måndag 26 mars 2018

ACT: Mundane & Exotic Leather Armour

My first article in my series of Armour Customization Tables (ACT) begins with the kind of armour that any aspiring delver should look to for protection before she has looted her first dragon's hoard or troll's bounty and can look to more expensive gear: The Leather Armour. Mundane leather is the cheapest armour available and it is also usually available off the shelf unlike plate or mail armour which can take months to commission if your going for full body armour.
Example #1: Light Soft Leather Jerkin
DR 1 (0 vs pi, imp) Torso + arms to elbows (42%)
Cost $61, Wt 7,56lbs

Armour Types

Basically there are three types of armour:
Example #2: Medium Lamellar Leather Cuirass
DR 2 Chest + Abdomen (22%)
Cost $130, Wt 7,68 lbs
  • Soft Leather Skins: flexible cured but not hardened leather or fur, basically leather clothing. Has a DR penalty of -2 to pi and imp but flexible means it can be worn under or over other kinds of armour.
  • Hardened Leather: Cured leather skins handened and formed into plates. A little heavier than soft leather and isn't flexible but in return has no DR penalty. The hardening process makes it a little more expensive than soft leather aswell.
  • Leather Scale or Lamell: Hardened Leather punched into scales or lamells and then riveted or laced to itself or to a leather backing. Takes a lot more time to make than Hardened Leather due to all the riveting or lacing but results in a slightly tougher(Lesser Wt / DR) piece of armour.

Even to the weight of the end product differs, all three types of armour uses the same amount of raw materials which equals Wt of soft leather of the same DR and leather quality.

The making of all types of mundane and exotic leather except very fine exotic leather count as artistic work which means that Work Hours are halved as long as there are at least two leatherworkers present.

Leather Qualities

There are also three different qualities of leather:
Example #3: Fine Medium Hardened Leather Chestplate
DR 2 Chest + Abdomen (22%)
Cost $147, Wt 6,82 lbs
  • Mundane Leathers: Made from skins of Rabbit, Fox, Goat, Cow, Ox, Elk, Deer etc etc. Cheap and Regular quality armour made of mundane leathers is generally available off the shelves while an Apprentice (skill 9+) can make fine armour and a Journeyman (skill 12+) leatherworker will be able to make very fine quality. Price of cured mundane hides is $ 5 per lb.
  • Exotic Leathers: Extra tough hides from exotic animals like wyvern, dire wolf, owlbear, giant ape, frost snake etc, it's up to the GM to draw the line between what counts as regular or exotic. Exotic hides could also possess small bonuses like +1 poison resistance for wyvern skin or +1 DR against cold for frost snake etc. Exotic leather is generally not available in cheap quality due to the cost of the material. At least one kind of Regular quality exotic armour is usually available off the shelves  (GM’s decision what kind of exotic game there is to be found in the surroundings) while a Regular (skill 12+) leatherworker can make fine armour and a Master (skill 16+) leatherworker will be able to make very fine quality.Price of cured exotic hides varies around $ 20 per lb depending on availability of hides in the area.
  • Otherworldly Leathers: Skin or Scales of truly fantastic beings like demon skin, pegasus hide, astral tiger fur, mermaid scales, etc. On the high end we find hide and scale of dragons. These kinds of leathers always possess magical abilites on top of Damage Resistance (like DRx3 against fire for Dragonhide/scale). Otherworldly leathers will be elaborated in a later post.

Soft Leather Hide

Mundane Leather Exotic Leather

Bulk Protection Description Wt (lbs) Cost Wt (lbs) Cost Work (h) Work Qual
DR 1 Pelts from small animals or young medium sized ones 22,5 $ 96 16,9 - 52 Cheap
18,0 $ 146 13,5 $ 381 67 Regular
14,4 $ 278 10,8 $ 627 81 Fine
12,6 $ 560 9,5 $ 831 88 Very Fine
DR 2 Pelts from medium sized animals or large young ones 38,8 $ 262 29,1 - 90 Cheap
31,0 $ 328 23,3 $ 967 116 Regular
24,8 $ 540 18,6 $ 1 329 139 Fine
21,7 $ 1 019 16,3 $ 1 648 152 Very Fine
DR 3 Pelts from Large animals 55,0 $ 646 41,3 - 128 Cheap
44,0 $ 686 33,0 $ 2 252 164 Regular
35,2 $ 943 26,4 $ 2 590 197 Fine
30,8 $ 1 600 23,1 $ 2 955 215 Very Fine

Traits Basically clothes made of leather or fur. Can be worn under (or over) other kinds of armour. DR -2 vs pi, imp

Example #4: Fine Light Soft Leather Hood
DR 1 (0 vs pi, imp) Skull, Neck and Shoulders (16%)
Cost $44.5, Wt 2,3 lbs
Example #5: Heavy Soft Leather Jacket
DR 3 (1 vs imp, pi) Torso, Shoulder, Upper Arm (39%)
Cost $268 Wt 17,16lbs

Hardened Leather Armor

Mundane Leather Exotic Leather

Bulk Protection Description Wt (lbs) Cost Wt (lbs) Cost Work (h) Work Qual
Light DR 1 Pelts from small animals or young medium sized ones 28,1 $ 108 21,1 - 68 Cheap
22,5 $ 176 16,9 $ 443 88 Regular
18,0 $ 352 13,5 $ 775 105 Fine
15,8 $ 722 11,8 $ 1 046 115 Very Fine
Medium DR 2 Pelts from medium sized animals or large young ones 48,4 $ 282 36,3 - 118 Cheap
38,8 $ 381 29,1 $ 1 073 151 Regular
31,0 $ 667 23,3 $ 1 583 181 Fine
27,1 $ 1 297 20,3 $ 2 019 198 Very Fine
Heavy DR 3 Hardened Leather Sheets from Large animals 68,8 $ 676 51,6 - 167 Cheap
55,0 $ 761 41,3 $ 2 403 214 Regular
44,0 $ 1 123 33,0 $ 2 951 257 Fine
38,5 $ 1 995 28,9 $ 3 482 281 Very Fine

Traits Hardening makes this type a little heavier and more timeconsuming (and thereby more expensive) to make than Soft Armor but has no DR penalties

Example #6: Very Fine Heavy Exotic Hardened Leather Chestpiece
with Shoulderpads, Vambraces & Tassets
DR 3 Torso, Arms except elbows and top of hand (52%)
Cost $1.811, Wt 15.0 lbs

Example #7: Fine Furlined Heavy Hardened Leather Tassets
DR 4 (3 vs pi, imp) Pelvis, Waist (12%)
Cost $168, Wt 7.0lbs

Leather Scale

Mundane Leather Exotic Leather

Bulk Protection Description Wt (lbs) Cost Wt (lbs) Cost Work (h) Work Qual
Light DR 1 Soft Scale or
Lamellar Leather
25,3 $ 185 19,0 - 171 Cheap
20,3 $ 388 15,2 $ 866 229 Regular
16,2 $ 914 12,2 $ 1 900 293 Fine
14,2 $ 2 336 10,6 $ 3 198 384 Very Fine
Medium DR 2 Hardened Lamellar
Leather (Laced)
or Hardened
Scale (Rivetted)
43,6 $ 330 32,7 - 246 Cheap
34,9 $ 589 26,2 $ 1 410 315 Regular
27,9 $ 1 227 20,9 $ 2 640 378 Fine
24,4 $ 2 562 18,3 $ 3 633 413 Very Fine
Heavy DR 3 Scale or lamell
riveted or sewn
(brigandine) to
hardened leather armor
61,9 $ 485 46,4 - 279 Cheap
49,5 $ 807 37,1 $ 2 053 391 Regular
39,6 $ 1 517 29,7 $ 3 386 447 Fine
34,7 $ 2 970 26,0 $ 4 371 469 Very Fine

Traits Scrap leather can be used for
making scale lowers material cost.
Rivetting or lacing is very
timeconsuming but yields a
lighter armour compared to
sheets of hardened leather.

Example #8: Heavy Scale Cuirass
DR 3 Torso, Groin, part of shoulders (35%)
Cost $282, Wt 17.3lbs
Example #9: Fine Light Scale Sleeves
DR 1 Arms (18%)
Cost $165, Wt 2.92lbs

lördag 24 mars 2018

Play Session 01, KotB 01 - Arrival at the keep, some scouting and a lession in the value of surprise

Today we had our first session of our Dungeon Fantasy game. Three players were present:

Boerge the Beef, Human Thug, 250 points
Father War, Human Inquisitor, 250 points
Honest Ernst, Human Ranger, 250 points

Boerges two allies, one guard and one weapon caddie were also present but their character sheets had not yet been finalized so I ruled they were there and could help out with mundane things but not participate in actual fighting, the trade off being that they did not need any upkeep or share of the loot for this session.

First off I gave them a short background, explained a thing or two about the setting and the area surrounding the keep and the caves, had the players introduce themselves and then let them loose. The characters (along with the missing PC, Amore) had hitched a ride on the same caravan and decided during the course of the two week ride after weighing the pros and cons about sharing the loot contra strenght in numbers to band together and head for the Caves. First of they had to sleep one night in town to recover and gather some information about the dungeon.

When they arrived at the gates of town they were greeted by a sign saying "No Elves!". Luckily none of them were although Ernst still decided to camp outside of town. A wood elf sat outside the gates begging for money to make is trip back to his home village in a swamp to the north but was shrugged off, Börje threw him a ration of food but he was otherwise ignored.

Father War had sent a message preparing his arrival and he was duly greeted by the town Curate and invited to sleep at the Chapel guestroom. When asked about the sign outside the gate, the Curate explained that it was put up by the keep Commander, why he does not know but it was not a big deal since no elves lived permanently inside the walls of the keep and noone had much approval towards elves anyways. Boerge spent the rest of the day in the tavern, where he met an old miner that once worked in the strip mine that is now known as the Caves of Chaos. He told of evils contained within the rock, making curious miners go mad, come out of the mountain lethally ill or disappear without a trace.

Amore and Boerge were sent to the Commander the following morning (only Boerge went, Amore were nowhere to be seen) for a request to recover a custom made shining plate armour that was stolen off a caravan a couple of weeks ago.

After that they met up and decided to do some scouting and maybe go into one of the caves. Under perfect conditions the trip could be made in a day if you rush it but the party was in no rush. They followed the trade route east during the first day only meeting the occational riding guard and spotting a curious crow watching them from atop a firtree. They set up camp where the road split northward towards the caves. From there they had only a few hours of travel the next day to reach the caves. During the night Boerge heard loud snarling and growling noises and almost instantly decided to wake up the others and prepare for battle.

He made some noise waking up the others and when he was going out to meet the threat he saw four gnoll shadows approaching about twenty yards from the camp. He felled one instantly by throwing a mace straight on the knee while Father War was preparing to light things up with a Sunlight spell... which he critically failed! A beam of total blackness hit the earth where the sunlight spell was supposed to go which meant noone saw anyone else anymore. Ernst aimed his bow through the blackness toward where he last saw the enemy but the arrow appeared to miss. When Boerge ran around the blackness the next turn big darkpurplish worms had started to appear along the edges of the blackness and all gnolls except the one on the ground and one more had disappeared, their superstition getting the best of them. Two spears flew out from the woods a few yards further back  though, one hitting him on the side of his helm but without him taking any damage. He threw another mace and then went into close combat with his flail. He bashed the head in on the other gnoll with his first attack, supported by arrows and a sunbolt from the other PC's. Another volley of spears flew out of the forest before the gnolls decided to make a run for it. Boerge wanted to follow them but was convinced not to by his companions. Before the blackness faded a cloud of ravens flew out of it toward the night sky.

The next day they travelled the last bit and set up a new camp about a half hours travel from the caves while Ernst scouted ahead. He saw a watchtower on the far side of the small valley but no activity around it. One entrance straight below it had a number of different sized rocks and gravel outside of it, indicating that it is currently being excavated. On the near side he saw some tensed up hides and a fireplace down the slope and heard some faint snarling from that direction. The group decided to wait the night out, realizing that most of the caves inhabitants are probably night active, and head in at dawn the next day. Ernst made another scouting round and saw that indeed there were more activity during the night. The fireplace on the near side was lit up and a group of gnolls exited, the watchtower also had a lit fireplace beside it and there were light coming from another entrance further down the slope on the near side aswell as another entrance on the far side. One entrance on the far side was unlit during the night though, the PC's decided that must be the easy one and went for it after camouflaging the small cart they had brought along for the ride.

By the entrance they were hit by an awful stench and two out of three PC's started retching and the cleric had to Stop Spasm them before they could continue. Ernst also spotted what looked like bear tracks outside the cave. Once inside they found an alcove with an assortment of old bones and carcasses which they of course searched through without finding much more than a few coins. During their search they heard scratching noises both from inside small holes and crevices in the wall of the alcove aswell as from deeper inside the cave, Ernst could swear that the noise in the back of the cave was snoring though. Boerge prepared to run in and Ernst had to once again convince him to take a step back and let him sneak ahead first. Ernst confirmed that the noise was snoring when he spotted a sleeping owlbear in the next widening of the cave. They made some noice appoaching the owlbear but it failed to wake up and they had a chance to ambush it. It took them about seven turns to kill it though but it never really got to it's feet, but defending vigoriously, confused and surprised before it was felled, aiming for the head with a flail seemed to do the trick. After a quick search they found a nice bone-container containing a holy scroll but nothing else of value. When resting after the battle Ernst went ahead to search another alcove only to fail his perception-roll and in turn be ambushed by four giant rats!

The rats gnawed and clawed at Ernst, crippling one of his arms and hurting one of his legs before he had a chance to turn and run, only to collide with Boerge running into the entrance of the alcove and slam into the cave wall, hurting his hand in the process. Father War got a chance to try out his healing spells on Ernst while Boerge made short work of the rats who were unable to bite through the chainmail on his arms and legs.

After this battle we were short on time and wrapped up pretty quickly. The ranger with the crippled arm tried to skin the owlbear and made a pretty lousy work of it, then they had a short look in the last part of the cave, only to find a hole in the floor with water running down it's walls. Then I ruled they made it back to the keep without incidents. The group got a point each for exporation and another point just for the awesomeness of getting through their first session. The loot was pretty meager, they sold some gnoll spears and leather armor parts aswell as the scroll they found in the owlbear cave, it was enough for two people to get a point each and the third got MVP which equals three points each. They forgot to sell the owlbear hide but I don't think it would've been enough for another CP anyways. They will most likely do when we start the next session though.

fredag 23 mars 2018

Keep On The Borderlands - Background for the players

Here's a short background about the setting that I went through for the players before I let them loose in the Borderlands:

Rumors have reached the capital about trouble brewing around the kingdoms northern outpost, a hilltop keep aptly named "Northern Gate". Caravans on the trade route to the east of the keep have been raided, rangers hunting in the forest have spotted increased orc activity apart from the usual bands of gnoll and one or two farms have had their crops stolen and livestock abducted and found slaughtered. The source of the troubles has been pinpointed to an old stripmine that was used to mine the stone needed to build the keep decades ago.

The keep commander "Berand" at first insisted that everything was under control but after one group of city guards sent out to investigate disappeared and another group came back badly maimed without even reaching the site there were few people that enlisted willingly for the next trip. This forced the commander to suspend caravans going east from the keep, increase riding guard frequency along the trade route aswell as sending a formal request for aid to the kingdoms central administration. Meanwhile hunters returned with even more worrysome news: wierd chanting has been heard in the woods during the night, there has also been haunting displays of light on the night sky above the area of the strip mine indicating foul magic which mobilized the keeps clerics to send a similar message to the church central command.

Kingdom and Church officials responded warily, not willing to throw resources and manpower on an minor problem in a remote area of the kingdom. What they did though was to forward the request to the Adventurers Guild that whoever were willing to investigate the site and help the commander out was promised to keep anything valuable they might find and that they were also exempt from any and all of the commanders usual taxes for trading within the keep. They also enlisted a caravan to transport the first able men who signed up free of charge and sent with them a letter that would grant them one weeks free accomodation provided by the commander upon arrival signed with the kings sigil.

The PC's, lured by a number of different motivations, namely to investigate the evil chanting (cleric), to track an orc band who once raided his home village (knight), to help rural people in need (scout) or just to match his superior sword skill against real foes instead of dueling partners (swashbuckler) but mostly by the promise of loot aplenty they all passed the inital requirements set by the Adventure's Guild and got their spot on the caravan.

During the two week long trip from the heart of the kingdom to the borderlands the four PC's quickly realized they could make use of each others skills in the wilderness and decided to band together.

onsdag 21 mars 2018

GURPS Resources: Gnolls and Kobolds

As most people who try their luck GM'ing GURPS knows is that it can be really hard to find good resource-material so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you want a particular monster or NPC in your campaign. Some material can be found in different GURPS sourcebooks but it's usually in the form of "templates" or "lenses" for you to build your NPC around which can be really tedious for something that you only plan to be a fodder-fight or townsperson but you still want to have balanced and somewhat fleshed out characteristics.

The Gurps Repository is a good place to start if you just want a random monster. The entries are a bit varied in terms of quality but sometimes it's nice to just pull a monster straight of the web.

One site I found the other day is Michael Amos' Gurps Page that has some really thought through material on Gnolls and Kobolds in a format that I really appreciate, there's also a small dungeon writeup for each of the races. Since both races feature in the Caves of Chaos I think this is excellent material for someone playing that particular scenario with the GURPS or GURPS Dungeon Fantasy ruleset. I ended up using some Gnoll spear-throwers and Macemen straight away for a nightly random encounter which wasn't much trouble for the PC's, mostly due to these Gnolls being really supersticious and on the edge which I will get to in my Session Report that's coming up soon.

tisdag 20 mars 2018

Post-Session Report, Session 01

We have now had our first session of my Dungeon Fantasy campaign and it feels really nice to finally be up and running and the players seemed to be enjoying it aswell.

We had a total of three fights to get us warmed up with all the skill mods, hit locations, major wounds, range ruler etc that is GURPS advanced combat. I missed a few things like how to properly use Wild Swings (maximum skill 9!) and the difference between Wild Swing and Move and Attack but on the whole it had a nice flow to it I think. I'm going to look through the rules about fighting with a shield a bit more aswell since it seems like there are a few more drawbacks than I initially thought.

Also if anyone out there has a link to a chart that converts +damage to +dice please share it with me because I can't seem to find it, I know the conversion is pretty simple but it would be nice to have it in print. Right now the Flail-armed Weapon Master has 2d+8 swing damage, that should convert to something like 4d+1.

lördag 3 mars 2018

Hello fantastic world!

Hello Dungeon Lovers!

My name is Muggi and right now I'm in the process of splitting the map of the Caves of Chaos from the Gary Gygax 1979 ADnD-adventure The Keep on the Borderlands into four floors and adding and changing a bit here and there for use against a group of four delvers hopefully sometime in the near future, characters are made and the first real playsession is scheduled in a few weeks time. I'm hoping to post parts of their journal alongside my own accounts as the Dungeon Master.

Ruleset will be GURPS Dungeon Fantasy and characters are 250-point standard delvers. "Why GURPS?" you might ask? Well I've always loved GURPS for the way it incorporates character background and personality in the character creation process through mainly disadvantages but it is also to an extent reflected in the advantages and skills one chooses. It's even better with Dungeon Fantasy where the classes have a pretty congested set of options to choose from which ensures that players pick traits and abilities that are relevant to the kind of character they're playing.

The other thing I'm psyched about is the tactical combat that will be a big part of the campaign. I've always wanted to learn the GURPS rules properly but it's always been the 100+ pages of combat rules that have prevented me from taking the final step over the line. This time I'm going to really try and bring the players along for the journey and make them get involved in the rules and thereby learn them better myself.