
12-13 Pistol (d6)
Salt & Pepper
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Pistol (d6)
Smoke Bomb
Rifle (d8)
Locksmith Tools
Game Set
Shotgun (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Rifle (d8)
Bottle of Whiskey
3 Candles
14-15 Pistol (d6)
Pistol (d6)
Smoke Bomb
Shotgun (d8)
2 Dynamite
Pistol (d6)
Animal Trap
Pistol (d6)
Hand Drill
Saber (d6)
Fire Bomb
16 Rifle (d8)
Rifle (d8)
2 Dynamite
Pistol (d6)
Pistol (d6)
Bowie Knife (d6)
2 Candles
Dual Pistols (d8)
Magnifying Glass
Lost Eye
Longbow (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
1 Dynamite
17 Shotgun (d8)
Bottle of Wine
Pistol (d6)
Pistol (d6)
Burnt Face
Pistol (d6)
Whip (d6)
Lost Eye
Rifle (d8)
No sense of smell
Shotel (d6)
1 Dynamite
Glowing Eyes
18 Shotgun (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Whisper of a Voice
Pistol (d6)
False Leg
Pistol (d6)
Repels Animals
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Saber (d6)
Debt (3g)

Roll 2d6 for your hat as well.

3  Coonskin Cap
4-5   Straw Cowboy Hat
6-8   Bowler (Derby)
9-10 Felt Cowboy Hat
11   Slouch Hat
12   Tophat

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mexican Standoffs and Quick-Draw Duels in Into the Odd

It occurs to me that making Into the Odd work in the old west basically only requires messing around with the equipment and starter tables. You could argue this is true with almost any setting. However, I've decided to go a step further and create rules for Mexican Standoffs and Duels. I tried to keep them as simple as possible to keep in the spirit of ItO.

Please note, these aren't a replacement for normal combat and shouldn't be used all the time. Standoffs can be a good way to start off a fight, but only when it makes sense. Duels are more involved affairs, and either incredibly deadly or hilariously awkward depending on the skill of the duelists.

Mexican Standoff
Each person involved secretly designates a target. Do this by writing them on an index card or something.

Each combatant then makes a DEX save and records the difference between their roll and their DEX ability score. We'll call this the DRAW. Anyone who fails their DEX save either hesitates or misses their shot.

Starting from the highest DRAW, the player reveals their target and rolls damage as normal. Anyone shot this way forfeits their ability to fire during the standoff, regardless of whether they were rendered unconscious or not.

This continues until everyone has fired or been shot.

Here is an example.

Four gunfighters stand in a circle: Lil Bob, Big Bob, Bobbina, and Dog Horseman. Each of them secretly designates a target, and makes their DEX save. 

Lil Bob fails his DEX save right away, so he hesitates. Big Bob rolls a 4 vs a 10 DEX, so his DRAW is 6 (10 minus 4). Bobbina's DRAW is 8, and Dog Horseman's DRAW is 11.

Starting with Dog Horseman who scored the highest DRAW, he reveals his target which is Bobbina. He rolls damage, and Bobbina is shot. Normally, Bobbina would shoot next since she has the 2nd highest DRAW, but she can't because she was shot. Next, Big Bob reveals his target was Lil Bob and rolls damage. Lil Bob is shot, and never got to fire in the first place because he flinched. 

From here on, combat would continue as it normally would, favoring the party of the person with the highest DRAW. 

Duels use the concept of DRAW but in a different way. In a duel, two slingers face off until some external force compels them to shoot one another.

We do this in rounds. During the first round, both players simultaneously make a DEX save and record their DRAW. We continue doing this until either player fails their DEX save, recording their DRAW each time they roll.

After the first failed DEX save, both players build a dice pool. For each DRAW value that was recorded, find the closest die value that it exceeds, and add it to the pool. For example, if you have a 5, you would add a d4. If you have an 8, you would add a d8. Anything less than 4 is disregarded, and anything higher than 12 is considered a d12.

Both players roll their dice pool, and the highest scorer wins the duel and deals damage equal to the sum of the dice.

Here is an example. 

Loose McGoose is facing off against Lucky O'Ducky. In three rounds, they get DRAW values as outlined below. 

Loose McGoose: 4, 9, FAIL
Lucky O'Ducky: 2, 8, 7

McGoose's dice pool looks like this: d4, d8. 
O'Ducky's looks like this: d8, d6

One die is missing from O'Ducky, because any DRAW lower than 4 disregarded, since there is (for our purposes) no die smaller than d4. 

Both roll their dice pools. 

McGoose rolls a 7, and O'Ducky rolls a 12. O'Ducky scores fortune's favor and shoots McGoose, dealing 12 damage. 

Typically, a duel ends after the first shot, but a less honorable person may choose to continue firing. I leave that up to you.

Q. What happens if both duelists roll the same amount?
A. They both take damage

Q. What happens if neither duelists scores a DRAW higher than 3?
A. They fumble around ineffectually or fire into the air.

Q. What if my character only has 3 DEX?
A. Try shooting people in the back instead.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Not Having Fun Anymore

The other night I ran a game of 5e for a group of almost entirely new players, and for the first time ever had a player get visibly upset and quit the game. I admit I wasn't at the top of my game since I don't play 5e and I find the official material to be virtually unusable at the table, but I was trying my best. I was annoyed mostly because he couldn't explain what I had done wrong. I'm a big boy and I remember sitting through countless critique days and having my paintings/drawings/prints torn apart by my peers. It takes a lot to get to me when it comes to my art, but what really gets under my skin is people not being able to articulate their criticism.

He eventually apologized, and while I think it would totally inappropriate to quote his apology word for word, it came down to expectations. When you watch Critical Role or listen to podcasts, the game appears one way. When you finally play it, it may end up wildly different.

It's something I understand on a personal level. I originally became interested in D&D when I was looking for difficult games to play. Of course there were the Souls games, the Dodonpachis of the world, and countless roguelikes--but what I was looking for was the feeling my father described when recounting D&D games he had played during his time in the Navy. The sense of danger lurking around every corner, poking every goddamn thing with a stick just in case, and going through entire packs of cigarettes out of stress.

When I finally joined a D&D game, of course it was nothing like that. The DM had cooked up pages and pages of plot and theatrics. I was compelled to build my character a certain way or be 'fucked' (his words). I'm not bashing that style in particular because I know some people live for that, but it wasn't what I was about.

Anyway, I'm not excusing said player's shitty behavior. He ruined my fucking night and killed a decently good buzz we had going. This whole thing has just been on my mind for a while. With a lot of people being introduced to roleplaying via streams and podcasts comes a whole new set of attitudes and expectations, and I look forward to more awkward confrontations in the future.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Forbidden Spell Library

I was reading about Ars Magica and other verb + noun magic systems and I thought wouldn't it be great if there were an impossibly large amount of weirdly specific words to pull from? No? Okay, well I made it anyway.

Forbidden Spell Library 

What the spells do is obviously up to interpretation, but I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Street Fighting Dogs - ItO Hack for Yakuza (Ryu ga Gotoku), Final Fight, or Yankii stuff


I've been occupied with the holidays but after playing Yakuza Zero and Kiwami, I really wanted a game that would model street fighting in a simple way. Anyway, I completely failed.

The end product is Street Fighting Dogs, named after a song by my dad's high school rock band about fighting off the Man who would try to pry rock and roll out of his burning teenage fists. The game uses a double blind system like you see in a lot of pseudo-fighting-game style games, and in testing I found it to be completely clunky. However, I thought maybe somebody would find a use for it so I'm sharing it here.

It is a hack of Into the Odd that introduces a bunch of needless combat mechanics, and an alternative 'task resolution' system based on how good you are at karaoke. It's actually so far removed from Into the Odd that I'm kind of ashamed to call it a hack, thought I guess hack is the correct term for tearing something apart to the point where it's unrecognizable.

Happy new year, everyone.