Category Archives: Magic World

Stafford & Petersen To Return To Chaosium

This is apparently happening, at least according to this thread at the purple forum place, which appears to be written by Greg Stafford himself.

I have no dog in any hunt w/ Chaosium right now. I didn’t back any of their Kickstarters (Flying Buffalo took care of my KS disappointment). I’m not especially keen on the CoC 7th rules after having playtested them. But I’m still quite curious about the situation, as there are all kinds of potential repercussions and reverberations. And if any of that shakes out to better support for BRP, I’ll be happy.

Meanwhile, I’m packing for NTRPG Con, where I’ll get to play in a Basic D&D game run by Frank Mentzer and a Top Secret game run by Merle Rasmussen. And the DCC Lankhmar playtest that Doug Kovacs is running. And a couple of other things. So that’s going to be fun. So much so that I might even bother to post some pictures or even write up a report after the weekend. No promises, though. I’m a lazy sod, after all.

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Heists For Fantasy Thieves

Wherein your humble scribe, drawing on the “All The Dice” random generator concept (tip of the hat to Grim), presents a random table for your nerdly needs.

My latest obsession/idea is an old school urban crime mini-campaign, something along the lines of the old Gamelords Thieves’ Guild RPG.

My first thought was to use Labyrinth Lord/AEC and break down the thieving skills a bit to turn that subsystem into something that players could customize to reflect their own individual thief’s specialties (sort like AD&D 2e did – but I don’t have those books handy to steal from reference). But when I started doing the math I quickly realized I’d be better off using a different system (one that was already skill-based).

So in rode BRP and the fabulous Classic Fantasy monograph (to be used if I feel the need to retain a degree of D&D style). If I ever make this get off the ground (and given my current levels of gamer ADD and the general scheduling issues with the folks I play with, that’s a dubious proposition) I’m going to need an idea generator for some thiefly adventures & heists. Hence, the tables below. Please feel free to make use of these in any way you see fit. Sharing makes the world go ’round!

Let’s Roll

Grab yourself a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 and roll ’em. Check against the charts below and let your creativity fill things out as needed.

Location of item(s) to be liberated, 1d4

  1. Temple or other religious/ceremonial building
  2. Private residence (1d4: 1 lower class, 2 middle class, 3 upper class, 4 nobility)
  3. Mercantile building (guildhall, apothecary, etc.)
  4. Governmental building (military hq, prison, town hall, etc.)

Complications of the job, 1d6

  1. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  2. Minor complications, roll for a second guardian for the item (now under double guard)
  3. Major complications, roll for a second location (the item has been moved)
  4. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  5. Serious complications, roll for two more guardians and a second location – the item(s) has been moved to a new location and is under a different kind of protection
  6. It’s a setup! A double-cross! A trap! Everything proceeds normally, but something bad happens if the job is successful (not paid, guard alerted, the job is completely fake, etc.)

Method of payment for liberating the item(s), 1d8

  1. No payment
  2. Keep anything else you can take
  3. Coin: ((2d4-1) X 10)% of item’s value
  4. Coin: ((1d10+10) X 10)% of item’s value
  5. A minor, limited-use magic item (potion of healing, etc.)
  6. Information (a treasure map, the name of a spy, etc.)
  7. Coins: (3d8 X 10) total gp value
  8. Gems: (4d6 X 10) total gp value

Nature of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d10

  1. Plain ol’ coin money
  2. Magic item (weapon/armor/shield)
  3. Religious relic
  4. Gems or jewelry
  5. Paperwork of significance
  6. Object d’Art (statue/painting/etc.)
  7. Symbolic item
  8. Magic item (non-weapon)
  9. Roll again twice using d8s
  10. Roll again three times using d8s

Guardian of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d12

  1. None
  2. Locked chest/safe
  3. Trapped & locked chest/safe
  4. Magical wards
  5. Generic human/demihuman guards
  6. Tougher-than-generic human/demihuman guards
  7. Natural animal(s)
  8. Monster(s)
  9. Undead
  10. Demon/devil
  11. Roll again twice using d10s
  12. Roll again three times using d10s

Source of the job, 1d20

  1. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  2. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  3. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  4. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  5. Religious connection (prelate with a problem, a favor for the god of thieves, etc.)
  6. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  7. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  8. Romantic connection (spouse, mistress, etc.)
  9. Family connection (no-good brother-in-law, dying aunt, etc.)
  10. Political connection (local political faction, foreign government, etc.)
  11. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  12. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  13. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  14. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  15. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  16. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  17. Military/Police connection (the corrupt sheriff, a questionable general, etc.)
  18. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  19. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  20. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)

Some Sample Heists

  • Your older brother offers to pay you a lot of money to break into the town armory and steal the enchanted Shield of the Sentinels. Of course, the armory is guarded by a pair of basilisks, but that’s not a problem for someone like you. You know he can afford what he’s offering; you just don’t know what he’s up to, which is planning on double-crossing you by turning you and the shield in for the reward to pay off his gambling debts.
  • Old Garril the Stonemason offers you a number of small diamonds he once found in a wall he was repairing to steal the sixteen large sapphires Korath the Bold recently donated to the Temple of Naali. These are locked in a chest stored within the high priest’s chambers.
  • You’ve heard a rumor that there’s a woman in Amberton who will pay a nice sum of money for a set of enchanted combs that are currently available in the shop of Forlburt the silversmith. The smith is a paranoid sort, who employs a small number of human guards and trained hounds to stand watch over his shop even as he locks all of his merchandise within a heavy (and trapped!) safe every evening.
  • Your guild or crime family needs you to break into the manor house of the Harbormaster and steal the ledgers for the last season’s shipping taxes. Your reward for pulling off this heist is the name and location of the man who killed your family when you were young. Everyone knows that the house is protected by magical wards. Not even your contact knows about the wraith that has been bound to guard the grounds.
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Magic World Is Out!

Magic World CoverWell, in PDF anyway. The print version won’t be released until the middle of March, but print’s dead anyway, right? 🙂

Magic World, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is the new BRP-based dark fantasy game from Chaosium. It’s heavily based on the Elric!/Stormbringer 5e rules which, in my opinion, are some of the finest fantasy rules that have ever been released by anyone anywhere anytime. So this is pretty much a good thing.

A friend of mine has signed on to help with developing some of the supplemental materials that Chaosium is going to release a little further down the road, and I was actually able to do just a wee bit of playtesting* on MW (which I couldn’t really talk about until now) and I think the folks involved have done quality work on this game. If you’re looking for a fantasy RPG and don’t want the hassle of picking and choosing among the options in the BRP Big Gold Book, MW is exactly what you need.

Somewhat coincidentally, I’ll be joining said friend’s actual MW campaign in progress this coming weekend. I’ll try to get off my lazy duff and let y’all know how it goes.

* If any of you wind up playing MW and choose to play an elf, you can thank me personally for their awesome starting Dodge skill. I made the case that, based on their description in the game, that they should begin as quite skilled dodgers. That I’m wearing my LA Dodgers hat as I type this (I’m greatly anticipating the 2013 MLB season, but that’s a different aspect of my nerditude that I won’t dwell on here) is probably just due to the vagaries of chance.

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Pixie As A Playable Race In BRP

Sometimes you just want to play as a Pixie. Well, maybe you don’t. But someone out there does. And while Tunnels & Trolls has always has Pixies as a core PC race, Basic RolePlaying games haven’t. Until now. So here’s my take on the Pixie as a playable race in BRP.

Pixies are small (6 inches – 2 feet tall), winged forest sprites who are often innately magical and occasionally take part in grand adventures, either as friends or foes. Most Pixies are shy, benign creatures who avoid humans and the other larger races outright. Some, though, can be malign tricksters or bold adventurers. When pressed into combat they will swarm their opponents, poking and slashing at them with tiny weapons that seldom result in more than a scratch on their own, but which can add up quite quickly. Some Pixies are even especially adept at attacking the more exposed and sensitive areas of larger opponents.

Pixies’ diminutive size and natural flying abilities make them very difficult to strike in melee and almost impossible to hit with missile weapons. And though their magical abilities are seldom of the directly harmful sort, they can often be used to confuse, mislead, and misdirect their foes.

Pixie, Winged Forest Sprites

STR 1d6+1 (4-5)
CON 3d6 (11-12)
SIZ 1d2 (1-2)
INT 2d6+6 (13)
POW 3d6+6 (16-17)
DEX 3d6+6 (16-17)
APP 2d6+6 (13)
MOV run-3, fly-6

Average HP: 7
Average Damage Bonus: -1d6
Morale: 55%

Armor: 1d4-1, Bark Armor & Acorn Helmets

Attacks: Spear or Sword 40%, damage 1d4+db

Skills: Dodge 75%, Fly 85%, Hide 65%, Language (Human) 35%, Language (Pixie) 65%, Listen 55%, Knowledge (Forest Lore) 45%, Sense 55%, Spot 55%, Stealth 65%, Track 35%

Powers: Pixies are almost always capable of at least a small amount of magic. Consequently, in most cases any individual Pixie should possess a minimum of 2-3 Sorcery or Magic spells, depending on which system is used in the game at hand. Spells that affect others’ perceptions are the most common kinds of magic known by Pixies. For Magic spells, skill levels will likely range between 45% and 65%.

Special: Pixies can fly via their natural wings. For game mechanics, refer to the Wings mutation on p. 110 of the BRP Big Gold Book. Pixies are treated as though they have the Major version of this mutation.

Some particularly martial Pixies may possess the Pixie-Fu (Martial Arts) skill, representing their ability to strike at less well-protected areas due to their size and maneuverability. Personally, I’d recommend allowing PC Pixies to have access to this skill during character creation (though I’d keep the maximum initial value for the skill on the low-end, say, 25% tops), to enhance their playability in combat-heavy settings.

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Echo Chamber News Flash: Chaosium To Release New Magic World

This just in… Chaosium will be releasing a new version of Magic World this summer! Here’s the skinny:

MAGIC WORLD is a self-contained fantasy roleplaying game using the classic “Basic Roleplaying” system. The game allows you to play characters in a world of fantasy, adventure, and excitement. The rules of MAGIC WORLD are simple to grasp, while having enough options and complexity to suit any gaming style. Characters grow in experience organically, without relying on artificial constructs such as classes, levels, etc. Any sort of fantasy character you can imagine, you can play. MAGIC WORLD contains:

* Full rules for creating characters in a world of magic and fantasy.
* A robust magic system with nearly one hundred spells. Any character may become a spell caster with the right combination of raw talent, and training!
* Detailed, yet streamlined skills and combat rules.
* Complete rules for nautical adventures.
* A bestiary of more than sixty creatures to use as foes for the characters, or as the characters themselves! Play as any species imaginable: Human, Elf, Orc, Centaur, Troll, Talking Beast, and more!
* Gamemaster advice, and resources.
* A gallery of enchanted items which might be found in your characters’ adventures.
* A complete sample campaign setting, “the Southlands”, to jump start your adventures.
* And more!

The best part of this is that little “self-contained” bit. That should mean that the Big Gold Book isn’t needed, and that this little gem can be a proper gateway drug to the majesty that is BRP. That’s a whole lot of new spells for, presumably, the “classic” Magic World system (which is the “Magic” system in the BGB), too. I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing.

UPDATE: In case you don’t wind up reading the comments, I figured I should point out that it’s been revealed that the magic in Magic World will be the Sorcery system from the Big Gold Book (which is the system that appeared in Elric!) with additional spells added in from other Elric!-y sources. The whole game is, in fact, a reworking of the Elric! rules presented as a complete game. This is marvelous news and I’m just giddy at the prospect of having something like this from Chaosium. I think it’s exactly what BRP needs.

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