Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Whole Damn Army: Taxation and Upkeep

So I saw the following in Dungeon World

A hovel
20 coins
A cottage
500 coins
A house
2,500 coins
A mansion
50,000 coins
A keep
75,000 coins
A castle
250,000 coins
A grand castle
1,000,000 coins
A month’s upkeep
1% of the cost

Given how much I've written about A Whole Damn Army there's probably enough there to make some assumptions about what kind of fees are charged by legitimate road authorities, and The King's Tax Collectors. A good baseline is that the highest ranking feudal figure in the settlement's home determines the monthly tax based on a value roughly twice the amount of a month's upkeep (so a city supporting "A Grand Castle" has up to 20,000 coins in its coffers.) 

This article suggests that a "An orc warchief’s tribute” is reasonably 1 point of Resources." and that each extra point of resources is an order of magnitude (roughly a factor of 10). That means the Grand Castle settlement is worth ~3 Resource, the Keep or Castle settlements are worth 2, and the Mansion at 1000 coins is worth 1 Resource.

Taxation and Population
If we assume the majority of a population lives in cottages, and half of the upkeep is taxation, that amounts to a tax of 3 coins per person.  This means "A Grand Castle" needs a supporting population around 7,000 (6,666 to be more specific), a Castle needs around 900 (call it a thousand), a Keep needs 250, and a mansion 200. So...

A Village is less than 200 people
A Town could reasonably be 200-500
A Keep is probably 500-1000
A City is 1-10,000, with the largest medieval city ever being no more than a million or so (It would take less than 50,000 to make "A dragon's mound of coins")

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Messy Tag and You

The rules for the Messy tag, wherever it occurs usually involves something like “it deals damage in a messy way”. Sometimes additional details are included like “it leaves a mess behind—cosmetic property damage, blood and gore, or other bodily produce, or some other kind of mess as appropriate.” There’s a story about the 16 HP dragon from Dungeon Worlds on the internet that suggests the Messy tag could mean dismemberment. Nevertheless, Dungeon Worlds doesn’t make it exceptionally easy to point out what dismemberment actually is or does. The short answer is "Did it happen? Yes. Then it happened." However, that’s massively unsatisfying.

Conditions are Temporary, Semi-Permanent, or Permanent effects that are derived from the unfolding fiction. When you get a Compromise or Failure, the GM may impose a Condition on you as a result of the fictional consequences of your action, or being a victim of the Messy tag, or a specific monster move.

Temporary Conditions usually end after a short period—within a few seconds, minutes or possibly an hour. Typically, Temporary conditions are inflicted by a move that requires the player to Avoid Danger or take the condition. An example would be throwing sand in someone’s eyes.
  • Blinded – You have lost your ability to see properly, possibly as a result of severe trauma. Take -2 ongoing to any actions where sight is a major factor (but doesn’t render the action impossible) until your blindness is treated, or until your normal vision returns.
  • Deafened – You have lost your ability to hear properly, possibly due to extremely loud noises or severe physical trauma. Take -2 ongoing to any actions where sound or vocalization is a major factor until your deafness is treated or hearing returns to normal on its own.
  • Surprised – You cannot act until GM takes a turn with any adversaries.
  • Terrorized – If you fail to Defy Danger vs. the Terrifying Monster Tag, you take -2 ongoing to actions other than fleeing, cowering or Defy Danger until you succeed at Defy. 
  • Knocked Out – If you have been hit by a blackjack or other incapacitating move, but have more than 0 HP, you may be knocked out (depends on Defy Danger with +CON). It takes ~10-Cool minutes of rest to recover Bruises.
Semi-Permanent Conditions could take several hours or possibly even several days to alleviate. In some instances, they may be temporarily treated or removed altogether with the use of medicine and drugs, however. Such a massive concussion from a Compromise that caused temporary blindness
  • Broken Limb – you take -2 to any tasks with the associated limb until it is set and placed in a cast, splint, or sling. After you've been in a cast for a week, roll +CON. On any hit, you take -1 on those same tasks. After the second week, roll +CON again, healing fully on any hit.
  • Exhausted – You are physically spent and your stamina can carry you no further. Get -2 to any actions where physical exertion is a factor until you regain your stamina through the Recover move.
  • Hobbled – Your movement and foot speed has been compromised and you can no longer run, possibly due to severe trauma. Get -2 to any actions where balance and speed are a factor until you take a Recover action.
  • Sick – You are ill. You get -2 to all actions until you Recover.
  • Starving – You are hungry and thirsty. You get -2 to all actions until your hunger is slaked and your thirst quenched. The rule of 3s states you get 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, or 3 minutes without air.
Permanent Conditions usually don’t go away, although some might be treated with surgery, and anything can be treated with Big Magic if it’s in the game.
  • Lost a Limb – If you fail to Avoid Danger vs. the Messy tag, you lost… something. Could be a limb, eye, equipment, etc. If you do lose a bit of yourself, surgery can restore severed fingers, or broken/crushed bones, or give you a prosthetic. You need magic to restore lost arms to function. You take -2 ongoing on related tasks until you get a prosthetic or the Repair spell. Prosthetics come with their own strengths and weaknesses though (might do a post on those, not sure yet).
  • Lost an Eye – When you lose an eye, you’re temporarily blinded from the shock of the thing, and have virtually zero depth perception when you recover. This gives you -2 ongoing on any ranged attack you make. Perhaps even -1 ongoing on a semi-permanent basis until you’ve had time to grow accustomed to the change in perception. In any case, the loss of an eye requires either magic or high tech to restore function, or an eyepatch or prosthetic eye to restore aesthetic.

Backstab: What I don't like about it and how I "fixed" it.

Let me just say it's not a bad move, but it has a few problems that don't really jive well with my idea of the fiction, and how I think thieves should work. Here's the default rule:
When you attack a surprised or defenseless enemy with a melee weapon, you can choose to deal your damage or roll+DEX. *On a 10+ choose two. *On a 7–9 choose one.
  • You don’t get into melee with them
  • You deal your damage+1d6
  • You create an advantage, +1 forward to you or an ally acting on it
  • Reduce their armor by 1 until they repair it
What got me even thinking about it in the first place is a player asked me [sic] "would that provide any bonus? sneaking around attacking a creature from its oppisite flank? or would it be just the same as running up and punching it in its smug face?" Initially, I couldn't really answer the question, or at least didn't answer it correctly.

I said no, DW doesn't do that per se, your situational bonuses are in moves. But then I read closer "you create an advantage, +1 forward (etc)." Alright, that's all well and good, but they rightly pointed out "surprised and defenseless". So it dawned on me that the onus is upon me to determine every time whether a foe is surprised and/or defenseless, and I thought the way to do that was Defy Danger. I didn't like that.

Next there was "you can choose to deal your damage or roll +Dex", then choose 1-2 options, one of which is damage with a bonus, and a couple others have nothing to do with hitting anyone. So I  removed the redundant option, and wrote the following "replacement" move for use in my games:


When you engage in tricky underhanded tactics, roll+DEX. *On a 10+ choose 3 different options. *On a 7-9 choose 2.
  • You don’t get into melee with them
  • You deal your damage+1d6
  • You create an advantage, +1 forward to you or an ally acting on it
  • Reduce their armor by 1 until they repair it(edited)
It removes the need for me as a GM to define if the opponent is surprised (that can be an assumption behind "tricky underhanded tactics", but it doesn't have to be) and make the player roll Defy Danger. It doesn't force the player to strike immediately, and allows them to represent flanking or planning as appropriate with +1 forward. And finally, I prefer "choose 3/choose 2" over "choose 2/choose 1"

Is it broken? Probably, but I thought Backstab was broken in the other way (in being too narrowly defined).

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Whole Damn Army Example: The Hellfire Imperium

Taking in the rules expressed in this, that, and the other entry, my Into the Heart of the Dragon game features a nation-state called the Hellfire Imperium, and I can stat out the nation-state's Capital City, called Dis. Dis is responsible for the creation of A Whole Damn Army of Imps. We start with the base stats of Dis.
  • Dis is a City
By default a city is Moderate, Steady, Guard, Market, and Guild (Iniquities). It also has Oaths with at least two other steadings (Abaddon, Sheol), usually a town and a keep. If the city has trade with at least one steading and fealty from at least one steading choose one (as a capital city, it does):
  • The city has permanent defenses, like walls: +Defenses, Oath (Ikisat)
The city has one problem
  • supernatural defenses: +Defenses, Blight (Is a literal Hell on Earth)
These upgrade Dis' Defenses to Battalion, thus the city has a force with these stats on hand:

A Whole Damn Battalion                                                       Horde, Huge, Organized, Intelligent,
Tridents and Fireballs (b[2d6+7] damage 1 piercing)                                                    24 HP 7 Armor
Reach, Forceful, Near, Far
Special Qualities: A Metric Shitload of demons!
  • Shatter Their Morale! (any)
  • Loose! (Archers)
  • Hold the Lines! (Pikes)
Because they are practically Hell on Earth, in addition to these base defenses, they can conscript enough Lost Souls to also field the following army (who are not inexperienced, even though they are conscripted from the general population).

All the Damned Souls                                                               Horde, Huge, Cautious, Intelligent,
Wall of Woes (w[2d6] damage* and heal the same amount)                                         32 HP 7 Armor
Reach, Forceful, Near, Far
Special Qualities: A Metric Shitload of souls!,
  • Surround them! (Infantry)
  • Their souls are forfeit!
*These souls are loathe to cause any more harm than they may already have for fear they will be further punished, yet they are still willing due to their inability to escape said punishment.

If they have several days notice of an attack, they can call for another Whole Damn Army from the combined resources of Abaddon and Sheol--which would have +5 HP and an extra move--and some Dragon Riders from Ikisat.

At Moderate Prosperity with a 32 HP citizenry earning the Wages of Sin, they have coffers no larger than 250,000,000 (6 points)

At 24 HP, the Battalion has roughly 2,500,000 worth of military supplies.(4 points)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Spout Lore: The Steel King

The Steel King was once a mortal gone to the mountain of the gods to become a disciple of the dwarven god of smithing, Navanor Truestone. Around this time, the god's daughter Inebra Truestone was but a godling. The mortal attempted to woo her while under her father's tutelage, and when the father found out, the mortal was cast to the fiery underworld. The citizens of Towmyen think this has something to do with why the Blasted Wasteland is so large.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Matter of Honor or Blood

This G+ post asked how the community would handle duels not intended to go to the death (For those you should just go with Hack and Slash). It would be easy to just have the player roll hack and slash, and call it good, and that move even states that it is for attacking a prepared enemy.

But what if you're not trying to kill them? I present to you the following:

The Duel
When you cross swords for honor, roll +STR or +DEX. *On a 10+, hold 3, on 7-9 hold 2 and the enemy gains a touch on you. You may spend hold on the following:
  • Draw a small amount of blood, dealing 1 point of damage (2 hold).
  • Avoid the enemy's strikes (1 hold)
  • Touch the opponent without drawing blood (sometimes duels are to a certain number of touches, rather than blood)
*On a 6-, choose one of the following: 
  • You took the enemy's normal damage roll, and lost the duel.
  • You dealt your normal damage roll, and offend some witness for not showing restraint.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Material Sciences in Into the Heart of the Dragon

My Into the Heart of the Dragon campaign has a house rule where you can add tags to items that make them worth +50% price per added tag rather than a flat 50 gold. Some items are of a lower quality, and have modifications that make them cheaper rather than more expensive. This reduction is also -50% (usually). If an item’s price would be reduced to zero by modifiers, its price is -80% instead (minimum 1 coin).

As a natural extension of that, I've decided to make a list of qualities and materials using tags. They will vary in price based on the number of good and bad qualities they have. I know this one may not suit everyone, so don't read it if you don't want the extra detail in your campaign

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dragging a Corpse

RPG characters die or are knocked out a lot. In DW, there isn't really much in the way of unconsciousness either. At 0 HP you roll to see if you take your Last Breath. If you win, you're alive, and if you lose, you die. So what happens if part of the bargain is that you're unconscious. and your friends have to drag you to safety? What follows is copied over from here but usable by people who don't care about wench vital statistics.

Ned's Head has Weight 1 (because DW doesn't care about lbs, this is somewhat abstract). After a bit of a wiki-walk, and some Google Fu, I find that there are a number of both medical and non-medical consensus that indicate a head weighing between 4500 grams, and 6500 grams. It would not be unreasonable to assume 10-15 lbs is fair (and wt 0 items are below 5 lbs). a study in 1983 said that the head itself was about 8% of a body's weight. 8% is about 1/12th, so we can assume humans are base Weight 12. Given that, we can assume the following: 
A dwarf is weight 12.
An Elf is weight 10.
A Halfling is weight 6. Though I haven't seen them, gnomes are fairly traditional in gaming, so if your game has them, a gnome is weight 5.
An Orc is considered to be 15 weight rather than 12.
Add +Str.
Multiply Weight by 1d6+9 (which is a number between 10 and 15) to get lbs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Expanding on Dwarven Stuff

There are a few things in DW that are already dwarven and have specific effects. First, let's talk about Dwarven Hard Tack
Dwarven Hard Tack
Requires Dwarf, Dwarves say it tastes like home. Everyone else says it tastes like home, if home is a hog farm, and on fire.
That one is mostly fluff, but the fact that it requires dwarf (racial trait) and is tagged as a ration suggests that it's a ration for dwarves, and trash for people who aren't (unless they have a move that lets them eat anything). Either that or they're unfamiliar with bacon.

Jokes aside though, there is something to be desired. I give you the dwarven tag:

Armor made to fit dwarves (i.e. has the dwarven tag) removes the Clumsy tag for dwarves, and adds -1 ongoing to Defy Danger with +DEX for anyone else. Price is increased by 50% for dwarven armor if you're outside dwarven settlements.

Shorter than 6 feet, these weapons lose their reach tag. They are often very bulky though, replacing it with the Forceful tag. For weapons that don't have the Reach tag, they still gain the Forceful tag. Price is increased by 50% for dwarven weapons if you're outside dwarven settlements.

Next, let's talk about Stout
Dwarven Stout
When you open a keg of dwarven stout and let everyone drink freely, take +1 to your Carouse roll. If you drink a whole keg yourself, you are very, very drunk.
Nothing wrong with this tag, or with the notion that dwarves are the poster children for alcohol consumption in fantasy RP. But this is something that can stand to be expanded upon, and I will do so here.

The Drinking Contest

 So what does getting very drunk entail? Depends on the fiction. Just kidding, the reason you are here is because for you. there is no current fictional status quo. Here is mine: Whenever you engage in a contest of intestinal fortitude against alcohol, roll +CON

  • On a 10+, you survive the round no problems, and an NPC drops out. (if you want, you can use the Whole Damn Army rules and do 1 point of "damage" against the Tavern equivalent to a "green platoon", or 8 HP.)
  • On a 7-9, take a debility (other than Scarred since alcohol on its own is not disfiguring)
  • On a 6- take 2 debilities, and 1d6 damage
When you become Sick (when you gain the Sick Debility) you drop out of the round. The winner is the last person remaining. If a PC and an NPC are tied, the PC wins. If two PCs are tied, whoever has the better Con score wins.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Whole Damn Imperium

Conscripting a Whole Damn Army
It takes at least a City of Steady Population to conscript A Whole Damn Army, while a Steady Keep can conscript a Whole Damn Battalion, and a Steady Town can conscript a Whole Damn Platoon. If a population is better than steady, you can raise it in a steading one step smaller. Whenever they mobilize, the steading reduces in size by one step. If it is worse than steady, you need a steading one step larger. These conscripts are “Green” until they are trained and maintained They have -7 HP and deal (w[2d6+whatever] damage) no piercing, since they are not seasoned veterans. Also if they have no notable commander, they don’t add +whatever, it’s just w[2d6]. These statistics are modified as per Fortified Superiority if applicable.

Guard Forces
A Whole Damn Army is the equivalent of Legion Defenses, a Battalion is Battalion, and a Platoon is Garrison Defenses. Guard Defenses or less are not worth representing with A Whole Damn military unit (at least not without conscription above). If an army has trained for a season, or been to more than 3 real battles, they are no longer considered “Green”.

You can militarily cause a steading to shrink based on its “Conscription” statistics as well. For example, if you have a Whole Damn Platoon, you need a steady town. A Whole Damn Platoon only gets 15 HP, but a conscripted one from a town only has 8 HP (and deals the worst damage roll as noted above). If any city has been reduced to 0 HP, it becomes a village in exodus. If they surrender beforehand, they are reduced to a size appropriate to their HP (benchmarks of 8, 15, and 23 HP, modified by Fortified). Prosperity is reduced a similar number of steps.

When a steading is pressed to provide for an army larger than they could conscript other than their Defenses indicate, they gain Want (military and adventuring goods) and reduce prosperity by one step.

Resources (Everything from here down is Optional)
By default, a Whole Damn Army has far less stability than a steading due to not really having much in the way of consistent trade. They take what they can, and consume it. This is represented by Resources. By default resources are +0. You gain resources by lowering the Prosperity of a city (1 point for every step in reduction, and 1 point per every lost Resource), or by winning a battle against another army. Divide HP by 5 to determine how many points of Resources you get. for a steading of Moderate Prosperity. Add or subtract 1 per level of Prosperity deviating from that. “An orc warchief’s tribute” is reasonably 1 point of Resources.  Resources increase by about a point for every factor of 10 above that. You can spend Resources after battle to gain the following:
  • +2 HP in the form of new recruits, healing supplies from the infirmary, and so on. (For every +6 HP gained, you can add an additional move (or 5 if you want to go with the original rule, 5 HP))
  • +1 piercing damage for the whole of the next battle costs 2 Resource points.
Multiple Resource Coin Value
Whenever you are attacking a group of targets with multiple resource values, you don't add them up to determine the cash value of your earnings for the battle. For example, in a fight against a 6 Resource Whole Damn Army and a city of conscripts (22 HP or 4 Resource) you don't gain 10 Resource. You would need four 6 Resource Point  sources to have the fight be worth 7 Resource (it takes 4 250s to get to 1,000, 4 2,500s to get to 10,000 and so on). It would be fair to say that if you fight any fight involving a force of one level lower than your own, you gain 1 Resource (though not mathematically accurate). If the force is 2 points lower than yours, you need to fight two such forces to gain a point (again, fair but not mathematically accurate) and so on.

The normal rule for opportunity states: 
Subtract the distance (in rations) between the steadings from the steading with enmity’s defenses. If the result is greater than the other steading’s defenses +defense for each step of size difference (village to town, town to keep, keep to city) they definitely attack.
Under these rules, subtract the distance in Resources between the steadings instead to determine if a force will attack. If the distance is greater than the resources, the attacking force loses 2 HP per additional needed Resource.

Surplus and Settling Down
A Whole Damn Army can use resources once the war is over to set up a steading. They gain the default steading appropriate to their army size plus 1 tag per point of resource they spend to advance the steading. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Commanding a Whole Damn Army

So I recently made a blog and G+ post about size, tactics, and morale of military units in light of my Whole Damn Army creature. A question was posed "Do you see this as characters interacting with GM controlled armies, or allowing players to control armies as well?" in the context of me potentially making a book out of mass combats in Dungeon World. So I while I'm still not sure I want to create a whole book about mass combat, the idea was intriguing to discern the difference between a GM move and a player move as the distinction is relevant. Consider the moster as written, a pile of GM moves. Player moves are going to be based on different assumptions of GM moves.

As a GM move- Wall of Steel deals (b[2d6+7] damage, 1 piercing). This assumes a couple of things

1) a soldier deals 1d6 damage, so a group of them deals the best of 2d6
2) with enough adversaries at least one of them will get through for 1 piercing
3) The unit will be lead by a fairly reliable character equivalent in combat to a knight who deals (b[2d10] damage), so it's reasonable to attribute the +7 to the Knight. We can assume a knight probably has some score of 14 (reserving 16 for PCs), which means a modifier of +1. Because the knight swings the better of 2d10s, we assume an average of a 5 and a 6 and use that to come to +7. A leader that leads through fear and Intimidation could use STR, one who uses charm and likability uses CHA, one who uses superior memory of military history, and actively being educated uses INT, and one who has a "feel" of battle through experience with it uses WIS.

As a Player move- assumptions 1-3 above suggest that a fighter with a d10 should probably get STR of +3 ASAP to get (b[2d6+9] damage, 1 piercing). Other players could progress their optimal score to that point if it's one of the modifiers listed above. Each lower dice type reduces the 9 by a point (meaning d6+3 will hit the NPC Knight at even damage by virtue of taking the better of a 3 and a 4). GMs can also ignore the average and change the damage code for players to (b[2d6+2dx] damage, 1 piercing) where x is the type for your class if he wants really swingy combats.

Hold the Lines
As a GM move- Armies are not afraid of players, but they might be afraid of players' armies. Whether they are afraid of each other is a function of size (a smaller army being afraid of a larger one) and whether they are fanatic or frenzied. 

As a Player Move- Roll Defy Danger Subtract your army's HP from the other army's HP. if negative that means you have a bigger army and are more likely to Defy. Because you are a notable individual, you may add half of your HP to your army's HP for intimidation purposes.

Sound the Reinforcements
As a GM move- Since those reinforcement numbers count as HP, it would be reasonable to say that this recovers 1d8 HP, but a lot of people don't like rolling for GM stuff if they can avoid it so they can use 4 points. This move can be used as many times as appropriate to the fiction

As a Player move- Roll 1d8 to determine how many points each unit heals. You can do this once per unit of reinforcements you narratively have. Remember also that the default Whole Damn Army is 2-3 units, so if you know you have more on the field, HP can go over 30.

  • If you have Bardic Song, or can cast a Cure spell as a rote, you may use it on A Whole Damn Army.
  • Some moves may also effect healing rate

Racial Tactics
This section will cover a number of moves that players can earn to reflect their race's heritage for war. They are not like racial starting moves, because almost no members of a race are required to be born great tacticians. They can however be learned as starting Racial moves if you have a reason to have war in your background. 

Dwarven Turtle
Dwarf units have shields that can interlock, while also allowing their polearms to protrude slightly. In return for changing damage to (w[2d6+3] damage) they gain +1 armor and can negate Artillery Superiority. This means that a unit with this move can disregard the Ignores Armor and Piercing tags on their opponents' moves.

The Stonefist Gambit
When dwarves following a commander with this move fight with either mountains or a cavern ceiling looming overhead deal +2 damage.

Liquid Courage
When a commander with this move uses a Keg of Dwarven Stout to carouse with his men, he may also heal them for 1d4 HP.

Elder Guardians
When elves following a commander with this move fight within sight of The Great Forest, they may deal +2 damage

Treetop Striders 
When elves following a commander with this move do battle within The Great Forest, they count as devious, and negate both devious and Engineering Superiority of their opponents. If the commander also has Elder Guardians, that it applies as well.

Mystical Warpaint
There is a plant that grows within The Great Forest that bolsters elven morale. When a commander with this move orders his men to apply it, they are considered to have +4 HP for the purposes of Hold the Line. That is, they cannot be terrified by a unit whose HP isn't 5 more than their own.

Don't Disturb the Shire
When halflings following a commander with this move hide in the hilly terrain surrounding their homeland, they are short enough they can ambush for +1d6 damage.

Can't Touch dis
When halflings are fighting an army whose individual members are Large or Huge, or an actual creature that is Large or Huge, they gain +1 Armor.

Racist Bastard
Pick another race. Whenever you fight that race, you deal +2 damage. It's probably fair to allow you to pick multiple races for this one, but if you pick very many it may also be fair to assassinate you in your sleep.

When you fight an army whose leader's alignment opposes yours, you deal +2 damage. Alternately, if you are a cleric, you may take this bonus against people who are heretical from your god's point of view if the GM and group allow it. It's probably fair to pick multiple religions but if you pick very many it may also be fair to assassinate you in your sleep.

Pincer Maneuver
Whenever you have Engineering or devious units, you do not have to use your +1d6 damage on the first attack.

Orcs and Half Orcs
Whenever orcs work themselves into a frenzy before battle, they are considered to have +4 HP for the purposes of Hold the Line. That is, they cannot be terrified by a unit whose HP isn't 5 more than their own. If you are their commander, and you order a retreat, you must Defy Danger to avoid becoming the enemy.

Troll Blood Stew
If a commander with this move has allied with trolls asks them to augment the rations with their restorative blood, he may roll +Stat for the stat used with Wall of Steel. On any 10+ over the course of the next battle, his unit heals 2 HP. (for NPCs, this occurs when the PCs roll 6-).

Race Trained
You may take a move not belonging to your race only if you either have a background of significant time with them, or spend enough in game time that the advance follows logically from the fiction. Statements within the move that refer to the race you chose refer to you.

Relevant Core Rulebook and Class Warfare Moves
When you share a drink with someone, you may parley with them using CON instead of CHA.

You sing the healing songs of spring and brook. When you make camp, you and your allies heal +1d6.

When you attack with a ranged weapon, deal +2 damage.

Once per battle you may re-roll a single damage roll (yours or someone else’s).

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mass Combat Revisited: A Whole Damn Army, and subsequent divisions thereof

Because I'd already codified how a large military unit could work with the existing Horde rules and constitute an entire horde rather than giving each soldier statistics here, Curiosity overtook me and I decided to find out what a A Whole Damn Army would look like in the Dungeon World Codex. This led to a posting and a discussion in the Dungeon World Tavern G+ community Some banter expanded the scope of what the Whole Damn Army could do. Once the whole army was ironed out there was further questioning on the line of writing an Army playbook. While I'm not sure I want to do that, the army does deserve something of a closer look. Here goes

A Whole Damn Army should represent at least 1000 soldiers, but reasonably up to 5,000

A Whole Damn Army is immune to being Terrified by a smaller army (less HP)

This article discusses Superiority. Rather than modifying its text, use the rules below
  • For mobility superiority, each "doubling" in the original rule provides armor 1
  • Armor superiority is only available for units with a default armor above 4. Use their new armor as the base.
  • Artillery Superiority has 4 Piercing (or more). The attack doesn't do more damage than normal, just 4 damage blows through armor
  • Engineering superiority or other armies with devious may ambush their foes, dealing +1d6 damage on the first attack.
  • Fortified armies (those that are garrisoned in a settlement) have several advantages. If they are at least Steady they add +2 HP, and another +2 for each of Growing or Booming. If they are at least a Town, they gain +1 armor, while a Keep gains +2 and a City gains +3. Keeps and cities also have Artillery superiority, while any smaller steading has Ranged and all have Transport. A town or better also has Sound the Reinforcements.
Scaling Down
A Whole Damn Army is an abstraction of 2-3 units plus a commanding officer. It is reasonable to divide them into military units. A Whole Damn Platoon only gets 15 HP, and isn't big enough to Shatter Their Morale. They get one other move of the ones listed. A Whole Damn Battalion gets that move, plus Shatter Their Morale and has 22 HP.

Scaling Up
Having more than 30 HP for any Dungeon Worlds monster was decidedly obnoxious, but it's not unreasonable to give armies over 5000 men one extra move per +5 HP. Even I don't recommend giving any more HP out after you've got all the moves.

If you're interested in playing these, or any of my other Dungeon World ideas, you can join my discord, DW Linky Here!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Character Identity and Player Agency

So this post isn't about Dungeon World specifically, but touches on how a personal event interrelates. I'm on a discord server I won't name, and someone with a vaguely annoying attitude gets on there talking about memes being cancer or whatever. I'm not triggered by this but I'm within my rights to be as a cancer patient. He makes a piss joke, which I counter with a joke about using some bottle other than Mt. Dew

"Nigga I think you died."

I made light of that situation by making the joke that I was dying faster than some, but hopefully also slower than some. He points me to a YouTuber that makes light of crippling depression, who apparently helped him with his. I shared the moment by identifying my salvation as Jenna Marbles, and my favorite YouTuber as jacksepticeye.

We talked about a number of reasons maybe I should be depressed but wasn't. He concludes his OT was ruining the discord thread, but it was a general channel, so I don't think they minded.

So anon friend requests me and moves to chat.
Almost immediately tries to tell me Morrowind is the Best, Skyrim is The Worst. I don't think either are true. I don't make such a great big deal about why, but he then proceeds to present me all the reasons why supposedly Morrowind is the best, but they're actually all reasons I don't like it (worse, he actually admits to not playing very much Morrowind right before his computer died).

Then he continues to argue with me on the point we agreed on but also pile on a suggestion that an arbitrary restriction be placed on what powers a character can or cannot have, and whether or not specific powers should be required to beat the game.

He said something about how "making them gods isn't good either" --except nobody ever said it was. So he proceeds to posit as his sole piece of evidence, the notion that Skyrim characters are gods (because they can do everything or some shit). Nevermind the exploits available in every ES game. I suggested he wasn't playing on a high enough difficulty (expert apparently) and when I suggested he raise it, he apparently decided that the game became unplayable but refused to notice how that made the player "not a god".

I don't know if he ever spotted the flaws in his argument, but he thankfully moved on to what I should include in my UESRPG game. If I run one I had already incorporated some of the ideas. I told him I wasn't fond of Weres or Vampires though. I told him the major selling point that Skyrim had for me was being able to tell The Companions, and The Dawnguard to fuck right off, and never have to worry about that shit again. I felt like those diseases fuck with player agency too much (even still, I prefer both Oblivion and Daggerfall).

I told him that Vampires and Werewolves before Skyrim were a way to fuck with my morphology (and by extension my Player Agency). I tried to explain how important morphology is to my character identity, and how I create characters because that's the character I want to play. How fucking with my morphology fucks with the character's identity to the very core.

His response: Who gives a fuck about your Morphology?

I do. So I blocked him. It wasn't just the fact that he had no respect for my ideal character not being warped for stupidly arbitrary reasons. It was the casual disregard that he had for decency that had been ingrained in him by meme/chan culture, and that every step of the way he kept portraying an entirely apathetic attitude. 

Was I wrong?

Side Note: This isn't about favorite ES games, which are something I have a "to each their own" attitude about. My comments are moderated to avoid unrelated comments. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Into the Heart of the Dragon

So I made a map for a Dungeo World campaign in which the party is swallowed by a dragon big enough to eat a village whole. The idea is that they escape the dragon by killing it from the inside, and it crash lands, This map is where the dragon crash lands.

Since the game also takes place in part, inside a dragon, I'll also leave you with the starter for the group inside the dragon:
World Eater was once a normal dragon. For many centuries now, the dragon has been so big it could eat a village. The additional size means the dragon does not have the same physiology as other dragons. Old tales tell of ancient heroes with legendary weapons could once pierce its scales, but nobody has succeeded in doing that as long as anyone can remember. Assuredly, larger holds survive by sheer volume of siege weaponry they can bring to bear. You are from no such land. Some of you may have been here a while, others only a month. This is your story.

First Impressions
Ø  World Eater was once an ordinary black dragon, but now has a variety of gemstones and minerals that have become embedded into the dragon due to its hibernation and feeding cycles.
Ø  The town of Gullet as far as anyone inside can reckon, is a little way past where the Dragon’s esophagus meets its trachea, hence the name. Occasionally the dragon eats, and the whole town shakes like an earthquake. Dirt and rubble from a new town becomes a part of Gullet.
Ø  Gullet is situated deep in a “valley”; deeply enough that when the dragon breathes fire, the citizens are not harmed. They do however feel an intense pressure wave.
Ø  Gastric Fog occasionally comes from “south” of Gullet, leaving those who are stuck outside with mild acid burns for the next several days.
Ø  There is something the villagers are not telling you.
Ø  A constant faint creaking sound accompanies a slight rising and falling, as if the entire area is in a constant tide.

(in addition to the bonds you make with the other players, answer +Wis of the following)
Ø  Are you on good terms with the citizens of Gullet?
Ø  How did you survive the fall from the Dragon’s maw to the town of Gullet?
Ø  How long have you been in Gullet?
Ø  What rumors have you heard about escaping the dragon?
Ø  Whence did you hail before your home was swallowed?
Ø  Who do you know in Gullet?
Ø  Who would try to stop you from escaping the dragon if you could get out of Gullet?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

FF3e Houserules pt. 2

New Abilities
It was suggested to me that I should hack some stuff from FFd6 for use with FF3e. The first one isn't strictly canon FFd6, but it helps to make interesting characters. My Magicite Infused Thief, Rachel would pretty much be impossible without it. Been thinking about redoing her as a Cross Trained Thief/Red Mage. (Some of the abilities have been renamed)

Non-Job Abilities
Cross Trained
Level 8+
Target: Self
Type: Support Ability
Pick a class. The character gains all level 1 abilities of that class, as well as weapon and armor proficiencies, and gain an MP dice if they don't already have one, but retain HP Accuracy, Skill points and Aptitudes, etc. If the new class also gives expertise, the character gains that.

Subtract level when the ability is learned from total level and add 1 to determine effective level for gaining abilities in the new class. For example, if the character learned this ability at 8th level they act as if they are 7 levels lower for determining what abilities they can learn in the second class.

Different Strokes 
 Level 1
Target: Self 
 Type: Support Ability
The character has developed an unusual way of doing some things. Pick two skills. The character may trade the default attribute in those skills for another.

Infinite Arsenal
 Level 1
Target: Self 
 Type: Support Ability
The character is a master of using improvised weapons. If using the standard rules for Improvised Weapons found on p. 190, use the full weapon tier of your default weapon rather than half. If you don't have a default weapon, or are using the houserules I posed above, use full material tier rather than half. Furthermore, you have such an awareness of your situation that whenever an improvised weapon is used up, you can find another as a zero action. This ability can be used as an alternative to the monk's Brawler ability.

Defy Gravity (A New Resistance)
6 Points: Conditions of the Fatal type and Gravity subtype that target the character have their CoS halved after modifying for Evasion or M. Evasion. In addition, the character gains a Skill Affinity for Acrobatics. If the effect includes an ejection, the character is not immune to that effect, and the effect doesn't protect a character who has heavy objects fall on them by virtue of gravity.
Additional Options
This rule inclusion makes certain assumptions of the game world that aren't traditional of FF, but aren't really unheard of either--the effects of gravity.
  • Falls from a tall ladder or scaffold are probably equivalent to a Gravity spell.
  • Falls from a taller bridge onto a dry riverbed or a fairly high cliff are probably equivalent to a Demi spell.
  • Falls off of a mountainside or canyon are at minimum a Quarter effect that Ejects the victim. If the victim survives at all.
Demolisher (Advanced Trait)
Effect: The character's Strength Based weapons count as explosives for the purposes of dealing damage directly to the Durability of structures.
-1 Point (Tied): By spending 1 Key Point, a character can use his weapon's Strength Multiplier in place of Explosives Grade (up to x10 in the interest of maintaining compatibility) to attack the durability of a structure.
+1 Point (Tied): For 1 Key Point, any miss while inside a structure causes damage to it and bits of the structure may start to crumble around the party dealing (usually earth) Elemental damage equal to 10% of their maximum Hit Points for each Round spent in the structure; calculate this damage during the Status Phase.

Objects, Improvised Weapons, and Destruction
Basically I really had to dig for rules. I found that all objects have durability ranging from 1 to 10. I think it's probably fair to use Material Tier for this number.

Regarding scale, it can go from 1 (a trash can or crate) to 30 (large buildings) as an environmental feature, but I'd rather keep this consistent with Size Grades. This can be done by assuming that normally an object uses its longest dimension for Scale, but it can use its smallest dimension if that is significantly lesser (this would the large 4 foot tall trash can made of thin flimsy materials at scale 1 where it won't do any sort of absurd damage)

To advance Size Grade past 10, we can continue where it left off and multiply by 1.25 every time (at least for simplicity sake) and come to these numbers (which are admittedly rounded at my whim)

Scale/Size Grade Measure (in meters)
1           .1
2           .2
3           .4
4           .7
5            1
6            2
7            4
8            8
9            12
10          15
11          18
12          24
13          30
14          36
15          45
16          60
17          70
18          90
19          110
20          140
21          175
22          220
23          275
24          350
25          425
26          535
27          666
28          832
29          1,040
30          1,301

Improvised weapons deal (ScalexAttribute)+xdy where x is 1/2 Durability (Material Tier) and y is either d6 for Size Grade 1-3, d8 for size grades 4-6, d10 for size grade 7, d12 for anything bigger.

Reality Check:
It should be noted that the largest buildings are under about a thousand meters in the real world but nobody cares about that in Final Fantasy. Also, minimum durability should be no less than 1/3 of Size Grade. Note this applies to materials normally of a lower durability too. If a building is Scale 11, but made out of Iron Girders, it should not be tier 1, it should be tier 3 or 4. As well as the same Durability.

Explosives deal damage to Durability directly, based on their tier (1-10) we'll leave that unchanged, although it's noteworthy that if you want to use anything that's... say 1600 meters tall, you should probably try exploding it first.

FF3e Houserules

So back in the day, I used to peruse the giant in the playground forums because I had a strong desire for something different from your standard RPG fare. I looked over everything from houserules for porting existing systems to other uses, to 1km1kt and other 24 hour RPG sites, you name it, I'd give it a once over. I found one on giantitp called FFd6 that said it was based on the idea of simplifying FF3e Both systems are beautiful, but FF3e is complicated, and never had a bestiary. I've been trying to play the game for ages now, but so far I get GMs start a game, and fall flat. Anyway, there's a bit of an abrupt stop in FF3e's rules, so I thought of something they missed as a way of expanding them. (these rules will be crossposted on my discord

Limit Breaks
Characters in Final Fantasy are famous for flipping out. They are able to use power beyond the potential of most humans. This ability is often unlocked at dramatic moments. Sometimes it is called Trance, Desperation Attacks, or Overdrive. Nonetheless, FF3e doesn't seem to have a system to replicate this. Or does it?

I noticed that the Monster Creation System has a nifty little XP/Gil Modifier system for creating monster attacks. Since we don't want players to throw limit breaks willy nilly, we need to establish some provisions.

Characters only limit whenever they are in dire situations, or when they have a lot of power to burn. The default rules allow for Key Points to be spent on certain special circumstances. As a result, Limit breaks occur either on a critical hit at 25% HP or less, or with the expenditure of 3 Key Points per level of the break. This is slightly worse than SOS Gain.
Characters limit breaks automatically hit. End of story.
The two modifiers roughly cancel out, and they're always on limit breaks, so those modifiers should be ignored when designing limit breaks.

Now on to the actual building of Limit Breaks. There are two camps that I'm aware of regarding limit break quality and quantity. The first wants 3 limit breaks, the second wants considerably more.

If you want 3, the limit breaks are gained at 15th 30th, and 60th level and are worth "Limit Points" equal 3x the level they are obtained at using the XP Modifier columns.

If you want 6, they are gained at 15th, 30th, 45th, 60th, 75th, and 90th level, and are worth twice the level they are obtained at using the XP Modifier columns.

Appropriate Limit Break Abilities

Attack, as well as any modifiers other than Auto-Hit or SOS Gain.
Add Status
Auto Status (until the end of battle)
Critical Attack
Elemental Absorbance, Immunity, Potency, Resistance (until the end of battle, possibly in conjunction with Weakness)
Field Effects
Status Resistance or Immunity
or Steal Status

Lengthy Limit Breaks:
In doing a bit of research into Slow Actions for incorporating some FFd6 stuff into FF3e, I found out that spells don't seem to have CTs, but do seem as if they might tick off initiative. This is similar to my view of Limit Break cinematics inasmuch as they seem to take a while depending on the game, but nobody can really interfere. It is with this in mind that I make the following suggestion:

If your limit break is worth more than 35 points, it is "Extremely Lengthy" Feel free to be extravagantly lengthy with your description, and throw what you think is more than 1 turn of detail in there (additional details on pp. 188-189)

Advantage Rules
Maximum Advantages
When you make characters, the book suggests you should have a total of 0 or less in Advantages and Disadvantages. This houserule would change that by allowing your starting total to increase by 1 for every 10 levels. With these additional points, you may buy off disadvantages, or purchase additional advantages at the GM's approval.

Vehicles using Animal Companion
As with Animal Companion, Vehicles have 10 points per Advantage Point they are worth. The following Animal Companion features are appropriate for vehicles:

Sentient (2)
Summoned (2)
Packrat (3)
Flying (changed, see below)
Keen Senses (5)
Large (5)
Very Large (10) Extrapolating from this cost, a Multipilot vehicle could feasibly be 20 points

Additionally, vehicles may have the following:
Provides Rest (Varies)
If a vehicle is at least Very Large it can provide rest. A Fitful Rest costs 2 points, a Travel Rest costs 5 points, and a full rest costs 10 points. (This one may be appropriate for hideouts as well)

Combat Statistics
Hit Points/Mana Points-A vehicle has HP as a normal monster with a Hit/Magic Base of 1, 2, 4, or 8 for twice that number of points (e.g. 2, 4, 8, or 16 points). Otherwise, the vehicle just breaks when it breaks.

Calculate Acc, M. Acc, Eva, M. Eva, DEX, and Mind as if the vehicle has the character's attributes.

Armor and M. Armor Base is the same as a monster (.5, 1, 2, 4, or 6) for twice as many points.

Vehicles may purchase Attacks, Action Abilities, Field Effects, Reaction Abilities, and Support Abilities (except Comeback, or Minion) at full price.
Movement Abilities and Spells at half price (round up to the next whole number).

Use the Gil Modifier price to determine their point cost. Typically Boss Abilities are not appropriate for player created vehicles.

Due to the speed with which they are resolved and the large number of potential ‘safety nets’ players have at their disposal in the event of failure, physical challenges should not yield XP or Gil. Rather, they are best treated as obstacles to be overcome on the way to a greater reward.
That's debatable, but it leaves me context for my next point:
As with physical challenges, overcoming a social challenge rarely yields Gil or XP.
I don't like that. It contributes to a pure hack and slash game. If you have a conversation that has world or region changing ramifications but doesn't result in combat, it should be worth XP.
The effects of failure depend on the stakes; attempting – and failing – to intimidate a powerful political figure, for instance, could well land the entire party in jail indefinitely.
Be that as it may, it's not really a valid reason to disallow the player to gain XP or other rewards where appropriate (and successful). I'll concede that it may not be appropriate all the time (negotiating for a sword never is, nor is 'Roll play' Epically describing what happens on your end may be grounds for an award though).

Where appropriate, an XP or Gil award for a physical or social challenge is worth a little less than a monster: 25 EXP or 10 Gil x level.

For reference, here is the default rule:
Because FFRPG monsters have no Skills, they cannot use Awareness to spot or track a party. Instead, they use Senses as a When creating the monster, give each of these Senses a Rating from 0 to 100. If a situation arises where one or more party members are using Stealth to sneak by the monster, use the highest rated Sense in place of an Awareness Rating for the Opposed Skill Test to see whether the monster notices. Conditional Modifiers imposed on the characters sneaking by should be appropriate to the monster's primary sense. Wearing camouflage will do nothing to fool a creature using Life sense, for instance – the only way to completely disguise yourself is to cast Zombie.
I don't really buy that monsters not having skills is a good reason for not giving them a default Awareness rating. It would be fair to assume they also have a base 30 awareness to be further modified as follows

Add a number of points equal to the monster's level, so a 1st level monster gets 1 to spend somewhere and a 10th level monster can tweak one or more senses up to a total of 10 points.
You may add points in one sense after that, but should subtract points from another sense.
Alternately, if you aren't sold on base 30, there are 6 senses so you could spread 180+Level points among the senses as you wish provided you don't exceed 100 in any of them or go below 1. The main reason for this rule is that it feels less arbitrary. If you don't mind the arbitrary, you can always stick to the default rule.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Inverse World Tags Outside of Hazards

Inverse world has a tag for Hazards called Social. (This hazard is human [-oid] in nature. Social hazards are often unable to be solved with violence, for one reason or another.) That book suggests that Social threats don't need the intelligent tag because they are assumed to already have it. I think it would be fair to swap "unable to be solved with violence" with "almost always solvable without violence." then add "Social creatures have sufficiently advanced societies that that some individuals pick up other skills. The GM can adapt the monster by adding tags to reflect specific training, like a mage or warrior." With these changes, the Intelligent tag can be removed entirely. 

By default, the Social tag otherwise doesn't give any incentive to be non-violent except players acceptance that you shouldn't kill certain people. combining it with Friendly (This hazard does not mean you any harm. This doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous, of course, but it doesn’t intend to be.) probably helps with that incentive, but I think it fair to offer players a chance to mark XP for a Social threat of any kind to be dealt with peacefully.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Notice Me Senpai

I've been working on Visual Novel World for a while now, and here it is, ready for playtest! It takes the "Class Warfare approach" of presenting character subtypes and allowing people to cobble together a character from 2-3 choices of those subtypes. All of them are geared either to anime/manga/visual novel stereotypes, or a(n admittedly western) idea of (mostly modern) Japanese culture, or at least the culture that Americans see, which is mostly varying degrees of cooking/food culture, martial arts, mecha, romance, schools, or squick depending on the example media.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More about Mass Combat in Dungeon Worlds

For those of you just joining in, you'll find the original blog post on mass combat here. I'm coming back to that because some things could stand to have further detail, and I hear there is some more information on Mass Combat since I wrote it.

Population and Battle "Turns"
The size of a battlefield determines how long it takes for the armies to kill each other off, if for no other reason than the fact that those in the front have to either die off or move so those in the back can have a go, and if they die off, the ones in the back have to wade through bodies.

Population                   Turn Length
Up to 100                    15 minutes
Up to 1,000                 30 minutes
Up to 10,000                1 hour
Up to 100,000              2 hours
Up to 1 million             4 hours

When considering soldiers in conveyances vs. other soldiers in conveyances, don't multiply by the size of their crew, but use the number of vessels/vehicles instead. So a battle of 5 ships vs. 4 counts as a population 100 or less battle.

Multiply the length of a turn by 2 if a whole unit has superior armor (3-4 points). Divide turn length by 2 if a whole unit has cartridge based firearms, or by 4 if they are capable of rapid fire. These also count for troop superiority.

These rules are outdated Use the rules here, unless you don't want to use A Whole Damn Army.
As noted in the previous blog post, a side gets bonus damage based on a numerical advantage it has over the others, but this rule permits certain units to have more effect than their population would otherwise indicate.

One component of superiority is how the unit moves. Each unit must have one of these
Aerial (Air)- This unit counts double against units that aren't either Aerial, Artillery, or Ranged.
Aquatic (Aq)- This unit counts double in liquid environments, and half outside them (if that's even possible). Amphibious (Amp) units overcome this limitation.
Foot (Ft)- This unit only gains superiority in tight spaces, such as indoors.
Mounted (Mtd)- The soldier and his mount are counted separately, and are doubled again vs foot soldiers.
Vehicular (Veh)- This unit counts double against units with Mtd mobility, and double again vs. those with Ft mobility.

The other component of mobility is the kind of attacks they employ
Armored (Arm)- This unit is capable of reducing the average damage of its opposition's attack by half, and therefore counts as double vs. any attack that doesn't explicitly nullify or pierce armor.
Artillery (Art)- This unit negates armor superiority, and has superiority over any unit that is not armored.
Fortified (Frt)- This unit represents permanent civilizations, who have walled cities, or take to the streets and improvise riot barriers. It counts double its population vs. units without engineering. Hoarder tag.
Engineer (Eng)- This unit negates Fortified. Devious tag.
Ranged (Rng)- This unit counts double against mounted melee units, and double again vs. melee units with Foot mobility.
Reach (Rch)- Pikes and spears negate Mtd superiority, although the soldier and the horse count separately for population purposes.
Recon (Rcn)- This unit employs stealth, and counts double against units that move into territories it uses as cover. Stealthy tag.
Transport (Tpt/Tons)- This unit can transport the specified number of tons, or ten times that many humans. it always has Veh mobility.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I got a Discord

TL;DR- Go here and join my Discord gaming server!

Been a while since I did a regular post, and this one isn't going to be what you would call a regular post, or even a full length post. It's more of an update. A while ago, someone suggested getting discord, and moving away from Skype.

Not too long after, the Unofficial Elder Scrolls RPG team posted here on blogspot they would probably leave to go to discord. So I got the Discord app to follow them, and have decided that Discord has everything I wanted from Skype, plus none of the stuff I didn't want. They also have the ability to create numerous topics all within the same group of people, and cordon off separate rooms for a smaller subset of that larger group. And finally, you can make your own emojis. My server is here.