Friday, August 31, 2012

Plastic Gun

I just finished reading Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell and it had a very interesting weapon in it that I wanted to share.

Plastic Gun
The plastic gun is completely made of plastic, including the ammunition. It is undetectable by most scanning devices. Because the gun is made of plastic, every time the weapon is fired the barrel deforms. The benefit of this is it changes the ballistic marks, which makes the weapon untraceable but it also effects the reliability of the weapon. The first shot is completely accurate and the second is almost as good. The third through sixth shots are alright at close range but any further shots will be completely inaccurate. On the ninth shot, there is a 1 in 40 chance that the gun will explode and 1 in 6 odds on the 10th shot. There is no way of telling how many times a plastic gun has been fired.
The plastic bullets are capable of killing a person but cannot pierce metal. The stats would be the same as the non-plastic version of the weapon minus any hardness negating properties.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


In Swords and Sabres, I raved about the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Swords and Sabres and I though I would share some of the weapons found in the book.

The Khepesh is a weapon designed to be thrown but can also be used like a traditional sword. It was a favored weapon of Pharaohs.

In D20 terms, I was thinking it should be a light martial melee weapon; 30ft range, d6 damage, x3 critical (because of the sickle sword design), 2lbs, slashing, 15gp.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Design Journal: Skills

I am very fond of the signature moves idea that I came up with for my combat skills. I feel that it allows for more diversification and will encourage players to think outside of predefined abilities. The bugbear in my soup is that I have a different method of application and advancement for each of the three skill sets. It makes things more complicated, which goes against my goals for the game.

To streamline everything, I will be switching my skills and special abilities over to the signature move style. In order to do this, I need to refine(read: actually make up my mind) how I want to handle selection and advancement of moves.

Here is the best idea I have had so far. When players spend their advacement points in a skill group or special ability, they have the choice of buying a new move or improving his or her current moves by 1. If the player wants to focus on improving one move instead of all the moves, s/he may place the new points from the other moves into the one move. No move may have a bonus that is higher than the total points in the skill.  When the player places enough advancement points into a skill or ability to move it into the next level of skill(apprentice to journeyman, etc) all the moves that make the transition improve by one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chase Tables: Basics

During a game, I set up an ambush for my characters. They were meeting up with a caravan to head off to the frontier. As they walked down the street, they saw a man leaning on a building just before an alley. As they got close to the man, three others emerged from the alley. The ringleader confronted the party and combat was initiated. Two of the thugs went down in the first round (I underestimated things just a bit). The third was knocked unconscious and the fourth took a hit and bolted. One of my players gave chase. A potentially thrilling roleplaying opportunity fell flat because I did not know how to handle it. I may be a noob GM but I learn from my mistakes. The experience gave me an idea for a mechanic for my game.

Chase Tables!

Here's the basic idea:

First determine the distance between the chasee and the chaser. The chasee can use obstacles to try to gain distance or impede the chaser. Obstacles are determined by the location. Distance is gained or lost in 10ft lengths. The chase ends when the chasee is caught, gains x number of lengths, or the chaser gives up.

An example:

#1 chases #2 into an alley. #2 has a 30ft lead on #1.

Obstacles: Crates and a fence

Option 1 - #2 can pull the crates over to cause #1 to have to successfully dodge the crates or loose a length while #2 climbs over the fence.

Option 2 - #2 can just try to climb the fence faster than normal. If he succeeds he can gains a length, if he fails he looses a length.

I plan to develop the idea and post the tables for specific locations. Look for Small Villages, Medieval Style.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Design Journal: Knowledge

It is my experience that knowledge skills are unimportant(for lack of a better term). Players spend their points and, if they have a few left over, will put them in a knowledge. They are rarely important to the game and generally a waste of a skill point.

 I currently use the standard method for knowledge skills; buy ranks in a specific knowledge skill and that determines your level of knowledge on the subject.

I am considering changing to a more abstract method. Players would not have to buy ranks in a subject. If it makes sense for their character to know something, then they can know it. To determine level of knowledge on a subject players use one of three methods; they use a related skill such as foraging for information about plants, gather information for information gained from people, and research for information gained from documents and other non-people sources.

I like this method because it frees up points for more directly useful skills and is less limiting. You never have to worry about your ranger not knowing poisonous plants from healing because he did not have points to spare for knowledges.

I do realize that this method could easily be taken advantage of. The GM would have to take care to make sure players are being true to their character concepts.