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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Oathmark Practice Game - Captain Grimshank's Forces vs The Nightstalkers

 This is a write-up of a practice game of Oathmark I played against myself. It was a 550-point game using the 'Pitched Battle' scenario.

The terrain was arranged with a river across most of the battlefield, with a small bridge across. I decided that a unit was considered on the bridge if its officer was on the bridge, and that the bridge counted as light cover for shooting. There was also a forest at the end of the river, and a ruined encampment at the far end of the battlefield. Finally, there were a few walls and a small building dotted around the battlefield.

The Orcs & Goblins (Captain Grimshank's Forces):

  • Captain Grimshank - Orc Captain
  • Grimshank's Lads - 14 Orc Soldiers
  • Da Choppas - 5 Orc Linebreakers
  • Nippy - Goblin Spellcaster 1; knows Rain of Knives
  • Nippy's Mates - 5 Goblin Spearmen
  • Da Stickas - 5 Goblin Archers

The Undead (The Nightstalkers):
  • The Horror - Necromancer 2; knows Poison Blades and Reanimate
  • Scarecrows - 9 Skeletal Soldiers
  • The Dream Hunter - Skeletal Champion
  • Spectres - 4 units of 5 Skeletal Archers

The armies deployed, and the battle commenced!

Initial Deployment:

Turn 1:
Grimshank's Forces win initiative and advance, and Da Stickas and the Spectres shoot upon the opposing armies. The Spectres kill 1 Sticka and 2 of Grimshank's Lads, leaving the latter disordered. The Horror successfully casts Poison Blades on the Scarecrows.

Turn 2:
Orcs win initiative. Grimshank's Lads and Da Choppas run across the river. The Horror casts Posion Blades on a unit of Spectres. The Spectres fire on Da Choppas, killing 2 and disordering them. Nippy's Mates move up to the bridge.

Turn 3:
Undead win initiative. The Scarecrows charge Da Choppas and wipe them, although taking damage from the melee, Da Stickas, and Nippy. Nippy's Mates charge the Scarecrows but lose 2 goblins and are disordered. The Lads take a shot from the Spectres and advance across the river. The unit of Spectres with Poisoned Blades charge the Lads, but only lose a Spectre, and are pushed back by the Lads. The unit of Spectres facing off with Da Stickas land a shot and disorder them.

Turn 4:
Orcs win initiative. Grimshank's Lads wheel around and deliver a devastating flank charge to the Scarecrows, slaughtering all but one and The Dream Hunter. Nippy's Mates recover from their disordering, and Nippy and Da Stickas fail to deal any damage. The Scarecrows charge Nippy's Mates, killing all but one. Three units of Spectres then shoot the Lads, managing to break them despite their high numbers.

Turn 5:
Orcs win initiative. Nippy's Mate fails to activate and is wiped by Spectre fire, and Da Stickas manage to put a couple of Spectres down.

Turn 6:
The Spectres miss some potshots at Da Stickas as they and Nippy flee the battlefield to regroup with Grimshank. The Nightstalkers are victorious, they advance around the river and corrupt the surrounding pastures!

This was fun to play, although the Lads' terrible luck with their morale rolls probably made the difference, but it'll probably make me fear Uncaring units a bit more in future games. 😄

Sunday, 29 March 2020

My B/X Houserules Compendium

  • May re-roll Ability Scores if the character's rolled Ability Scores sum to 53 or less.
  • No re-rolls on low hit point rolls.
  • Dead characters are replaced with characters with XP equal to the minimum required of a character of the dead character's class and level (e.g. a slain level 2 Fighter would be replaced by a character with 2000 XP). However, a slain character's replacement always starts with at least the amount of XP that the slain character started with.
  • Characters may be swapped in and out freely in town, except that a new character has to earn XP before they can be swapped out.
  • Wielding two one-handed melee weapons in combat gives a +1 bonus to melee attack rolls.
  • Equipment Damage/Shield Interposition
  • Dungeon Grappling
  • Upon reaching 0hp or below, characters are not automatically killed but collapse and, once closely examined by a fellow party member, roll a Save vs. Death. If failed, they die, if passed they're knocked unconscious. After a turn has passed since being knocked unconscious, they awake, at 1hp if at 0hp, and a random ability score is reduced by one (if an Ability Score is reduced below 3 the character dies from their wounds). If a character is ever reduced to negative hp equal to half their Constitution (round down) they automatically die. An unconscious character that takes damage from an attack dies. A character that has collapsed but not examined dies automatically after a turn. You may wish to use these rules to fuel your descriptions of killing blows. Wounds that result in a Saving Throw are likely to be large gashes, shallow stab wounds, or harsh blows to the head that result in visible bleeding. Blows that result in instant death would more likely be cut arteries visibly spurting blood, internal injuries resulting in large quantities of blood spilling from the wound or being coughed up, or obviously unsurvivable trauma to the head or torso. Extreme damage, maximum damage rolled, or a natural 20 rolled on a killing blow could result in something more dramatic like total or partial dismemberment or decapitation, being run through, massive bleeding, gutting, incineration, or being bitten in half, depending on the context.

B/X Equipment Damage Houserules

An equipment damage check is made by a weapon, shield, or suit of armour and is carried out by rolling a d20 and comparing the result to the wielder's Strength score. Any result greater than the wielder's Strength score is a failure, while any result equal to or less than the wielder's Strength score is a success. A roll of 20 is always a failure, and a roll of 1 is always a success.

A shield or weapon that fails its equipment damage check is destroyed. A suit of armour that fails its equipment damage check is considered dented. A dented suit of armour effectively increases the AC it grants by 1 (Leather: 8; Chainmail: 6; Plate Mail: 4) and imposes a -1 penalty on all attack rolls while worn. Dented suits of armour do not make equipment damage checks.

A shield may have to make an equipment damage check if its wielder, who must be using and thus benefiting from its AC bonus, is hit by an attack roll that exactly matches its wielder's AC. Damage is rolled as normal, and if the damage rolled is greater than 3, the shield makes an equipment damage check. If this check is failed, and the shield is thus destroyed, the wielder suffers the attack's damage minus the amount of damage necessary to trigger the shield's equipment damage check. If the amount of damage dealt is not enough to trigger an equipment damage check, the wielder takes no damage from the attack.

A weapon has to make an equipment damage check if its wielder, who must be holding it and not utilising a shield, is hit by an attack roll that exactly matches its wielder's AC, and damage is rolled equal or greater than the greatest number on the weapon's damage die (e.g. 6 or more damage would trigger a check in a short sword). If the target is wielding two weapons then roll a d6; 1-2: the left-hand weapon is affected, 3-4: the right-hand weapon is affected, 5-6: both weapons are affected.

A suit of armour has to make an equipment damage check if its wielder, who must be wearing and thus gaining the AC benefits of the armour, takes damage greater than 1/10 of the armour's gp cost (Leather: 2; Chain Mail; 4, Plate Mail; 6) from a single attack.

Attacks from Bows, Crossbows, and Slings do not trigger equipment damage checks.

An attack that breaks a shield can go on to trigger an equipment damage roll on a suit of armour if enough damage is dealt.

Dented armour can be repaired by an armourer with suitable skills and equipment for 10 gp.

Magic weapons, shields, and suits of armour with a numerical bonus (e.g. a +1 Mace) cannot be forced to make equipment damage checks by normal weapons. Any such weapon, shield, or suit of armour only makes equipment damage checks if the prompting attack came from a weapon with an equal or greater numerical bonus, or an obviously magical attack (e.g. a spell or a dragon's fiery breath). Additionally, when making an equipment damage check for such an item, modify the wielder's Strength score by its numerical bonus for the purposes of the check (e.g. a Strength 16 warrior making an equipment damage check for his +2 Warhammer would succeed on the check on a roll of 18 or less on a d20).

Magical shields, weapons, and suits of armour add their numerical bonus to the damage required to trigger an equipment damage check (e.g. a suit of +1 Leather only makes an equipment damage check if its wearer is struck by a magical attack for 4 or more points of damage).

If appropriate, a combatant may attempt to interpose a shield between themselves and the source of an area-based attack that calls for a Saving Throw for a reduced effect (e.g. a fireball, a dragon's breath, etc.). If this is done, the user may make an equipment damage check for the shield instead of the usual Saving Throw (modified as per the original Saving Throw). On a success, the combatant is treated as having passed the Saving Throw. On a failure, the combatant is treated as having failed the Saving Throw. Either way, the area-based attack is treated as if it were an attack that matched its target's AC exactly; the shield possibly makes an equipment damage check based on the attack's damage. Additionally, any damage done to the combatant by the attack is reduced by the minimum amount of damage necessary to trigger an equipment check in the shield, irrespective of whether the 'Saving Throw' was successful, the attack was of sufficient magical power to trigger a check in the shield, or the shield took, succeeded, or failed a subsequent equipment check. Bear in mind that magical shields used this way against non-magical area-based attacks do not have to make equipment damage checks but the wielder still suffers any damage from the attack that he otherwise would.

Magic weapons and shields destroyed through failed equipment damage checks that have their pieces recovered can be restored by a blacksmith with suitable skills and equipment for the cost of the item's mundane equivalent (e.g. 10gp for a shield) to the power of 1 plus its numerical bonus. For example, a destroyed Short sword +1 would cost 7^(1+1)=49gp to repair. Magical suits of armour that are dented can be similarly restored to their original condition, but with an effective 'base cost' of 10gp.

A GM may want to treat a magic item with powerful non-numerical properties as having a higher numerical bonus for the purpose of repair costs.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Dungeon Fantasy '81' Session 1

This is a documentation of my '81' Dungeon Fantasy RPG game.

Players -
Cat-Folk Knight
Cat-Folk Thief
Elf Wizard
Half-Orc Paladin
Halfling Scout

The session started with the party travelling East through plains towards a desert with increasing rumours of monsters. As the sun sets they start to hear an unnatural weeping and figures moving in the distance. They are set upon by a group of skeletal warriors, which they defeat. They decide to seek refuge in the nearby keep-town of Salkire. They approach Salkire and learn from the guards that the weeping and undead started appearing after a knight clad in black plate had audience with the king before storming out of the city. The king has apparently placed a bounty on his head. The party stay overnight in The Tipsy Trotter, enjoying some Swineherd Stout, getting into a short brawl, and the halfling seducing a barmaid. They are granted an audience with King Sherman who informs them that the knight demanded his daughter, Mona, and resisted arrest, saying the town would be doomed if she was not brought to the great tree beside Hop Lake within a fortnight. The party accepts the bounty with the promise of $5000 and sets off for Hop Lake. On the way they are assaulted by 3 fresh zombies, which they defeat easily. As the great tree comes into sight, the weeping becomes audible and a fog sets in. They are ambushed by three harpies coming from the tree. They dispatch one and the others flee. They see a large figure clad in black plate sat at the base of the tree. His visor is up, showing a rotting face with glowing white eyes that the Paladin recognises as being of demonic magic. The creature asks for his betrothed, telling them to leave or be slain if they will not help. The Knight, loathe to refuse a challenge, prepares to attack upon this threat. The fight begins with the Knight, Paladin, and Thief rushing the creature as he stands up, wielding a heater shield, spear, and a sheathed broadsword. They beat on his armour with little effect for a few moments before he runs the Thief through with his spear, killing her instantly. On this, the Knight and Paladin start to fight more defensively, retreating away from the tree. The creature manages to stab the Knight in the face, rendering him unconscious. The Wizard casts Spasm, causing the creature to drop his spear. The Paladin attempts to rummage through the Knight's pack for a strength potion while the creature draws its broadsword. The wizard keeps the creature preoccupied with Flame Jet and Fireball while the Paladin retrieves the potion., the Scout continuing to fire on the creature. The creature gets into a wrestling match with the Paladin and Wizard, eventually crushing the Wizard's head with one hand, killing him. The Paladin then delivers the final blow to the creature and it collapses, its glowing eyes fading to a natural blue. They find a gold ring and a necklace with a strange symbol underneath his armour. The king grants them their reward and asks them to investigate a local ruined town that the necklace's symbol belongs to.

Friday, 6 December 2019

OSR '81' Notes

We have now completed Session 16. The gang are in Rappan Athuk. They have claimed Castle Calaelen as Castle Zostera. They carry their equipment in a horse-pulled wagon denoted as 'Big Time Rush' on which they mount the heads of hated foes.

Heroes & Dullards

Listed here are Player Characters of particular favour or note.

Hjörknacht the Foul-Smelling

Born in the harsh wilderness of the north, Hjörknacht used his unique ability to smell foul things to live out his first century as a hunter, much like his father Fjärknacht. At the age of 108 he was kidnapped and sold into the slave trade as a fighter. After his captors were killed by rabid scorpions and he'd acquired a new taste for exploration, the elf set off on a life of adventure.

Level 3 Elven Spellsword. Chaotic. Wields Dwimmerdeath, a +2/+3 vs. Spellcasters short sword once wielded by the legendary hero Bareus of Barrowcrest. Wears a suit of +1 mythril plate armour recovered from the Barrowmaze. Carries a necklace of Protection +1 taken from the goblin warlord Jibjack. Played by Jake.

Wesley Spoons

Wesley Spoons is a member of the notorious Spoons gang of mercenaries and adventurers. He travels with his chocolate Labrador Sophie.

Level 2 Dwarven Craftpriest. Lawful. Wields a custom two-headed flail and shield-mounted lantern forged by him and his goblin assistant Gorbaz. Played by Mike.

Haemir the Lightbringer

Forced to flee his home at the young age of 53, Haemir the Lightbrighter's home village was taken over by a corruption of dark nature. He has been running ever since, pledged to heal the land and its people in any way he can.

Level 2 Elven Spellsword. Lawful. Wields the +1 flame tongue sword Lightlust, a +1 shield formerly belonging to the Calaelen family, and a pair of ugg boots found in the Mouth of Doom that enhances his stomping ability. Played by Harvey.


A skilled archer and wilderness guide. Starved to death in Rappan Athuk.

Level 2 Explorer. Neutral. Played by George.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

OSR '81' Graveyard


Player Characters

NameClassMethod of DeathSession of DeathPlayer
HelgaElfCrushed by Massive Hammer1Alex
Davey SpoonsThiefSkeletal Throat-Ripping1Mike
Eric the ClericClericSlidey Stair Spikes1Jake
BernwynElfKilled by Bareus' Wraith2Alex
OverlordMagic-UserKilled by Bareus' Wraith2Leon
DimitriThiefSnipped by Giant Scorpion3Alex
Stevey SpoonsFighterEnvenomed by Giant Scorpion3Mike
AilenElfStabbed by Giant Scorpion3Harvey
Keith SpoonsDruidCrushed by Falling Boulder3Mike
Grogglemiester69420ElfCrushed by Rolling Boulder3George
Adolf CritlerPaladinSlayed by Crypt Shade4Harvey
Crettitis LongshlongAssassinFell into a Pit Trap4Harvey
Trog McVirgPaladinSpeared by Frogling5Harvey
Chadius the ChadKnightTrampled by Skeletons5Harvey
Ser Graham Spoons The InbredHalflingSlaughtered by Skeletons6Mike
Thaddeus the Well-EndowedDrowSlaughtered by Skeletons6Alex
Jezza SpoonsDwarven FuryMortally Wounded by Goblin7Mike
*REDACTED*ClericShot Through the Hand7Harvey
Geralt of RiviaElven SpellswordEviscerated by The Red Bear8Harvey
Grogglemiester the 3rdFighterArms ripped off by The Red Bear8George
AidaThief 2Dissolved by Ochre Jelly13Alex
Grogbog420Explorer 2Starved to death in Rappan Athuk13George
Lord Genius the SecondMageDrank from Poisonous Pool14Leon
Gorgoe the DestroyerBladedancerKilled by Hunting Spider14George
Thomas of House CookFighterBones Bitten by Ghast16Alex

Non-Player Characters

NameDescriptionMethod of DeathSession of Death
KilmoreCrossbowman MercenaryStrangled by Zombie3
YapperKeith Spoon's Loyal DogCrushed by Falling Boulder3
KellocClub-Wielding MercenaryStrangled by Zombie4
HaylaCreepy Magic-UserAmbushed by Giant Scorpion5
Toby CarveryFavourite SlaveKilled by the Dam-Thing10
CognacLoyal DwarfKilled by the Dam-Thing10
GoonMercenary with a 10-foot PoleKilled by a Giant Fire Cobra11
DickVeteran MercenaryTunnel collapsed on him11
NachthjörkConfusingly-Named MercenarySlain by a zombie12
Big DaveBig MercenaryDissolved by Ochre Jelly13
FaggotHaemir's Loved CompanionDissolved by Ochre Jelly13
OswaldPole-HandlerLightning-Bolted by Globe Guardian14
Jo MamaFresh-Faced MercKilled by horrific demon15

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

DFRPG - Ingerland - Sessions 1,2,3

The first few sessions of the game went well. The players were new to GURPS as a whole but picked it up quickly. Saitama has taken to using grappled opponents as weapons, St. Michael goes for devastating high-velocity head-shots, and Moldriz is getting accustomed to GURPS-esque creative spell usage.

In session 1 they found a village being harassed by bandits, talked them into giving a large reward, and set up an ambush for a bandit raiding party. They tore through the bandits, although Moldriz took a big arrow shot early on. They then interrogated the survivors for a location and discovered the bandits are lead by a dwarf with a magical axe in an old fort at the top of a mountain. They came in through an old sewer tunnel halfway up the mountain, using Moldriz's walk on air and rope to get up there. They rammed a hireling's spear up the outhouse that led into the tunnel, catching a bandit unawares. They then climbed up, stealthed through the fog, and killed the bandit. They then beat the dwarf leader in a (more-or-less) honourable duel. They discovered the fort was made to contain a cave dragon locked within the mountain. They went down to fight it, discovering its wings had withered in captivity, it and St. Michael shared an exchange of 5 sequential critical misses, and the party eventually fled and locked it back, heavily injured by its claws and beams of pressurised sound.

In session 2 they collected their reward from the villagers, and headed to a larger town. They went shopping, then attended the Adventurer's Guild, where they met the resident wood elf who offered them membership if they solved some farmside murders attributed to the legendary 'Spirit of Hallow's Eve'. They went down there, used a villager as bait, and followed a bugbear back to its lair. Saitama left to search for the villager they'd used as bait. Moldriz and St. Michael went through its underground caverns, avoiding traps, killing the bugbear, and saving a well-known adventurer from its clutches. Saitama found the real Spirit of Hallow's Eve; a large man in full plate with pumpkin paint and a greatsword. The others eventually made their way there from the dungeon and they killed it, revealing it as a vampire. They went back to town and Moldriz and Saitama opted to join the adventurer's guild.

In session 3 St. Michael stayed in town to do church work. Moldriz and Saitama travelled to a greenskin-raided gnome lab to gain favour with the gnome tinkerers they hope will make them special beartrap-related weaponry. They went in, killed goblins, orcs, and hobbos. They got hit with a few gnome traps, and looted an experimental drum-fed crossbow. They then discovered the bottom floor was inhabited by a demon sacrificing gnomes. They killed it and took a dead gnomes magic wand. They went back to town and got promoted, before being promised passage to the gnome tinkerer workshop for their services.