Saturday, February 23, 2013

The King of Birds' Daughter

Long ago, a prince went hunting and with his bow killed the daughter of the King of Birds. For this crime, the King of Birds chose to punish all mankind equally. He granted each of them gift of flight for a single day; now, forever after, they dream about the wings they once had.

Gods of the Norsemen,_1886_(Odin,_the_Wanderer).jpg/220px-Georg_von_Rosen_-_Oden_som_vandringsman,_1886_(Odin,_the_Wanderer).jpg

Alignment: Lawful
God of: Wisdom, Victory, Prophecy, Magic, The Hunt
1st-level spells: Detect Magic, Second Sight, Protection from Evil, Blessing
Unholy creatures: undead, demons, chaotic spirits and beings, mundane animals
Weapons: Spear, Sword, Staff, Sling
Servants: Huginn and Muninn, ever-watchful ravens; Geri and Freki, ravenous wolves; Sleipnir, eight-legged horse.

Alignment: Lawful
God of: Thunder, Strength, Healing
1st-level spells: Word of Command, Protection from Evil, Resist Cold or Heat, Blessing
Unholy creatures: undead, demons, elves, dwarves
Weapons: Hammer, Staff, Mace
Servants: Thjalfi, the world's fastest runner, and his wife Roskva; Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, mighty goats.

Alignment: Neutral
God of: Sea, Wind, Wealth
1st-level spells: Resist Cold or Heat, Holy Sanctuary, Food of the Gods, Blessing
Unholy creatures: undead, demons, mundane animals, creatures of earth including dwarves
Weapons: Axe, Bow, Spear
Servants: Radveig and Kreppvor, his daughters.*04dftC-HWCgxb1Kw9P37Cv8mkzsnfoaVKipJ8LG8spc_/freyja_034.jpg
Alignment: Neutral
Goddess of: Love, Fertility, Gold
1st-level spells: Food of the Gods, Protection from Evil, Word of Command, Detect Evil
Unholy creatures: undead, demons, non-living creatures, dwarves
Weapons: Bow, Spear, Staff
Servants: Hildisvini, a mighty boar; two cats, names unknown.

Alignment: Chaotic
God of: Trickery, Fire, Dishonour
1st-level spells: Darkness, Paralysis, Detect Magic, Word of Command
Unholy creatures: undead, valkyries, einherjar, light elves
Weapons: Sword, Dagger, Throwing Knife, Flail
Servants: Sigyn, his faithful wife; Narfi, his son who became a wolf.

Alignment: Chaotic
Goddess of: Death, the Underworld
1st-level spells: Darkness, Second Sight, Resist Cold or Heat, Word of Command
Unholy creatures: undead, valkyries, einherjar, mundane animals
Weapons: Axe, Scythe, Javelin.
Servants: Dead souls of thieves, murderers and those without honour.
Jesus Christ
Alignment: Lawful
God of: Peace, Love, Charity
1st-level spells: Holy Sanctuary, Blessing, Protection from Evil, Detect Evil
Unholy creatures: undead, demons, elves, dwarves, pagan spirits
Weapons: Club, Mace, Hammer, Sling
Servants: Cherubim and saints.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

FLAILSNAILS to DCC conversion (first draft)

rules not as yet tested for swiftly converting FLAILSNAILS PCs to DCC games and/or using OSR-compatible homebrew classes in DCC.

First, determine your character's base class:
If you fight good and do very little else, you are a Fighter.
If you fight good but also have some extra abilities such as ranger, paladin or racial powers, you are a Variant Fighter.
If you fight fairly well but have other abilities that make up at least 50% of your schtick, you are a Cleric.
If you have skills, sneaky stuff or other utilities that aren't fighting or magic, you are a Thief.
If casting spells is your primary thing, you are a Wizard.

Characters get attack bonus, action dice, critical tables and saving throws as per their base class.
Fighters get the Deed Die and Mighty Deed of Arms.
Variant Fighters don't get the Deed Die, and instead get an attack bonus equal to the average of the Deed Die they would have gotten, rounded down. (e.g. d3 = +1; d4 = +2; etc) They cannot perform Mighty Deeds of Arms.
Clerics and Wizards still cast spells as per their original system; no rolling on tables for you.
Thieves use whatever skills they had from their original system, but gain the ability to burn and regain Luck as a Thief.

Your DCC Strength, Agility, Stamina and Personality correspond to their equivalent stats in the original system. (Why they insisted on renaming Dex, Con and Cha I will never understand.) Your DCC Intelligence is the higher of your OSR Intelligence or Wisdom. Your Luck is rolled as you enter the DCC universe.

Monday, February 18, 2013

FIMBULWINTER campaign primer
An axe-age, a sword-age, shields shall be cloven; a wind-age, a wolf-age, ere the world totters.

Cold, darkness, violence and betrayal are the hallmarks of the Fimbulwinter, the last great winter that heralds the end of the world. The end will approach gradually: the actual length of this last terrible season may be one year or it may be one hundred, depending on what happens during that time. Springs and summers will come and go for a while, but each will be less bright than the last. Although Ragnarok looms on the horizon, the PCs will have plenty of time to engage in low-level adventures and pursue their own personal goals. Nor is the apocalypse destined to play out in a particular manner, for the PCs may well have a hand in it before the dark season is over.

Fighters of Scandinavia are generally Vikings, those who sailed on longships to distant lands either as explorers, merchants or pirates. Other fighters might be housecarls who serve in a particular house, or mercenaries, wandering brigands, etc.

Thieves are much the same as they ever are, professional lawbreakers, footpads, pickpockets and con artists, whose trades are ubiquitous in time and place.
Clerics will mostly be priests of the Norse pantheon, picking a specific god to whom they pay homage. The following gods are common, although others are also allowed.
Lawful: The Aesir - Odin, Thor, Tyr, Bragi.
Neutral: The Vanir - Njord, Freyr, Freyja, Heimdall.
Chaotic: Loki, Hel.
For foreigners, gods of other realms are also viable, e.g. Jesus, Allah, Lugh, Satan.


Wizards are those who shun the magic of the gods and seek power for men alone. Many strike bargains with powerful supernatural beings in order to gain greater power. Common patrons who offer bargains include Utgarda-Loki, the giant illusionist; Angrboda, mother of monsters; the Norns, who weave the threads of destiny; and the King of Alfheim, lord of the timeless elves.
That which is called Álfheimr is one, where dwell the peoples called Light-Elves; but the Dark-Elves dwell down in the earth, and they are unlike in appearance, but by far more unlike in nature.

Elves are long-lived, fair and cold-hearted. They care little for the struggles of mortal beings, but sometimes deign to venture abroad from their holts in Alfheim, playing for awhile at the games of humanity. Dark Elves dwell deep beneath the earth in Nidavellir; they are like their forest cousins, but with more of cruelty and less of playfulness.

Many a likeness of men they made, the dwarfs in the earth, as Durin said. 

Dwarves are also long-lived; they are cruel and capricious, and their hearts are warmed only by greed. In their secret halls beneath the mountains they craft magical artifacts of unparalleled quality. Those who go adventuring are usually outcasts from their home people, and usually have little love for men or gods.

Halflings are an obscure race, possibly descended from the union of men and elves. They live exclusively in Shetland, where they have been driven into the hills and hidden valleys by the arrival of Danish settlers. They generally lack a taste for adventure, but Halfling PCs will be the exceptions.

Other races and classes are available by negotiation. If the rules for it don't seem broken, and you can argue convincingly how it fits into the setting, then you can play it.

The Gods of the Norsemen are somewhat different to the typical D&D depiction of deities; they are somewhat weaker, though still very powerful. The Aesir are not abstract conceptual entities and they are not sustained or created by belief in them. They have discrete physical forms and they are, theoretically at least, vulnerable to physical threats; but they all possess mighty magic, powerful artifacts and superhuman abilities. Nevertheless, one god has died in the past, and it may yet happen again.
Out of the Ice-waves issued venom-drops, waxing until a giant was;
Thence are our kindred come all together,-- so it is they are savage forever.
Giants, by contrast, are considerably more powerful than the D&D depiction would have them. Rarely have mortals defeated giants in open combat, although trickery has sometimes served them better. The greatest giants are rivals to the gods themselves, and it is feared that when the gods and giants go to war it will signal the end of the world. Not all giants are evil or murderous, however; some, like Utgarda-Loki, simply keep to themselves, and in at least one case a giantess had a child by a human lover.

 Nine worlds I knew, the nine in the tree, with mighty roots beneath the mold.

The Nine Worlds, or Nine Realms, are not separate planes of existence, as in some conceptions of Norse mythology. Rather, they are for the most part separate terrestrial regions, although some are high in the sky or deep beneath the earth. The Nine Realms are as follows: Midgard, where men dwell; Asgard, home of the gods; Jotunheim, or Giantland; Alfheim, the secret realms of the elves; Nidavellir, subterranean home of the dark elves; Muspellheim, land of fire; Niflheim, land of ice; Hel, land of the dead; and Vanaheim, where once the Vanir dwelled.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tourist class for DIY D&D

Tourists are travellers from distant lands or possibly from the future. Wherever they come from they seem singularly unaware of the dangers that surround them. They consider everything that happens to them merely an exotic holiday. What they lack in guile they make up for in their bizarre, seemingly supernatural luck, and unusual technology.

Hit Die: d6
Saves, XP and other faffery as Thief

Weapons & Armour
Tourists have a great deal of enthusiasm for combat but very little training. They are proficient only in weapons that are easy to use, mainly bludgeoning weapons, crossbows, slingshots and guns. Bladed weapons are beyond them, as are complicated missile weapons like slings and bows.
Tourists will refuse to wear armour heavier than leather, considering it hot and stuffy. However they get a +4 bonus to AC and saves against any danger of which they are blithely unaware. In DCC, they add their Luck bonus to AC as well.

Thief-like Skills
Go Unnoticed: Tourists are often able to blunder through high-security checkpoints and well-defended guardposts without even realising they are going somewhere they shouldn't. They can 'Hide' and 'Move Silently' as a Thief of their level.
It Was Open, So I Came Inside: Tourists can 'Pick Locks' as a Thief of their level. They don't actually pick the locks, they just find doors that happen to be left ajar. The DC is determined by how frequently the door is opened.

In DCC, the Tourist is able to spend and regain Luck just like a Thief.
In other systems, the Tourist gains a limited number of points per day to spend on modifying rolls up or down. This number is equal to 2 times the Tourist's level. Each point modifies the roll by 1, just as in DCC. Or you could mod in the DCC Luck stat just for this one character, that would be a bit of a gas.

Whatever class starts with the highest money in your game, the Tourist starts with twice that much.

Foreign Gadgetry
At 1st level the Tourist arrives with a single item of foreign provenance, perhaps magically enchanted or perhaps technology from the distant future. This item is chosen at random and once lost cannot be replaced.
The Tourist receives a mail order package containing a new random item at every odd-numbered level. If it is the same as an item they have already got, they can send it back with a strongly-worded note demanding an exchange, but processing will take 4-6 weeks.
Any non-Tourist trying to operate one of these gadgets has a 1 in 3 chance of it backfiring unpleasantly upon them.

1. Camera: Makes a flash of light that blinds all creatures in a 30' square in front of the user (DC 15 Ref save to avoid.) Also takes pictures. Can be used once per day.
2. Animate Luggage: A large chest or backpack that walks around by itself and follows the Tourist faithfully. Carries twice as much as a normal human. Prefers to run from danger but if cornered will ram for 1d6 damage. If the Tourist is killed, there is a 50% chance the Luggage will imprint upon the nearest creature, and a 50% chance it will run off and go feral.
3. Bug Repellent: Exceedingly strong spray for keeping off noxious insects. When used, all creatures who smell it must make a morale check or flee until out of the radius of 50'. Tourists are immune to the stuff and allies may plug their nostrils in advance. Each can contains 2d6 charges of spray.
4. Sunblock: A mysterious unguent that provides DR 5 against fire and radiation attacks, and total immunity to sun scorch, light beams and other solar shenannigans. Lasts 6 hours but must be applied 20 minutes in advance. Each tube contains 6d6 doses for one person each.
5. Everfull Lunchbox: Whenever you open this lunchbox, there will be a tuna & corn sandwich, a banana and a thermos full of tea.
6. Travel Guide: A book containing many truths and several falsehoods about the local area. The Tourist may consult the book once for each area (town, dungeon, hex or zone, whatever). The DM will roll a secret die for the type of information found: 1-2: useful secret (hidden door, trap warning, saucy blackmail information, etc.) 3-5: useful information but not secret, 6: false and potentially dangerous information.
7. Portable Jukebox: A small box containing several imps (or possibly 'computer chips') which can record and play back sounds with perfect fidelity. Also contains a variety of musical recordings of an utterly alien and shamelessly licentious style. This novelty confers a +2 bonus to reaction rolls for NPCs of Neutral or Chaotic alignment; Lawful characters will find the music crude and boorish.
8. Universal Panacea: A bottle of pills that can heal just about any ailment, but not hit point loss. Minor ailments, including anything non-permanent, require 1 pill; major ailments, such as permanent blindness, disease or poisoning, require 2 pills; extreme ailments, such as dismemberment or a curse, require 4 pills. There are exactly 15 pills in each bottle.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

FLAILSNAILS-compatible race & class compendium

Bored of yr. Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Thief? Roll up and get your variant classes, sub classes and completely novel classes right here.
Arranged sort of haphazardly from least gonzo to most.
Will keep adding to this as I find them.

My 4E-to-old-school conversions:
Empath (4E Ardent)
Shapechanger (4E Druid)

Zak's alternate classes where you roll on a table for feats each time you level up:
Random Fighter
Random Thief
Random Ranger
Random Wizard
Random Barbarian

and Reynaldo's Random Paladin

 Blood Island classes - including Viking, Berserker Viking, Adventurer, Shaman
Bounty Hunter
White Wizard
Blue Wizard  ('copy wizard')
DCC Summoner
Rockpriest  (Dwarf Cleric)
Feral Dwarf
Illusionist as Specialist, not Magic-User
Witch Hunter
Beast Master
Druid  (blood & guts druid, sacrifices HP to summon spirits)
Gnome  (tiny fairy type)
War Dog
Shardik  (bear people)
Nordanbjorn  (sapient bear)
Frogling  (HMS Apollyon)
Frogman  (Wampus Country)
Myconid (Mushroom Man)
Annelidist  (infested with demon worms)
Blood Druid
Battle Princess/Murder Princess
Battle Princess  (yes, two people independently made their own Battle Princess class)
Plant Goblin
Fallarin  (winged humanoid)
Black Hobbit
Eberron Classes: Warforged, Shifter and Gnome Artificer
Flying Monkey
Time Gnome
Planetary Ape
Horde Trooper  (I guess this is from a cartoon or something?)
Chaos Monk
Stranger  (John Carter type modern human gadding about in the fantasy world)
Tourist  (also a John Carter, sort of)
Tourist  (Discworld style)
Bleaklands Ghoul
Fire Lizard of Kalak-Nur
Son of the Toad
Anti-Druid  (City/Machine Druid)
Vat Spawn
Magitek Engineer
Grease Monkey
Muscle Wizard
Machine Bonded 
Harry Potter Goblin
Christmas Elf
Luchador  (sword & planet style)
Barsoomian Green Man
Ghost in the Machine
Vault Person
Bene Gesserit
Mega Robot
Pokemon Trainer
Warpstar Knight

Dust PC classes (not actually gonzo if you happen to be playing 1920s dust bowl D&D)
Scrap Princess
Murder Ballad Boy

(not many of these because most people seem to like doing race-as-class)
A shitload of races  including 'Void Elf', 'Deodand', 'Goblin from Labyrinth'

DCC Classes (not quite OSR-compatible)
Dwarven Cleric
Gnome, Bard, Ranger and Paladin
Muscle Wizard