Monthly Archives: January 2010

Acing the Damage in DnD

Damage Potential

I’ve heard/seen many people complain how damage in DnD isn’t that dangerous, which makes it come to a crawl, especially at higher levels when players have buckets of HP, higher AC, oodles of feats, magic items, potions, and better saves.

The other day I got to wondering what if DnD combat took a page out of Savage Worlds? In SW whenever damage is rolled and the maximum number is achieved it is called an Ace. The die gets to be rolled again, and the next number added to the amount, this can keep Acing until you no longer hit the highest number (IE- Roll a d6, get a 6. Roll again, get a 6. Roll again, get a 4= 16).

Now imagine that kind of damage in DnD off of one die roll. Over at Geek Life Project, there is an excellent post on how players have to rethink combat once you pick up your SW character sheet, as opposed to say 3.5/4e DnD.

Acing damage in DnD would force players to rethink how they charge in, make them ask about their environment, asking for things like tables and bookcases for cover. Even though wizards and sorcerers will still have the chance to vastly out damage rogues, fighters, and rangers, the ability to ace gives the martial classes a chance to do more heavy damage at later levels than is the norm.

I will try this experiment with my current DnD game to see how it pans out.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?


Building up a Homebrew World, Part 2

In part one I mentioned that I had presented my players with a survey on what kind of campaign they would want to play.

What’s the Answer?!

Overwhelmingly High Magic was chosen. Every player voted for Savage Worlds as opposed to DnD 3.75. And only Angie and Kinal really went for the Beginning of Civilization world. Not surprisingly the boys chomped at the bit of a game that the word chaos in the title.

So we have: High Magic, Realm of Chaos, and Savage Worlds as the basis for my world.

For the Realm of Chaos, I really wanted to pull on influences from Star Wars and WWII. Hence the whole resistance, guerilla fighting, and a sense of desperation that seems to permeate the world. I also wanted to break away from some of the standard tropes of DnD fantasy.

These are all the notes I have for the campaign thus far. I will post more up as they develop!

Homebrew Fantasy Campaign
(After Machinations of the Old Sage)


• Shall take place in the Eternal Realm of Chaos.

• Use Sundered Skies continents as a guide.

• 5 Island Continents.

• The Githyanki are an aggressive nation that is committing genocide and aggression against the Githzerai, a peaceful monk race of scholars. Anyone who helps them finds themselves an enemy of the state.

• The group is going to be part of a resistance movement against the established Githyanki government.
• High Magic.

• Magic is drawn from the realm of Chaos.

o Roll 1d6 when casting 1-2 low, 3-4, nothing, 5-6 high. Roll 1d6 low minus that amount, high add that amount to damage/heal (heals cannot kill only drop target to incap). Die can ace.

• Chaos Templar will be the Jedi Class and is something that the Githzerai can pass down. Use of both light side and dark side powers will be allowed. However dark side points will be accumulated. When points equal to your Spirit die value have been accumulated a Spirit Roll must be made DC 6. Failure means cannot use ANY Force Powers for that day and you become fatigued. Dark side points are cleared through meditation. An hour of meditation every morning.

Spirit check must be made DC 8. Success purges 1 point. Raise purges 2. Tapping into chaos comes with a price. The Chaos Templar also bonds with a weapon melee. Forming the bond takes 24 hour of prayer. This gives the weapon a +2 bonus. If the weapon is destroyed, the Templar cannot bond with another weapon for one month and suffers a -2 to all attack rolls till a new bond is formed.

o Human
o Drow
 High Elves went mad and drove themselves to extinction with the destruction of the world.
o Githyanki
o Githzerai
o Halfling
o Orc
o Freyjalis (Feline Race)

o Githyanki believe in an Old God, Tulmorfusian, who powers Chaos. They believe that they are the supreme beings chosen by this God.
o Githzerai believe in finding harmony within Chaos, and strive to find perfection of body and mind within the realm. The Chaos Templar whom can both tap into chaos and find peace within it is an honored and supreme being.
o Seidhlass- Beautiful Lady– Goddess of nature, animals, and celebration. Also believed to give the Freyjalis their anthropomorphic form.
o Kandull– God of War, Strength, and battle. Created the Orcs.
o Zeeja– Goddess of Shadows, Trickery, and lies. Bedded with Trestes to create Halfing.
o Trestes– God of the Sun, justice, and expansion. Created Humans.
o Lylthaleen– Goddess of knowledge, beauty, magic, and the moon. Created the Elves.
o Memanon– Goddess of the Afterlife, peace and love.
o Hepsthesis– God of the Underworld, evil, and betrayal.

Arcane Background-
o Miracles
o Arcane
o Weird Science (Called Artificer)

o 5 Major Islands (all Githyanki occupied area have an armed garrison occupying towns or near them.

1- Respen– Renamed Yagrligar after Githyanki conquered island. Most of island is farm lands to keep large city fed. There are also tree farms to keep wood and paper in supply.
• City 1- Euphyrm- Capital city renamed Githmar. Large port City. Githyanki leaders reside here.
• City 2- Bogben- Small town in boggy area. Does water farming from swamp and fishing.
• Vissen- Resort style town. Wealthy mine barons live here.
• 1A- Githyanki airship growth plant.

2- Bale- Ice Island. One settlement there. Harsh. Water farming occurs here, carefully regulated by Githyanki and Mining Barons.
• City 1- Winter’s Eye- Small mining town owned by Mining Barons. Small Githyanki presence as well as paid mercenary militia to monitor the mining of the ice and water of the island.

3- Seidhlass’s Wish– The island is wild and lush. Ancient ruins can be seen from the air. Many brave souls have perished during attempts to map the island. It is believed that a Freyjalis stronghold exists here.

4- Vencia– An island known for its beautiful crystal forests. The islands main city South Point and helps construct airships. Vencia is the only island free from Githyanki control. Each of the three cities has 2 elected officials. One resides in their city, while the other three reside in a secret location, making decisions for the good of the island and the resistance of the Githyanki government. It is rumored that a large resistance cell lives in the depths of the island.
• City 1- Haasall- Port town with factory for building airships. Farms located south.
• City 2- Nurljin- Became a sort of resort town in ages past due to being located between two groupings of crystalline forests. Years prior the city was heavily damaged by Githyanki air raids and has since not recovered due to lack of materials and business in this time of war.
• City 3- Myiso- Small town located in valley between two mountain ranges and crystalline forest and near large lake. Provides much of the island with fish, fresh water, and some vegetation.

5- Bedkak– Orc stronghold Regzrag. Ore mined and strong weapons made here. Under Githyanki Martial Law.
• City 1-
• City 2-
• 5A- Githyanki airship growth plant.

o 5 Smaller Islands

6- Black Ore Isle– Largest area of ore in Chaos. Surface area has active volcanoes that creates new ore. Prisoners are used as cheap labor in the dangerous mines.

7- The Ruins– Remnants of when Chaos shattered the world long since forgotten. The Githyanki Resistance is said to have its base here. It is dangerous to fly airships, wood or living into the constantly moving chunks of rock. Electrical storms occur within the ruins.

8- The Center– Stronghold of the Githzerai peoples that have managed to escape the purging. The island is guarded by Chaos Templars and old magic located in the rubble surrounding it. The Githyanki have not been able to successful penetrate it yet.

9- Traders Point– Small island where a city takes up whole area. Information, items, and other such things can be found here. It is said that Zeeja herself has blessed this little haven.

10- Blight– A dead island that radiates power. An Elven tower has been built at the edge of the island to study the effects. An old abandoned ruin lies in the middle of the island.

Building up a Homebrew World

First off, I’m really sorry for my lack of posting lately! Last semester at school burnt me out of just about everything. I have never hard to read and write so much in almost ALL my 3 years in school as I did last semester.

So I really just burnt out on blogging, writing gaming stuff, and even reading (one of my favorite things to do). I’ve just been bumming, playing WoW, and letting ideas sit on the burner and simmer.

I feel the burn out is lessening, and I’m hoping that I will be feeling more motivated once February hits and my friends and I do our 2 shot Star Wars sessions, and then jump back into our Clockworks game! Sorry there has been such a delay in play-testing Shawn!

In other news I have been giving quite a bit of thought to what I will run when we get done (if we honestly ever get done) with our current Dungeons and Dragons game. I have felt like doing a homebrew campaign for quite some time, since it has been YEARS since I’ve done one. However the creation of a homebrew setting is quite daunting and intensive.

I had two ideas in my head. A game set in the Realm of Chaos, where the planet has been shattered and is now fragments hanging in limbo of chaos (much like SW Sundered Skies) or a game where civilization has just started and the group literally makes history themselves and not have too much lore to digest.

You Must Choose, but Choose Wisely

I decided that it wouldn’t be fair to choose one of these settings myself without feedback from my wonderful players. Here is the questioner I sent to each of them:

1) Realm of Chaos or Beginning of Civilization
a. Realm of Chaos– will be a world that has been torn asunder by the plane of chaos ripping it apart. However, floating islands remain and society has rebuilt. A new danger has arisen in recent times as the Githyanki have returned after being away for hundreds of years. They have conquered some of the islands and are imposing martial law while committing genocide of the Githzerai. Idea- Group starts as part of a liberation/resistance front against the Githyanki.
b. Beginning of Civilization– Civilization has just started, leaving behind the nomadic ways of old, some places will be more developed than others. Writing has just started and only the most sophisticated of people have mastered it. Oration is still the means of passing on knowledge and history. The theme here is the unknown and FORMING history as opposed to the standard fantasy trope. What allowed civilization to form- the beginning of Magic allowed for people to form defenses against the harshness of nature. This will be a very civilization are small pockets of light in a vast darkness type campaign.
c. Answer-

2) High Magic or Low Magic
a. Obviously Realm of Chaos would be more high magic, but it CAN be muted. Beginning of Civilization would be fine as either.
b. Answer-

3) Style of Play
a. I have my own style of DMing but the campaign can have a focus theme while mixing others together. What type of theme would you like to see more prevalent?

4) System
a. Savage Worlds or Pathfinder 3.75. Each one obviously has pros and cons. Each one I will be limiting the books used (more specifically if Pathfinder is chosen). For Savage Worlds it will pretty much be the core book and the fantasy toolkits for myself. For Pathfinder it will be limited to the Corebook, the DMG 2 (when it comes out) and the bestiary.

5) What is something you want to see happen or from this campaign?

I was given, thanks to my constant prodding, a pretty expeditious response. I have started building the world and love it because it is not just my world, but all of my players because they have made a choice.

Tomorrow I will post the decision that was made and the outline that I have done thus far!