Monday, September 28, 2020

5e GM Reference Cheatsheet/Playmat

 I like the utility of the GM Screen, but I don't like the... screen part. Plus it's not super helpful for playing online.  So I knocked together a playmat. It's mostly 5e, with a few tweaks I made, some rules brought over from Knave and The Black Hack, and some "GM moves" from BitD/AW/DW.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

SALVATION ON A BAYONET, a Warband list for Grimlite

I recently pulled all my old 40k minis out of storage and have been going through them to see what's still usable and whatnot, and I sequestered a bunch of the random pirate/renegade/random Imperial Guard conversions I'd made over the years for the purposes of GRIMLITE, Chris McDowall's skirmish wargame. I like the included warbands well enough, but, well, I gotta be me and make my own.  This is the first draft, based on the minis I have available.

The People's Defence Brigades

They trade protection and technology to villages in their territory for supplies and recruits. This is not optional.  "We will save this doomed planet, whether they want it or not."

LEADERS (5pts)
Lieutenant (Precise 3+)
Ruthlessly trained by the Captain-General, these officers lead their brigades with an iron fist.
Spend up to 5pts on weapons

Tactic - Forward! Spend two actions. Every Ally that can see you can immediately Move even if they are Exhausted
Link: Your nearest Ally can use one of your three Actions, even if they are Exhausted.

Discipline Officer (Fierce 3+)
These die-hard believers in the Cause stalk the battlefield ensuring discipline and compliance.
Spend up to 5pts on weapons

Icon: Allies that can see you count as Touching you when rolling Recovery.
Tactic - Found Wanting! Deal 1 Wound to an Ally you are Touching. All Allies who can see you immediately roll Trauma, treating results of 2 as 1.

Sergeant (Tough 3+)
These grizzled vets are the backbone of each Brigade, often leading in their own right.
Spend up to 5pts on weapons

Sensor: You and your nearest Ally ignore penalties for Firing at targets in Cover.

Reviver: Use an action to have an Ally you are Touching automatically Recover.

AGENTS (3pts)
Specialist (Precise, 4+)
Sharp-eyed snipers, demolition specialists, and heavy weapons troopers.
Spend up to 4pts on Weapons from the Special Weapons and Small Arms lists.

Scout (Elusive, 4+)
These soldiers know how move silently and kill cleanly.
Spend up to 4pts on Weapons from the Small Arms and Melee Weapons lists.

Stormtrooper (Nimble, 4+)
They lead the way, breaching and clearing occupied positions. Great honour, short lives.
Spend up to 4pts on Weapons from the Small Arms list.

Trooper (Precise, 5+)
The standard dog soldier of the Brigade, given basic training and a sturdy rifle.
Spend up to 2pts on Weapons from the Small Arms list.

Raiders (Fierce, 5+)
Wholly devoted to the Cause, these poorly armed volunteers rush ahead to engage the enemy.
Spend up to 2pts on Weapons from the Small Arms and Melee Weapons lists.

Special Weapons
RPG (1x3, x2 Damage if you have not Moved this Turn)
Flamethrower (1x3, Free Shoot at an enemy when you move into contact with them)
Light Machine Gun (3x1, Shoot twice if you do nothing else this turn)

Grenade Launcher (1x2, If you Down a target they are also Exhausted)
Sniper Rifle (1x2, Roll twice for Shock and choose the result)

Small Arms
Blunderbuss (1x4, disabled if a 1 is rolled)
Grenades (1x2, x2 Damage vs targets touching Cover)
Pulse Pistol (1x2, Free Shoot at an enemy when you move into contact with them)
Heavy Pistol (1x2, Roll twice for Shock and choose the result)

Pulse Rifle (2x1)
Shotgun (1x2)

Melee Weapons
Mecha-Fist (1x3, if you Down a target they are also Exhausted)

Energized Blade (2x1, Target Saves at QL5+)
Ripper Sword (2x1, x2 Damage on attacks rolling 6)

Blade, Club, Bayonet (2x1)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

HOW DO YOU HUNT A BEAR, or, Excerpts From a Bestiary

Rewatch: The 13th Warrior (1999) | I enthuse
How DO you hunt a bear?

 At some point my decision to convert the OD&D bestiary to The Black Hack to make my life easier while stocking a hex crawl has turned into a much larger project. Because scope control is for nerds.

I just finished the "Animals" section and thought I'd share some (unedited and untested) highlights...

Bears, man.  They're bad news.

In seriousness, one interesting thing I found while exploring the OD&D and B/X bestiaries is that animals are appropriately scary in a way that they really aren't in later editions. In 5e a bear is not a significantly greater threat than an orc.  Which is just wrong. I would assume that the mundane got pushed down the Challenge Rating to make room for the fantastical. I decided I wanted to keep mundane animals as proper threats, while adding some fantastical-ness to them.

I am a Very Serious Designer

You should be afraid of herbivores.

But not everything needs to be an existential threat.