Friday, 30 December 2011

Here we go again - tinkering with combat

Yes I know it has all been done before, and you won't see anything not been blogged before by others, but with a new year pending I just can't stop myself.


Part 1:
Dexterity as evade score, shields modify evade score, helmet rules, armor reduces damage (not to hit probability)...

To hit an opponent
To hit an opponent roll a d20 (+ any modifiers) equal to or above an opponents evade score.
Dexterity bonus applies ‘to hit’ (melee and missile)
[Conversion from descending AC for most monsters: Evade score = 19 – AC]

To avoid being hit by an opponent
Evade score                               = Dexterity Score
Small Shield (150cn enc)           = +1 evade vs 1 attack
Large Shield (300cn enc)           = +1 evade vs 2 attacks

Strength bonus applies to damage from melee, thrown weapons, bows (not crossbows) etc

Armor Class
Damage reduction per die
Leather & padded hood
-1 damage per die

Chain & coif/helmet 
-2 damage per die

Platemail & helmet
-3 damage per die

Great Helm  
Additional -1 damage, surprised on a 1-3

A successful hit will always deal a minimum of 1 damage per die.
If head protection is not worn, armor will not reduce the damage of a 2nd successful attack that round.

Monster List for Labyrinth Lord demonstrates damage reduction not hard to apply to the majority of monster attacks. e.g. 2d8 damage and leather armor would reduce each d8 by 1 (minimum of 1 damage per die)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Kids D&D - Rescue the King

In September I introduced my two children (girl 7 and boy nearly 5) to D&D when they had an epic adventure to Rescue the Princess. You can read about it here.

When, as my kids like to refer to them, we had the 'cousins' to stay in early December (boy 11, girl 9 (who is reading the Lord of the Rings! after finishing the Hobbit), boy 7) it only required minimal of nagging from my two children, to return to the campaign world, because shock horror, and at my son's request, now the King had gone missing.  

Rescue the King

Once again I used Jimm Johnson's excellent Kid's D&D rules and character sheets. A perfect complexity for this age group.

I also had access to my Warhammer miniatures - goblins, characters a manticore!

For a map I did a quick google search for D&D castle maps and stumbled on drnuncheons gameblog who alerted me to this modification of Castle Caldwell by Warlock's Home Brew.

I only used the ground level map and made room 24 (where the King was being held) only accessible from the secret door in room 13. The secret door can only be opened with a password that must be spoken in elven.

Each corner tower has a magic mouth that gives the following letters in order. P E N O

Below are some notes I made.


AA - 6 goblins with bows (I made the dots in the room a metal portcullis which the goblins were hiding behind.)

1 - dining hall - magic food that heals if can answer a riddle

I found the first riddle from here.

Why are cooks cruel?
Because they whip cream and beat eggs!!

The next two riddles are from here.
Mary's father has 4 children; three are named Nana, Nene, and Nini. So what is is the 4th child's name?

It lives without a body, hears without ears, speaks without a mouth, and is born in air. What is it?

2 - sleeping quarters

7. Statue 
Crystal Statue from Labyrinth Lord
No. Enc.: 1d6 (1d6)
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (fists)
Damage: 1d6/1d6
Save: F3
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None
XP: 65

10. Two tables with large table cloth - 2 goblins hiding and jump out

11 Church - pray, answer 1 question. (1 question per player)

13 - 'OPEN' in elvish to get through secret door
Manticore also from Labyrinth Lord

And I could use my Warhammer Dark Elf Miniature.

No. Enc.: 1d2 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Fly: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6 + 1
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, bite) or 1 (spikes)
Damage: 1d4/1d4/2d4 or see below
Save: F6
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XIX
XP: 980

15 - Button on pillar 'Push me" - if do door locks and water starts to fill. Plug in floor.

21 - 2 large snakes in pit
Giant Python from LL
 No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d3)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 (bite, constrict)
Damage: 1d4/2d8
Save: F3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VI
XP: 350

19/22 - sleeping quarters
= hidden gold in chamber pot, other pots have goblin wee. Yuck!

23 - empty

24 - king

25 - kitchen
Big ogre cook keeps saying
"Get out of my kitchen"
Ogre stats

The Kids D&D rules are superb. Maybe after a few sessions they'll be ready to try B/X.

The riddles went down very well with the kids.

My son (the youngest player by 2 years) kept wanting to bash walls down with his head and lose 1 HP each time, but wasn't that disruptive.

All in all a great session. Yesterday we played again, at cousin enthusiasm, which inspired me to first write up this session. The theme for yesterday was 'Rescue the Queen' (what an unlucky family) and an army of dragons, both at my son's request . Hope to tell you about that session soon!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Message from the Jovial Priest

Merry Christmas everyone

J.R.R. Tolkien (above, that's not me in case you thought it was) believed that God is the master STORYTELLER. All human history points to God's great STORY, and within this story all of human despair and hope is contained. God's STORY contains catastrophe (when hope fails) and its opposite, eucatastrophe (when out of despair hope shines through, often more miraculous then could have ever been anticipated or wished for).

Tolkien considered the fall of Adam and Eve to be the human catastrophe. Man rejected God and broke off the relationship.

The birth of Jesus is humankind's eucatastrophe, when God became man, to renew that relationship and bring hope to the world.

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Since humans are made in the image of God, our stories and myths all point to the STORY. In Tolkien's work the explicit themes of catastrophe and despair are frequently juxtaposed against eucatastrophe and hope - from Aragorn's arrival at the Battle of Pelennor Fields to Gollum's slip at the Cracks of Doom. This is where Peter Jackson would have most disappointed Tolkien.  PJ missed the point and robbed the story of its most profound and mythic moment. Though if he had gone with Tolkien I am sure many many viewers would have cried out, just like many have after finishing the book, '6 hours of watching (1000 pages) and Frodo fails at the bitter end, Gollum slips and it's all an accident!' Tolkien would have answered, 'that's no accident - that's eucatastrophe and the providence of God is clear.' 

Today, we remember Jesus' birth.

Merry Eucatastrophe from the Jovial Priest

PS I'm not a real priest.

PPS I am role-playing one.  Should that surprise any one reading this blog?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mandorla: Gods and Elves - Chapter One - uploaded to Scribd

Last month I took a mighty plunge into a deep sea of uncertainty, by starting to publish, Chapter by Chapter, my heartbreaker - a fantasy novel I started writing twenty years ago.

 As promised, here is Chapter 1 to follow on from the obligatory prologue.