Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Friday, August 17, 2012

New version of Heroes of Lore!

Well, John Stater did me a mighty fine favor by laying out Heroes of Lore in the same style as Blood & Treasure. He also made it into a pdf! How cool.

The link still works, but it will instead take you to a download of the updated version instead. Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pulpwood! Mint Condition class: The Adventurer

Thought I'd actually post some stuff for Pulpwood! today. We have the Adventurer class, which forms the muscle for most groups.

Hit Dice: d10
Skill Points per Level: 3
Favored Save: Fortitutde
Class Skill: Athletics

The Adventurer is a master of combat. Anyone who ventures through this dangerous world should know how to protect themselves from harm, either inflicted by humans or otherwise.
Adventurers can be anything from an adventuring archaeologist, a martial artist master, a former boxer, a noble savage or even a soldier. They can be skilled at ranged combat or hand-to-hand, or they can be a tricky and dexterous fighter.

Adventurer Talents

Trademark Weapon- The Adventurer has a certain weapon that is basically synonamous with it's user, such as a whip or a pistol. When you take this talent, choose a weapon to apply it to; that weapon then increases the damage it does by one die type (d6 to d8, d8 to d10). For weapons with multiple damage die, this only increases one of them (2d6 becomes 1d6 + 1d8). Unarmed attacks can not be Trademark Weapons.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, you can either increase the damage of your Trademark Weapon by another die type, or you can have another trademark weapon. Having two trademark weapons would be for someone who has duel pistols or duel wields a lot.

Martial Artist- The Adventurer is a master of unarmed combat, be it either boxing, kung-fu or something else. The Adventurer's unarmed attacks do 1d6 damage instead of 1d4, and their attacks can hit normally unhittable creatures, like ghosts.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, you increase the unarmed damage to a d8.

Sharpshooter- The Adventurer is master at shooting long distances. When they aim a ranged weapon, they gain a +4 to hit instead of the normal +2.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, they can sacrifice their move to aim and fire in the same round.

Dual Pistols- The Adventurer can shoot a pistol from each hand. They can dual wield pistols, while other characters are not allowed to. Otherwise, the dual wielding works like melee dual wielding
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, the penalty to dual wield is reduced by 2. There is still a penalty, though, because of natural recoil.

Two Fisted Weapons- The Adventurer has become a master at dual wielding melee weapons. The penalty to strike with dual weapons is reduced by 2.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, the dual wielding penalty is reduced to 0.

Style Change- The Adventurer can switch up his melee attacking style to either deal more damage or be more protective. They can exchange up to +2 to damage to get -2 AC for a round, or vice-versa. This can result in you have a reduced damage bonus to your attack (a +1 becomes a -1). Doing this exchange counts as a move action. The styles should be given flavorful titles (Rabbit Punches, Floating Crane, Bezerker, etc.)
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, you can exchange up to 4 damage for -4 AC, and vice-versa.

Fancy Tricks- The Adventurer has become a very tricky fighter. While  anyone can attempt these kinds of tricks and manuevers, this Adventurer is particularly good at it. Pick a trick (such as throwing sand in someone's eyes, trick shooting, and so on), and whenever you attempt to do that trick, you get a +2 bonus. This Talent can be taken multiple times, each time applying to a different trick.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, the bonus to do that trick is increased to +4. An improvement only applies to one Trick, but multiples of this Talent can be improved seperately.

Atomic Strength- The Adventurer is extremely strong when it comes to things requiring endurance and power. They gain a +1 to non-combat Strength Action Rolls that require a lot of endurance, such as holding open a great, pushing a boulder, or moving heavy blocks.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, the bonus increases to +2.

Mysterious Power- The Adventurer has some kind of paranormal power. Maybe they can fly, turn invisible, run up walls, or something else. Discuss with your GM what you want, and he will tailor the ability to be fair.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, you gain another Mysterious Power.

Quick Reflexes- The Adventurer is rarely cornered, and always prepared. They gain a +1 when determining initiative.
Improvement- If this Talent is improved, the bonus increases to +2.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea has just got a formal release after its successful Kickstarter back in December, so I decided to give it a look.

ASSH, as it will now be called, is written by Jeffrey Talanian and put out under North Wind Adventures. It pens itself as a game of 'Swords, Sorcery and Weird Fantasy.' The tag of Weird Fantasy was what really drew me to the game, as I am an adamant fan of Lovecraft stories, and I haven't found that good system to integrate them into fantasy games.

ASSH is a pretty weighty PDF product. It comes with 6 files: The Player's Manual, the Referee's Manual, the Box Art (the game will be printed in a box set), a map of the setting, Hyperborea, and a two-page character sheet. The two manuals combined offer up about 500 pages, but the text is rather large, so the page numbers just seem to flit past.

In terms of the mechanics, its hard to mask my disappointment, honestly. I came expecting a very brutal rules set to reflect the deadly nature of weird fantasy, but all I got was an almost identical clone of AD&D 1e. Sadly, it's not even a very elegant clone; there are still all those warts from AD&D, such as disparaging task resolution, complex ideas such as weapon reach and combat tables, and different phases of combat. It even has the feel of a reference manual, with the table of contents listing Tables instead of topics. There is not even a detailed description about madness or sanity, which seems kind of contrary to weird fantasy. There is a system, but it is basically 1e's madness system. There is a fairly meaty Advanced Combat section if you like that kind of thing. If you like AD&D, then this is no problem, but for someone like me who started with 3e, I don't find very much appeal.

The game is class based, with the four traditional classes of Cleric, Fighter, Thief and Mage. There are also some pretty cool sub-classes, such as the Pyromancer, Ledgermainist (a slightly magical thief), and the Cataphract. There are no demi-humans in Hyperborea, but there are human cultures based on real world cultures, such as Celtics and Vikings. The max level is 12, which is kind of a strange number.

Spells are standard D&D fair, though the magician gets less spells than more high fantasy games. There are rules for Strongholds, Aerial Combat, Mass Combat and Naval Combat, but they all have that feeling of first edition rust on them.

The Referee Manual is a bit better. There is a bestiary, which is basically the 1e Monster Manual with some Lovecraftian monsters thrown in. The Treasure section is still pretty high fantasy, with things like +2 Fire Swords and Bags of Holding. The bright spot, though, is the setting. The setting is rich, detailed, and pretty creepy. Gods range from the ever graceful Apollo to the Lovecraftian Ithaqqua or Kthulu. I mean, even the lunar calendar is well detailed. It's a shame the system does not particularly back up the great setting.

The art in the books is really great, however. Ian Baggley is the sole artist, and he is a trained traditional artist. All of his work is done in charcoals, and its very dark and foreboding. The monster illustrations are pretty great, with the Elder Thing being really stand out.

Overall, ASSH has, what I feel, is a lot of failed potential. It's not a bad game by any means, and if you like 1e, it should hit a lot of sweet spots. I just don't feel like it accurately portrays Weird Fantasy in the rules, and is instead "D&D + Cthulhu", which you can do pretty easily by yourself. If the game was produced solely as a supplement for something like Labyrinth Lord, which would have the setting and additional classes, I would be much less disappointed. Granted, the entire 500 page product is only $10, so it's a pretty good steal and I don't really regret buying it.

I give ASSH a 7/10, mostly on account of the fantastic art and setting material. Though the mechanics are more than usable, I think they could have been so much more than they are.

You can buy ASSH through RPGNow or DriveThruRPG for $10.

Pulpwood! now has a followers bar!

Don't know why I didn't have this before. Now, on the right hand side underneath the Blog Archive, you can follow the Pulpwood! blog on Blogger. Oh boy!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Quick Errata for Heroes of Lore

I just found out from John Stater that Thieves actually do get Open Locks as a skill. Thus, part of what makes the Tombraider variant unique is gone.

So, instead of gaining Open Locks, the Tombraider instead gains Break Down Doors, representing the fact that some tomb doors just refuse to open, even after some convincing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Heroes of Lore- New File in the 'Games I've Made' section

Like the post says, I have a new file over to the right in the 'Games I've Made' section.

The file is called Heroes of Lore, and it is a fan supplement for Blood & Treasure, made by John Stater. Blood & Treasure is class based, and one of the ideas in B&T is that of class 'variants', which function similarly to Archetypes in Pathfinder. I decided to create a butt-load more variants for you guys to use for the game, with 52 in total. That means there are four variants for all 13 classes!

I hope you enjoy it, and even though you can use them with mostly any fantasy game, I would appreciate it if you went out and purchased a PDF or physical copy of Blood and Treasure.

A quick note though, on the Oracle variant for Clerics. I mention that it uses the same mechanics at the Cyclopean race. However, the Cyclopean is in the forthcoming Treasure Keeper's Tome for B&T, so you do not know how it works. Here are the mechanics, though, so you can use the Oracle class immediately.

When you use your ability to see into the future, you have a 50% to see either a vision of Weal or Woe. The GM will determine exactly what you see, such as a friend springing a trap or a gilded treasure chest. After this happens, you are drained of energy, and have a -2 penalty to all your saves for the next hour.

UPDATE: I uploaded a new version of the file with some slight changes. I tweaked the Thug and Pugilist classes, and also added in the alignment when it is needed. I also added a copyright for B&T.