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46

I believe it is a matter of story, and less a matter of mechanics. Mechanically, any monster, any NPC, any curse, any trap, anything the players encounter will have a solution, a stat to beat, and you as the GM would have calculated their chances and deemed it possible for them to defeat (speaking in generalities) The way to make the Undead scary is not to ...


38

Okay, so... You want to measure values from ~0 - ~90. You want even distribution, and high granularity (i.e. as many distinct values as possible). Well, that's easy. (Ceiling(1d6 / 2) - 1) * 36 + (1d6 - 1) * 6 + (1d6 - 1) AnyDice Provides values of 0 to 107, with even probability, and each value represented exactly once. Notes: Ceiling(1d6 / 2) is ...


27

Betrayal is achieved through imperfect information, possibly conflicting goals, and the ability for orders to be miscommunicated. (Caution, game theory ahead) Literature Review I'm going to assume that you're familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma, the iterated prisoner's dilemma, the stag hunt, (Kuhn 2009) and the problems with resource availability on ...


25

Good News! There's actually a template for that in the official rules - see here. That link contains all the information on creating a lycanthrope template for any were-thingy you can think of :) The specific details for a were-rex follow. rule quotes are shown like this specific details will appear below them like this. Creating a Lycanthrope ...


20

UPDATE (2014-07-25): He confirmed!!! Mark Rein·Hagen himself confirmed that this is a "pretty cool summary" of his strategies. Thanks Mark! Nothing unusual (which is good!) From The Gentleman Gamer interview with Mark Rein·Hagen and The Gentleman Gamer Interviews Justin Achilli, developer of Vampire: The Masquerade, it is clear that White Wolf have always ...


19

There’s a lot of material out there about class design, both specific to Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and to games in general. Even stuff about non-role-playing game design can provide good insights. So reading is my #2 suggestion. My #1 suggestion, though, is to put your work out there. There are a lot of forums dedicated to roleplaying games, and a lot of ...


18

Give him the Blind keyword and Tremorsense 0 The Blind keyword states that the creature uses special senses to 'see' within a specified range. The quotes are intentional because see is used as a game term here. The Blinded condition and the many vision-obscuring powers define not seeing something as it having total concealment against you. You can give ...


18

If you want your players' experience to actually "feel like" barter, coming up with an absolute value for everything is self-defeating. You end up with a de-facto currency system that just abstracts away all of the bartering. It's kinda like writing "500 gp worth of gems" on your character sheet in D&D — it's something players do when they don't ...


17

There is no base price in a barter system. When bartering, every single transaction is treated on its own merits. Each side looks at what it has to offer and what it wants and builds a deal based on that. Value isn't measured in anything like the same way we do it today. In many barter societies, food is the limiting factor. Valuable goods and services are ...


16

To answer your first question, yes, rules for using a quarterstaff that way is already in the rules. They're under "double weapons" and "Two-handed weapons" in the PRD. Double Weapons: Dire flails, dwarven urgroshes, gnome hooked hammers, orc double axes, quarterstaves, and two-bladed swords are double weapons. A character can fight with both ends of a ...


15

Just Roleplay It I've had the same situation come up in my game, a player wanted to play a blind warrior inspired by an anime where blindness is "cool" rather than "crippling." The problem in, in D&D 4th edition, blindness is CRIPPLING. As you see yourself from the blind condition, it heavily penalizes a player, and afflicting someone with that all the ...


14

My guess would be on Fate (either Core or FAE). Fate is a really popular game at the moment and, since it is a generic system, it's being used for pretty much everything now, from the published settings to homebrew My Little Pony or Doctor Who games. Unlike D&D and its brethen, Fate uses short, character-defining sentences called aspects such as ...


13

This is not the way to do this Wanting balance between caster and non-caster classes is as noble goal; however, adding mechanics that punish players for choosing to be spellcasters is not how to bring them in line. Random mechanics like Wild Magic just make the game unfun for spellcasters or those with spell-like abilities; sanity rules are difficult to ...


12

The key to fear is the unknown. It is familiarity that breeds the complacency you see. So, in your case, do not use creatures your players know. And give the ones they do know different, unexpected abilities. I once ran a campaign where my personal rule was to never use a monster out of the book. There were certain ecological niches - the orc niche, the ...


11

By no means should a GM attempt to implement many all of the following suggestions simultaneously without carefully considering the implications; some of these ideas are brutal enough all on their own. Inflate DCs One of the 'problems' with the disease mechanic is that "an ally can use a Heal check in place of your Endurance check to help you recover from ...


11

Something or someone makes a good icon when they are A significant mover and shaker in the setting, but Too removed, powerful, distracted or dangerous to get involved in events directly, and Suggest the potential for positive, conflicted, and negative relationships I'm afraid I don't know the Malazan setting, so I'm going to fall back on something that ...


10

In 4E the four defenses are calculated via 10 + bonuses, whereas the attack is d20 + bonuses. This means that in average the attack roll is 10,5 + bonuses. If you change this to attack score = 11 + bonuses and defense check = d20 + bonuses, you raise both the attack value and the defense value by 0,5 in average. So this is the preferred way, if you don't ...


10

For simplicity's sake, you could always do 1d6 * 3d6 - four dice rolls, minimum age of 3, maximum age of 108. The probabilities are wacky, though: EDIT: Secondarily, 6*1d6-1d6 (two dice rolls) can get you absolutely flat probability from 0-35. You can then leverage this to either roll and multiply: 2*(6*1d6-1d6) for multiples of 2 (even numbers), result ...


10

First off, that pair of wealth rules looks good. They'll work, and you're not going to break your game by using them. Go for it. Wealth in tremulus is a straight port of the wealth rules in Apocalypse World. In AW's system and context, jingle, it's lack, and its ease of losing are part and parcel of the scarcity theme that pervades the game and the ...


10

I don't know if even those guidelines exist. I have played WoD games for a long, long, long time. I have even made my own homebrew games. But I don't think there is step-by-step procedure to make a game. I think each game was made with different design goals and procedures in mind. Some traits can be found in most games, but not in all games. For example: ...


9

It is impossible to convert between epic levels and divine ranks in a way that is both systematic and fair. The reason for this is that neither "an epic class level" nor "a divine rank" is a constant measurement of character power. There is a massive variation to the power contribution of each depending on the specific options selected. To look at some ...


9

For the most Call of Cthulhu-like Sanity rules, try and get a copy of Call of Cthulhu d20, and adopt its rules as you see fit. The book also has excellent - in terms of d20 adaptation - mechanics for darker, unpredictable spells, spell costs and spellcasting. In case you truly want to run a Lovecraftian d20 fantasy, it also has great DM advice and a section ...


9

Damned are the Dead Before you had the American Zombie trope as the default of undead (slow, mindless), fantasy typically treated the undead as somewhat aware, damned and suffering. It's more horrifying when you realize that those poor folks are living (unliving) in torment, and they cannot sleep, cannot hope for death and this is what they will turn ...


9

This usage of a quarterstaff is historically attested (in fact, it predates the middle grip we're more familiar with from media), and your houserules seem to be well thought out and balanced well enough. As you say, "All other martial 2HW with 1d8 damage have some special properties," so houseruling a "new" 2H 1d8 martial weapon isn't unbalanced. There are ...


9

I say, go for it, but with two important caveats: Get player buy-in Make sure the players are on board for the tweaks you're planning. Are they veteran players used to playing a certain way and might resent it? Do they have certain expectations you'll be breaking? Make sure you don't make unilateral changes to the system. Be prepared to rollback This is ...


9

Gygax Would Like How You're Thinking The Dungeon Master's Guide (1979) for 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons has Appendix J: Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Vegetables (220-1), which alphabetizes a "Plant And/Or special Part" list and provides corresponding "Uses And/Or Powers" for each It doesn't, however, quantify those uses or powers with game ...


9

The two resources that I've collected (with pretty much the same aim as you), apart from the aforementioned Appendix J in the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, are: S. John Ross' Rules for Herb-hunting (with Fantasy Examples) Though made for GURPS, it is mostly a framework for how herbalists search for herbs, the quantity they may find, how to ...


8

I think the RAW approach here would be to take a look at the essentials mage. Each time the mage chooses daily, utility or encounter powers they choose two of the same level. Each day they prepare a set of spells determined by level (at level 1 its 1 daily, 1 encounter, at L2 its 1 daily, 1 utility and 1 encounter etc.). This gives you more of the ...


8

Here are some house-rules that might be useful as a guideline in your search. Use only Martial and Psionic classes. At 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 28th levels characters get a +1 to attack, damage, AC, Defenses and +1d6 to critical hits. This should keep them in line with monsters. Using Divine classes would be a judgement call, are they 'magic' or more a ...


8

You can find specific values for all possible magic items here, as the SRD offers rules for pricing any spell or bonus into any magic item. Be advised that this system can be abused pretty horribly (not that I'd ever have done that... nope) and that some of the magic items have silly prices when estimated by their concomitant spells



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