Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Great Silence and another half baked game.

I'm seriously trying to come up with some rules-lite sword and sorcery game to introduce my cousin into the hobby this saturday, but something inside me is gravitating constantly towards the mystical wild west themes. I think that's why this quick system is strangely "open".

To create your character, roll 2d6 and compare the result with this table. You get +1 on the corresponding traits.

  1. Toughness (brawling, enduring physical harm, strenght feats)
  2. Dexterity (shooting, reflexes, anything regarding precision)
  3. Eerieness (force of will, raw charm, casting spells)
  4. Wisdom (general knowledge, insight and intuition)
  5. choose yourself
  6. choose yourself

You start at level 1. Pick your starting knack: it can be Combat training, a Skill or a Spell. You can choose to do it randomly.


When you take a level as a fighter, you get +2 HP to your total whenever you roll for it, and a +1 bonus to damage when using a favored kind of weapon. You can pick the same weapon multiple times as you level up for extra bonus.

3- 4: SKILLS

Whenever you do something that falls under your skill domain, you can re-roll the lowest die and keep the highest result.

  1. Survival. You know how to hunt and track in the wilderness, how to identify herbs and dangers and how to be stealthy out there.You can make fire by spinning little sticks.
  2. Thievery. You know how to pass unaverted either on a dark alley or in a crowded tavern; how to pick locks and pockets, and where to find contacts among your guild.
  3. Medicine. You know how to sew wounds or diagnose illnesses; and also how to cook some poultices and poisons.
  4. Acrobatics. You're as agile as a cat. You know how to walk through a rope or climb trees as easy as breathing. You can use this skill on combat if you perform a risky trick when fighting.
  5. Awareness. At least one of your senses is extremely trained. You notice more details than the others when you analyze things and people, and is very hard to catch you by surprise.
  6. Resilience. Use this skill when you resist damage, exhaustion or any kind of will challenge.


The default range for casting spells is anything you can touch or anyone at a conversation distance.

  1. Charm. You can subtly manipulate the emotions of the target and implant suggestions that don't go against it's fundamental nature.
  2. Shapeshift. Choose a second form you can adopt. It can be animal, like a raven or a bear, or something weirder, like mist or fire. In this form, you gain all it's natural abilities (like flying for birds). Natural weapons do d6 damage.You might learn additional shapes during the game.
  3. Divination. You know a way to scry the future, present and the past. Choose one (tarot cards, casting runes, watching the wind blow away a handful of dust...)
  4. Conjuration. You can invoke forces related to your [theme] and command them a single mission, after which they'll banish. If used to attack, they do d6 damage and fight until they're out of HP (1 hp by default). For each 1d6 HP you burn at the conjuration, you can give the summoned entity +1 armor, +1d6 HP or +1 damage. Describe the creature according to this characteristics.
  5. Mystic Ward. You can place a ward over something or someone, designed to fend off a specific type of danger you name each time: unwanted attention, trespassers, bullets... etc. If used in combat, it gives +1 armor to a single combatant.
  6. Resurgence. This spell is able to heal 1d6 HP to an ally and cure most ailments. As a side effect, it purifies and enhances the true nature of things.


Whenever you learn your first spell, you must also pick a theme for your magic. This theme represents the inspiration where you get your magic from, and will affect its general feeling and the way it manifests when casting it.
The theme can also hint which kinds of dangers, complications and costs may your magic carry when you roll low.

  1. Blue astral fire
  2. The wilderness beyond the road
  3. Bad weather
  4. The frozen tundra
  5. The night
  6. The Draconica Grimoires
(I'm taking suggestions for themes, I feel that I could get some better ones)

Roll once in each table for equipment:


  1. A sling or a brass knuckle (d6 damage, easy to conceal)
  2. A knife or a small pistol (d6 damage, easy to conceal)
  3. An axe or a javelin (d6+1 damage)
  4. A six-gun (d6+1damage, fast draw) or a bow (d6+1 damage, silent)
  5. A longbow (d6+2 damage, silent, long range) or a shotgun (d6+2 damage)
  6. A rifle (d6+2 damage, long range) or twin six-guns (d6+2 damage, fast draw)

You get 3 uses of corresponding ammo with all ranged weapons.
They do not represent individual shots, but abstract quantities of them: on bad rolls GM might tell you to mark off 1 ammo. When you get to zero you're out of ammunition.


  1. A bottle of firewine (drink to take a short rest anytime, 2 uses) or a winter cloak (you always get a full rest when in cold climates)
  2. A first aid kit (2 uses), an oil lantern or a shovel (d6 damage)
  3. An old pot of coffee (if you cook with it when making camp, everybody gets a full rest) or 3 ammo for any weapon.
  4. A vial of poison (one use) or a mule (8hp, d6 hooves, stubborn)
  5. Antitoxins (2 uses) or a set of lockpicks.
  6. A horse (8 HP, d6 hooves, fast) or a book on a specific subject (+1 in related rolls)

  1. A marked french deck or an old scar (+1 to all rolls against whoever caused it to you)
  2. A friendly dog (6HP, good nose) or raven (4HP, flies and speaks nonsense). Both seem to understand you reasonably.
  3. Your grandfather's diaries (re-roll a Wisdom roll once a day) or a rattlesnake amulet (re-roll an Eeriness roll once a day)
  4. A blues harp (can be used to play spells at hearing range) or a compass (you decide what does it point to!)
  5. An mundane object you have (you can buy one right now if you want) is now magical. Roll to see which spell it has on it and which theme can be sensed on it (your GM has the last word on it's effects).
  6. The weapon you have is your elder's legacy: once a day you can re-roll any roll involving it.

You also start with 1d6 dollars and some spare change (which is not much). Very cheap things are affordable with just your change (do not keep track of it!)

$1 is the prize of a meal or a room for the night, horse foraging included.
$5 is the prize of a knife, a handful of ammo (1 unit), a bundle of rope or a bottle of whiskey.
$10 is the prize of an axe, common medicines or complex tools.
$30 is the prize of a handgun, a mule or an elegant suit.
$60 is the prize of a rifle, a horse or a prison bail.
$100 is the reward for a common bandit; $500 for a bandit leader, $1000 for a local hero.

The frontier is a place of scarcity and you can't always get what you want at shops. If you ask for something outside the norm when visiting a merchant, roll 1d6: on a 5 or 6 they have it for sale; on lower numbers they have a low quality version of the thing, costs more than it should, comes with strings attached or they don't have nothing at all.


RESOLUTION (is the common World of Dungeons/Pbta one, I just like it!)

Whenever you do anything risky, roll 2d6 and add the appropiate trait.
On a 12+ you succeed beyond expectation or gain an extra advantage. In combat, you can also deal double damage or choose a second target.
On a 10+ you succeed without much effort. In combat, deal damage.
On a 7-9, you also suffer a cost or complication.
On a 6 or less the threat comes true; GM will describe how. If you survive, you get 1 XP

Some examples of costs, complications and threats:
-suffer an adequate debility
-GM introduces a new danger
-expose yourself or others to danger
-face a difficult choice
-lose some equipment
-you suffer damage (1d6 for common hazards, 2d6 if the threat was overtly dangerous)
-a pending threat comes true

You start the game with 2d6 Hit Points.

Whenever you rest, you can re-roll your HP: roll 1d6 if you camp in harsh conditions or 2d6 if you find a confortable place, like an inn. If your result is lower than your current HP, discard it.

Should damage take your HP to 0 or below, you can still roll to endure

(When you must endure, roll +STR if it's physical or +EERIE if its mystical harm. On a 10+, you can ignore your wounds, at least for now. On a 7-9, you suffer a debility or other complication. On a miss, you're as fucked as the situation demands)


Whenever you roll a miss, you get 1 XP. Every 10 XP you go up a level.
On even levels you get a +1 on a random trait.
On odd levels you can pick a new knack.

PD: If you like westerns, you should really see The Great Silence. I didn't knew about it until yesterday and it's awesome. True grit, on the other hand, was not bad, but nothing of the other tuesday.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Pernicious Albion Coloring Book

As an aspiring tattoo artist, I draw lots of things everyday; starting with the lines, then shadows and colors. So when I received in the mail A Most Thoroughly Pernicious Pamphlet, (by Mateo Diaz, go here to know more about it, his Pernicious Albion setting is awesome) and I saw it's art, I couldn't take the idea of painting it out of my head.

Monday, 9 November 2015

cowboy bebop style

I was thinking again on cowboy bebop and how it's premise could be extrapolated to tabletop campaigns. Here is what I've got by now:

The setting is a weird west kind. No space component. Modern anachronisms such as radios, early electricity or early telephones are allowed. Magic is allowed too in low doses (sympathy, soothsaying, alchemy, mysterious relics, certain rituals).

The wilds are inhabited by elusive fey people, that take the role of magical native americans. The Big cities to the east are corrupted in the high spheres and ruled by gangs at the street levels. In the middle ground, there is a vast space called "the frontier"; where the action takes place.

All players start as bounty hunters. Maybe they're associates, maybe they've just met each other in a tavern.This kind of world supports bounty-hunterism in a semi-legal way as a part of the law system; and there are search and seizure orders set in the local taverns and emitted on a special radio station that all bounty hunters can listen to in the middle of the plains (If they bought a receptor at character creation!)

The cost of life is a constant: equipment gets used and many abilities rely on the characters resting properly at inns to refresh. My gaming group also loves money management in our games, but I don't take advantage of this as I feel that I should: I want to make them to have choices between buying a new horse or spending some whiskey at the tavern, and make that choices have relevance on the outcomes.

All players (and this is where I feel that cowboy bebop has the most influence on this) must roll on this table before the game starts. They may do it secretely between them and the GM, to find their real inner drive behind their badass bounty hunter mask. Eventually, the pursuits they follow will lead to clues to resolve their unfinished pasts (GM, do your homework!). It's up to them to reveal this secrets to the other party members.

1 To escape from...
2 To get revenge on...
3 To quest in behalf of...
4 To atone for your deeds against...
5 To ask something from...
6 To find a relic (roll one!) concerning...

1 ...your old job partners (tell us which kind of job it was!)
2 old friend or lover
3 ...a fae / something at the astral plane (roll!)
4 outlaw (roll!)
5 ...the law (what did you do?)

6 ...the Raven King