tisdag 5 juni 2018

Dungeon Lifehacks: GM-screen finished

My GM-screen is now filled with vital GM tables and lists, I've only used the complete screen in action once this far but it a great help while planning aswell to lookup basic damage for monsters etc.

Front side (towards the players)

Back side (towards me)

Miniature painting underway!

After using the same unpainted goblin miniatures for the third encounter in a row I realized I will need to get more miniatures and also start painting to heighten the experience of tactical battle.

I spoke to my neighbor who isn't in my game but is very interested and has run his own dungeon crawl a few years back. He told me he had a load of unpainted miniatures in his closet so I ended up buying about 50 of them, a nice collection of goblin-kin, gnolls, a bugbear, a troll, slimes and oozes, carrion crawlers, swarms and "dark ones" which I will use as kobolds. He and another friend also signed up to help me paint them during summer and also let's me lend his old miniature colors, files etc. So the last week or so I've bought they things he didn't have like spray paint, pencils and glue to be ready to start painting in the next couple of weeks.

I've also ordered a few more miniatures from Otherworld, Hobgoblins, Undead, Stirges, Fire Beetles and a Minotaur. If I manage to get some nice painting results I'll show them on the blog, otherwise they will only be shown if used on the battleboard. =)

torsdag 31 maj 2018

ACT: Chainmail

My second entry in my series of Armour Customization Tables, today focusing on Chainmail and Elven Chainmail.


Chainmail is a flexible weave of riveted links. It's made by linking the individual links together in a strong weave that covers parts of or your whole body. It's very timeconsuming which means that pretty much anyone with enough time and riveted links on their hands can make a passable piece of chainmail. The metal quality needed to make wire is very low aswell, making the cost of materials a fraction of the cost of labour unless you want to make it out of Mithril which I will return to in a later post.

Since chainmail is made out of thousands of tiny links it is very easy to repair and maintain, you simply replace broken or damaged links with new ones as needed, this also means that it's not very effective at stopping blunt force and is almost always used with cloth or leather padding underneath.

Chainmail of regular quality is generally available off the shelf as long as there isn't active conflict in the area where available armour would quickly become requisitioned by the military, used mail armour could reasonably be found anywhere though. Chainmail of fine quality requires Apprentice-level (Armorer 9+) skill to make and usually needs to be commissioned, breaking apart a regular quality mail and fitting it to the wearer takes a quarter the listed time. Very fine quality chainmail requires Journeyman (Armorer 12+) skill and always needs to be commissioned. Linking mail counts as routine work so up to six armorers can work together, effectively dividing time consumtion by six.


Elven Mail

Chainmail made by elven armorers use the same materials and takes as long time as regular chainmail but are more resistant to blunt force. Whether it is a special technique used to make it or if magic is involved in the process is lost to armorers outside the elven communes. Elven mail-makers are usually resticted to making regular mail until they reach a higher skill-level which means that fine elven mail requires Journeyman skill(Armorer 12+) and very fine requires expert skill(Armorer 16+). Expert Elven Armorers can also start making Elven Mithil Mail but that will be covered in a later post.

A PC's ability to buy Elven Armour is resticted not only by the availability of Elven Armourers of high enough skill but also his standing among the elves. Any PC without the "Elven Gear"-perk will have to add 10% to the price of Elven Mail. If the party is not on friendly terms with the community in with the armorer resides they might be barred completely from commissioning Elven Mail.


Regular Mail Elven Mail
Work Qual Wt (lbs) Cost Cost Work (h)
DR 3 Regular 27,0 $ 2 352 $ 3 051 891
Fine 21,6 $ 4 257 $ 5 681 713
Very Fine 18,9 $ 10 794 $ 14 610 624
DR 4 Regular 34,0 $ 2 961 $ 3 842 1122
Fine 27,2 $ 5 361 $ 7 154 898
Very Fine 23,8 $ 13 592 $ 18 397 785
DR 5 Regular 41,0 $ 3 571 $ 4 633 1353
Fine 32,8 $ 6 465 $ 8 626 1082
Very Fine 28,7 $ 16 391 $ 22 185 947

Traits DR -2 vs cr

Routine work Up to six armourers of high enough skill can work on the armour in tandem, dividing the work hours among them

måndag 21 maj 2018

Play Session 03, KotB 03: A dark encounter

This was also a little shorter session and quite heavy on information gathering.

Boerge the Beef, Human Thug, 257 points
 - Sture the Stone, Human Guard, 63 points
 - Benny the Bee, Human Weapon Caddie, 63 points
Amore son of Casanova, Human Duelist, 254 points
Father War, Human Cleric, 253 points

We started off in town with a short recap of what happened to Father War while the others were away trying to book a table at the hobgoblin restaurant. There had been a festival to the god of light in town (it was real world Easter during last session) and that was the reason he couldn't join the party to the last delve but had to attend some ceremonies instead. He also was a bit sick from being bitten by rabid rats so there was a wierd episode where he was holding mass for the people of Northern Gate, reciting a verse of pure inspiration while having a high fever, swaying the crowd to an almost exstatic state and then suddenly waking up in his bed in the chapel: cold, sweaty and feverish.

After they had sold the loot Sture was immediately off with his share to do some gambling, returning after a day or two asking for more but Boerge was intent on keeping half of his share for him as a future big payment which he sulkingly accepted.
The party used some holy scrying to really make sure that the ornate platearmour that they found during last session really was the commanders (they're 99% sure), then they had a fairly long argument about what to do with it and decided to keep it in the pawnshop/bank in a sack for the time being, trying to get a better deal on returning it (the commander hadn't promised them anything yet beside his gratefulness).
The day after giving the exotic-looking chainmail to the beggar-elf, a mystical message was left for Ernst which urged him to seek out the "old man of the forest" for answers to what's lurking in the Caves.
Then they were once again called up to the commander, he wanted an update on how they were doing, he had heard the rumors running around the tavern that they had returned from the caves with a cart full of loot. They made a fairly bad work of avoiding to arouse suspicion of the above mentioned plot (none of them are much of the talking type) but the commander didn't pressure them, he actually even offered 20 gold coins for returning the armour fast (he really needs it for a banquet he's holding in two weeks times). He also told them his guards had captured an orc in the woods that the PC's were free to question if they liked, but sadly the bloodythirsty, orc-hating Boerge just saw this as an opportunity to get some targetpractice with his flail so no new information was gained (none of them are the interrogating types either).
Before heading back towards the caves Amore was presented with a book by a shady-looking woman outside the tavern which he after some haggling decided to buy. It was magically sealed but Father War managed to temporarily dispel the magic. It was a diary of some kind from an inhabitant of the Caves, it's last entry was a few weeks old and said that the writer "Was heading back to the academy for further studies of the obtained items" with a reminder "to bring more jewellery for trading next time" before the dispel magic expired and the book slammed shut, nearly trapping War's fingers within.

Now off to the dungeon again, this time intent on taking care of the cursed ground problem on the way there. When they arrived on dusk the first day a large treetrunk had grown up in the center of the ash-colored piece of earth, without leaves and pitch black as if it had burned. When they walked closer they saw a body, charred and blackened by soot, impaled on a branch with arms held out in front of it, palms toward the sky. Father War fainted while the others attention was drawn to a ravens croak behind them, on the edge of the cursed area. Boerge didn't wait for it to react but started unleashing maces upon it while it transformed into a human shape, hitting the semi-translucent shape over the leg while it materialized but then stopping when it held up it's hand in front. The shape was of an old woman wrapped in dark robes, urging them not to go near the Caves because of the unspeakable evils within before disbanding into a pack of ravens shooting for the sky. At the same time they felt the ground under their feet move and hands started grabbing them from beneath as they had to drag the unconscious cleric out of the cursed ground while fending of two undead gnolls charging them. After taking care of them they waited for Father War to come to and decided to exorcise the ground which made the tree and body dissolve and both it and the ground peel of and take to the sky like the remains of a burned out book meeting a gust of wind.

When arriving near the caves, they did their usual routine of failing strategy and perception rolls and just headed straight for the goblin-entrance again, this time with the cleric falling behind and tripping as they ran down the hill, he hurt his leg but quickly healed himself and continued while the gnoll-camp started preparing to give chase on the lone prey but in the end they all made it safely into the caves. They immediately noticed a poorly concealed line of rope hanging across the roof of the entrance cavern, from the hobgoblin entrance to where they spotted the bear during last session but decided to let it be for now. They continued down the middle opening instead towards where the goblins came out of and found a room to the side filled with sawdust and (by goblin standards) fine quality carpenters tools lying about but nothing of value apart from that. They heard some shuffling of feet and following it found a staircase hewn out of the rock further down the main cavern. To keep a little of the element of surprise they decided to charge and met up with about six goblins preparing for battle in the first room down the stairs. Some nice acrobatics and sword-skill from Amore while Boerge was doing his trademark jaw-shot routine with his flail made the goblins a fairly easy work, with goblin spears and swords managed to get one or two hits in but only minor damage was made and easily healed up.

We decided to start next session outside the dungeon to keep the game moving. We're all still pretty new on the combat-rules (especially my players) so I think they're fine with things moving relatively slow from the start. 1 xp was awarded for exploration and MVP went to Boerge for his attempt to pry more money out of the commander's armour quest.

söndag 6 maj 2018

Post-Session Report: Session 03

The third session is now over and these are some of the things that happened:

* The Cleric had a vision during a holy ceremony in town

* Their new wood-elf friend left them a message

* They bought a wierd book from a shady woman, turning out to be a diary of some kind

* They spoke again to the commander of the keep, and tried to interrogate a captured orc

* On the way to the caves, they recieved a warning from a mysterious woman

* Inside the caves, they spotted a trap, inspected a room full of sawdust and smashed the skulls of another couple of goblins.

A session pretty heavy on lore and informationgathering so we decided it was ok to make camp outside the caves for a full session of delving next time.

onsdag 25 april 2018

Laws of the Dungeon: Slam & Knockback

In this series I will write about GURPS rules we come across during delves that requires a few readthroughs and usually a few examples and live uses before they're stuck in my GM-head. And maybe a tweak or two. =)

During my last session the knight of the party wanted to body slam a goblin standing in a doorway to push the whole pack back and prevent them from running past him, a perfectly valid action. Since I had only skimmed through Slam-rules once yet I just ruled a successful contest of ST with the goblin will force him back one hex. The real Slam-rules are a little bit more complex than that.


To land a Slam on an enemy roll DX, Brawling or Sumo Wrestling (whichever you like, usually the one that is highest) to hit, ignoring the skillcap imposed by Move and Attack.

If you hit, your intended victim gets an active defence, a successful Dodge makes you run straight through and at least one yard past, if there's a wall right behind the victim, that will spell trouble for you. A successful Parry or Block is a valid defence aswell but has a fair chance of breaking the weapon or shield aswell as still causing Knockback.

The effectiveness of your Slam is calculated using your encumbered Move aswell as your HP (DF Slam is calculated a bit different but equally complicated to I'll stick to Basic rules). I rule that you need to build up at least some momentum to be able to utilize your full Move-score for a Slam, otherwise I would say it's more of a Shove than a Slam. If you start your turn standing still you need at least one yard between you and your victim to use half your Move (keep decimals) and at least two yards to use your full Move (running for more than one turn can increase your Move by 20%, Enhanced Move can make your Slams lethal). The Move score is relative aswell meaning that if you move with 7 yards/turn velocity toward the victim and the victim stepped back 1 yard during his last turn the relative Move will be 7-1 = 6, the opposite is true for a chicken race.

Then you just calculate Slam damage using HP * Relative Move for both attacker and victim (Move will be the same for both parties) and then converting the result to damage-dice using this table:

x < 25 = 1d-3 cr
x < 50 = 1d-2 cr
x < 100 = 1d-1 cr
x < 150 = 1d cr 
x < 250 = 2d cr
etc upwards

Attacker can benefit from AOA: Strong for a bonus of +1 per die, minimum +2), if using a shield you can use that to add the shields DB to your damage and at the same time let the shield absorb the damage to you on impact, this is called a Shield Rush.

The one rolling the least damage has to roll DX to avoid falling down (attacker wins on a tie). If attacker rolls double or more damage then victim falls down automatically. A Slam can also cause Knockback if enough damage is dealt.


If you hit someone with a crushing attack or a cutting attack that does not penetrate DR then that attack can cause the foe can be knocked back by the force of the blow. For every full multiple of the foes ST-2 he is knocked back one yard and has a chance of falling down or colliding with something. For every yard past one the DX-roll to stay on feet gets an additional -1.

Damage from falling

To calculate falling-damage you use the same method as for slam but instead of using the relative move you look up Move in the table below. If the landing is on a hard surface, double HP for the purpose of the calculation.

1 yard = Move 5
2 yards = Move 7
3 yards = Move 8
4 yards = Move 9
5 yards = Move 10

Example: In the above example the Knight (HP 15, Move 5) charged the front Goblin (ST 8, HP 8) who in his turn moved one hex toward the knight. The Knight has a DX-score of 15, he rolls a 9 and hits, the goblin tried to dodge but fails. The total relative Move is 6 which results in a "Slam-score" of 90 for the Knight (1d-1 cr) and 48 for the Goblin 1d-2 cr, the knight also opts using All-Out Attack(Strong) and gets +2 to the roll. The knight rolls a total of 6 while the Goblin rolls 4 which means the Goblin will be Knocked back one yard and has to roll to stay on feet. The Goblin misses his DX-roll to stay on feet and falls down. I rule that all falls from standing for Size 0 humanoids equal a one yard fall which can only hit upper body. The landing is on a hard surface which results in a "Slam-score" of 80 (5*8*2, Move 5, HP 8, doubled by hard landing) which means another 1d-1 cr of dmg to the Goblin. The roll is a measly 1 which means the goblins leather armour absorbs it this time. The Goblin will be out of combat for at least two rounds though before getting on his feet again.

måndag 9 april 2018

Dungeon Lifehacks: My tactical hex-board

Last session I finally got to try out an idea I've been thinking about for a long time. The idea is pretty straightforward. Tape together four A4-sheets of hexpaper (or squares for that matter if you're bent that way) and put a thick plexiglass-sheet on top. If you have access to A3 or A2-paper that would be even better. Then whenever it's time for battle you can just use whiteboard markers to outline walls and doors, later on I hope to get my hands on some props aswell to fill the rooms with aswell as put some paint on the monsters. And later later on, when I have my own hobbyroom and my kids are big enough to help me out, this might be an option. =)

It worked surprisingly well, using a more permanent marker than whiteboard works aswell but then you need a solvent to clean it after each battle is finished.

The battleboard in action! In the background there's a sheet for keeping track of armour and injuries that will be the subject of a future Dungeon Lifehacks-post