Frankengame Breakdown, Part 1- Chargen and Races

At the beginning of November anarkeith did a post about Frankengaming, which is something I’m a big proponent of.  I love hacking games and taking what I like from them.  Last week The Sky Full of Dust posted his thoughts on the same thing and asked people how they go about it.

I really couldn’t give a quick answer so I decided I’d do a post about it instead, also because I wanted to give credit where it was due.

Today I will cover System, Character Creation, and Races.

Note: I do have rules for general use (all races and classes) but they are not as polished as what I am using for my new Swords and Sorcery game, which is what I’ll be presenting in these posts.

Here is the full pdf of my hack rules without the breakdowns: WrathofZombie Frankengame Rules

System: I use Castles & Crusades as my base with a little bit of Lamentations of the Flame Princess thrown in for good measure.

Character Creation: Players roll 3d6 eight times, rerolling any rolls of ‘1’ (so the lowest score that a starting character can have in any ability score is ‘6’).  Players drop the lowest score, and assign the other seven to their characters’ abilities (strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution, charisma, and luck) as they choose.  If a player’s character does not have at least two ability scores that are 13 or greater, he or she may reroll the entire set.

This is something I did in the past, however I liked Akratic Wizardry’s statement of allowing a person to scratch the whole set if they do not have two abilities of at least 13. 

New Attribute: Luck– The luck stat comes into play by burning luck points in order to do several things:

  • Automatically succeed on an ability check.
  • Cause a Target to reroll the attack or damage against you, taking the lower of the two.
  • By burning two luck points the player can add something to the story that is helpful (ie- running down an alley while being chased by goons the player burns the luck and says that there is a door in the ally, allowing them to get away).
  • Catch a Second Wind, giving you back ¼ of your total HP.
  • By burning 3 you automatically score a critical hit.

Luck regenerates at an amount of 4 per level.

This one was created by me and was inspired by Action Points from 3.5 Eberron and Fate Points from FATE.




Creatures of the underdark.  Many see them as untrustworthy, but they make fine assassins and night guards.

Racial Attributes– +2 Dex, +2 Chr, -2 Con.

Darkvision– A Drow can see 160 ft in the dark.

Drow Immunities- Drow are immune to sleep effects and receive a +2 against Enchantment Spells and effects.

Sneaky– Drow are sneaky and use this to their advantage.  When attempting to Hide or Move Silently they receive +2 to their rolls.

Spell Like Abilities– Change Self, Darkness, and Spider Climb each 1x/day.

Light Blindness– Stunned for 1 round and is receive -2 to all rolls while in affected area.

Half Orc

Most are bastard children of women raped and left alive by savage Orc raiding parties.  Half Orcs tend to be shunned by both societies but are valued for their muscle in human communities and their mental capacity in Orc communities.

Racial Attributes– +2 to any one Attribute Score.

Dark Vision– Orcs can see up to 60ft in the dark.

Orc Rage– Once Per day a Half Orc can tap into the anger that flows through his veins and become ferocious and dangerous.  The character gains +2 to damage and a Damage Reduction of 2 for 1 + his Constitution Modifier rounds.

While this ability is active a Half Orc cannot cast spells or perform tasks that require concentration.  This ability can stack with a Barbarians Rage.

Ferocious Presence– +2 to Charisma checks when intimidating.

Uncanny Sense of Smell– Half-Orcs live and hunt by their sense of smell.  They receive +2 on any perception roll having to do with smell.


Humans– Savage, bent on conquest, and fulfilling their own desires.

Racial Attributes– +2 to any one Attribute Score.

Human Ingenuity– A human receives one additional Primary Attribute.

Human Constitution– Humans start with +4 HP at level 1.



The world is dangerous and demons roam the world.  Many take to the beds of beautiful women in the hopes of propagating so that their children walk the earth.  Often demon females will disguise themselves as whores and get pregnant for this very reason.

Racial Attributes– +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Chr

Darkvision– A Tiefling can see 100 ft in the dark.

Spell-like Ability– A Tiefling can tap into their infernal blood and cast Darkness 1x/day.

Infernal Parentage– Choose One: Charm Person or Cause Fear as a Spell-like Ability (this reflects the type of Infernal that sired the Tiefling).  They can use this 1x/day.

Fiendish Resistances– Due to their heritage a Tiefling receives a +2 to any save when dealing with the following types of damage; Cold, Electric, and Fire.

I’ll have a longer post on my current setting, but from my race selection you can kind of see where I was going.  I wanted to keep the Pathfinder version of Racial Attribute Modifiers, but also wanted to give each race a few things that made them feel special.

This also extends into the way I structured my classes.  I like my players to have a few abilities that they can use and feel unique and special, but I am no longer a fan of the 3.x/4e (never was) huge amount of options players have to slog through.  Half the feats and abilities and powers of the later editions end up being forgotten or discarded.

Tomorrow- Onto Classes

Author: Mike Evans

I am the dude behind DIY RPG Productions. I have a fuck all punk rock attitude, love meeting new people, doing nature shit, and gaming (tabletop and console) and having a good time. I love craft beer (maybe too much), punk, grunge, and industrial music. I write books. Good for me.

10 thoughts

    1. Thanks! Naw. No Dwarves. I thought about it, but they just didn’t fit in with the feel I was going for with this world. I wanted more of that dangerous corrupt feel which is why I chose the races that I did. Dwarves, even when spun around on their heads and made anew, still feel too complacent and xenophobic for what I wanted.

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