Thursday, November 16, 2017

Roll to See Who You Sword-fight!

OSR Based Tournaments

Michal Zebrowski in the film 1612

This post details  how to make a tournament structure derived from OSR Mechanics. Essentially, rather than making a single elimination bracket, you use the rules for a monster encounter in order to figure out who fights whom on what day. The following assumes a week long tournament following the schedule posted below.

Week Long Tournament
Day 1: Introduction and Set Up
Days 2-6: Series of Single Elimination Bouts
Day 7: Celebration and Crowned Champion

Days two through six are essentially a single bout followed by announcements of who will face each other the following day. The first day of the tournament everyone arrives and registers.

The procedure for determining who faces who is essentially a Wandering Monster Roll with each part of the monster encounter determination how the match will be.

Three Mechanical Parts of a Monster Encounter
1. Which Monster
2. Reaction Roll
3. Surprise Check

Which Monster

The "Which Monster" component becomes the "Which Combatant" roll.

Each round roll on the Which Combatant Table and that's who you will face. As the tournament continues the table will be rolled upon with a smaller die as the lower values on the encounter chart are more difficult/dramatic to encounter.

Day 2 Roll a 1d12 (256 competitors)
Day 3 Roll a 1d10 (128 competitors)
Day 4 Roll a 1d8 (64 competitors remain) later (32 competitors remain)
Day 5 Roll a 1d6 (16 competitors remain) later (8 competitors remain)
Day 6 Roll a 1d4 (4 competitors remain) later (final 2 competitors face off)

On the first two days, due to the high number of competitors there is only 1 bout per day. As their number reduces the number of bouts increases.

Which Combatant Table

1Another Player's Character (Variable HD)
2NPC the Players have encountered before (Variable HD)
A Competitor Favored to Win (5+1d4 HD)

Competitor Temperament Table 1d6

1-3Professional and Calm
4-5Manic and Gregarious
6Ruthless and Cruel.

 Member of Nobility

Noble Identity Table 1d6

1-3Knight (2+1d4 HD)
4-5Noble (1d6 HD)
6Related to the King Himself (1+1d6 HD)

Traveling Outlander (Roll on Outlander Table)

Criminal Type Table 1d6

1-3Assassin (2+1d6 HD)
4-5Thief (1+1d4 HD)
6Bandit King/Boss (2d4 HD)

Disguised Person

Disguised Person Table 1d6
Daughter of Someone Important (1d4 HD)

Flip a Coin
Heads: As Criminal Tails: As Member of Nobility
4-5As Criminal
6As Member of Nobility

 Monster Poorly Hidden by Cloak (Variable HD)

Tournament Monster Table 1d6
1-3Controlled by a Magic-User
4-5Brought by Decadent Noble

Unscrupulous Cheater (3 HD)

Flip a Coin
Heads: cheating before the match Tails: cheating during the match
 Knight Errant (1+1d4 HD)

Knight Errant Table 1d6
1-3With Unrequited Love

11Generic Guy (Stats as Bandit)
Age Inappropriate Contender (1 HD)
Flip a Coin
Heads: Prepubescent Tails: Nearly Senile Old

Reaction Roll

The reaction roll is used for the bookies and gamblers rather than the opponent. The same distribution is used

Gambling Prediction Table
Favors Character to Lose
Favors Character to Win

Surprise Roll

The surprise roll is used to see if the crowd favors someone. Traditionally a roll of 1 surprises monsters and a roll of 6 surprises the player's characters.

Crowd Favor Roll 1d6
1 - Favors Player Character
6 - Favors Other

Miscellaneous Notes

Fight Rules

Fights are essentially until someone gives up in front of a crowd. Using the GLOG system HP heals back rather quickly so being reduced to 0 hp isn't that bad for a Player Character. There will be lots of betting each round and each day there is a 1 in 6 chance of someone attempting to sabotage a combatant for the purpose of rigging bets. (This is essentially a wandering monster check.)

Player Character Losing/Following Other Combatants

If a player character loses, then simply have whoever beat them progress to the next round and roll for who they face. Flip a coin to see if they win their next match unless it seems highly unlikely. If there is only one player character still contending for victory and they roll that they would fight another player character simply substitute a fighter who previously beat another character. Halfway through Day 5 there will only be 8 combatants left and if the players wish to know who they can bet on, then it would be appropriate to roll for who those 8 are. As day 5 ends, simply flip a coin to see if a combatant continues onward. The idea is that the tournament if player facing and that the other fights are only important if the players want them to be.

Mechanical Aspects of the Competitors

I would simply use the regular OSR system combat rules for these matches. Each Combatant has attached HD and is pretty loose mechanically speaking otherwise. If you want some inspiration on how to give them further abilities you can simply roll below and use the suggested class table to assign abilities as if they were that HD.

Suggestions for Abilities 1d6
Martial (Fighters, Dwarves)
Specialist (Elfs, Specialists)
Magic Users (Wizards, Clerics)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Blackguard Class


You get +3 Barechested HP for every Blackguard template you possess. You get +1 Stealth for every two Blackguard templates you possess.
Starting Equipment: battleaxe, ugly scars

A Rage, Demoralizing
B Feat of Strength
C Wicked
D Cleave

Barechested HP
This increases your maximum HP, but only if you are unarmored. If you are only wearing light armor (+2 bonus or less), then 1/3 of your Blackguard  HP applies. Shields don't count as armor.

Anytime you take damage in combat you enter a rage. While in a rage, you have +1 Attack, +1 Damage, and are immune to pain and fear. While raging, you cannot do anything defensive, curative, tactical, or cooperate with your allies. All you can do is attempt to kill things. You cannot stop fighting until you kill, subdue, or drive off all enemies. Alternatively, you can will yourself to stop raging with a 1-in-6 chance of success, once per round. If one of your allies has injured you this fight, they count as an enemy. (The numerical bonus from this ability doubles at lvl 4)

Enemies who have a morale score of anything other than 20, gain a penalty to their morale rolls equal to the number of Blackguard templates you possess.

Feat of Strength
You may treat your Strength score as 20 for 1 round a number of times per day equal to the number of Blackguard templates you possess.

You treat your attack score as two points higher when attacking a target who has  HD less than or equal to your level -2.

Whenever you reduce a creature to 0 HP with an attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon.

Errant Class


You gain +1 Movement, Initiative, and Stealth for every Errant template you possess. If you are encumbered, you lose the use of your Errant abilities (everything on this page).
Starting Equipment: sword, 50' rope, cloak

A Cat Feet, Dodge
B Danger Sense
C Redirect
D Great Escape

Cat Feet
Treat your falls as if they were 20' shorter.

While unarmored, you get +1 Defense per level, up to a maximum of +6.

Danger Sense
If you are surprised, you have a 50% chance to act on the surprise round anyway.

When an enemy misses you with a melee attack, you may force them to make another attack against another target within range. This attack is made with a -4 penalty

Great Escape
Once per day, you can escape from something that is restraining you and that you could plausibly escape from. This includes grapples, lynchings, and awkward social situations, but not sealed coffins.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Archaist Class


You gain +2 Save vs Fear for every Archaist template you possess.
Starting Equipment: Holy symbol, Sword, Wide-brimmed hat

A Well Prepared, Fated Foe
B Abjuration
C Rebuke Evil

Well Prepared
For every fact that you know about a monster, you treat your save as 1 point higher against any effect they would incur upon you, to a maximum bonus of +5. These don't have to be major facts, but they cannot be trivial. If you could learn it by looking at a snapshot of the current scene, it's trivial. Your base chance of picking locks is equal to the number of Archaist Templates you possess rather than 1

Fated Foe
Pick a specific named monster at the start of each day, you treat your attack and defense higher equal to the number of Archaist templates you have when confronting it.

Either through his faith or through
knowledge (or both) the Archaist can force undead, devils, spirits, faeries and demonic monsters to back away. The Archaist attempts to roll under their wisdom score with a penalty of the HD of the monster in question. If successful the monster cannot confront the Archaist and his companions for 1d6+1 rounds. The Archaist may do this any number of times against any monster, but if they fail the monster ignores all further abjuration attempts.

Rebuke Evil
Once per day, you may attempt to rebuke evil with a normal melee attack. Adding your wisdom modifier to the attack and dealing 1 extra point of damage per level. This can damage monsters that are normally only damaged with silvered or magical weapons.

Occultist Class


You gain +1 save for every Occultist template you possess after the first.
Starting Equipment: Dark Clothes, 3 Bottles, Sword

A Speak with the Dead, Bottled Ghosts
B Necroscope
C Haunting

Speak with the Dead
You can cast speak with dead a number of times per day equal to your level.

Bottled Ghosts
Bottled ghosts are the source of your power. You start with two bottled ghosts. You let them out of their bottles to use them, and they return at the witching hour.

Ghost Uses
Analyze - Learn the power, weakness, and desire of a known target in a structure you are inside of
Clairvoyance - Create a astral construct which lets you remotely view a known room in a structure that you are inside of
Control - A corporeal undead must save or your ghost may enter it possessing it into your command. Each HD of undead requires a ghost. Alternatively you may use a ghost to banish an incorporeal undead.
Illumination - You may either extinguish all of the lights within a known room in a structure that you are inside of or fully illuminate a known room in a structure that you are inside of with magical light
Key - A singular known door in a structure that you are inside of becomes possessed by the ghost and will always be unlocked for you and locked for those who would do you harm
Map - You may invoke ink to map out three rooms on a paper past a single known doorway inside of a structure that you are in, this also reveals any secret doors in those three rooms
Retreat - Teleports you and those accompanying you out of a structure, each other target other than you requires another ghost

Finding Ghosts
You encounter 1 bottleable ghost when you get to a location where someone has died (Dungeon, graveyard, Old Battleground, City) in order to be bottle a ghost will demand a service.

Ghost Services

1Vengeance - Kill my killer (Random monster in location where ghost is found)
2Barter - Offering of 4d10 Silver + 1 HD of Sacrifice
3Lament - Bury Weapon stained with your blood + spirits worth 1d20+10 silver
4 Rites - Perform find my body and perform proper burial rites

You may spend a turn to determine how a corpse died

You may attach a ghost to a target for 1d6 days

Woodsman Class


For gain +1 Stealth for every two Woodsman templates you possess.
Starting Equipment: leather armor, sword, bow, 20 arrows, animal companion

A Outdoorsman, Advantageous Terrain
B Traps
C Trophies

Rather than requiring 1d4(exploding) turns to follow the tracks of a wandering monster. A Ranger simply rolls a 1d4 for the number of turns required to follow tracks. Further a Woodsman's has a base 4 in 6 for the Journey skill and rolls under wisdom for foraging, hunting, and herbalism instead of half wisdom.

Advantageous Terrain
When rolling for random encounters outdoors, your chance of surprising the enemy increases to 2-in-6. Further party members and yourself gain a bonus equal to your Woodsman templates to their movement scores when fleeing a wandering monster encounter outside.

You can manufacture and set traps. It takes 10 minutes to manufacture a trap in natural terrain. Traps can be set immediately or carried around (they take up 1 Inventory Slot). Enemies that walk into your trap must make a Dex check with a -4 penalty or suffer its effects. You can choose a reasonable effect, such as: 1d6 damage, an immobilizing snare, or noisemakers. You can add additional effects, but each one beyond the first gives your target a +2 bonus on their Dexterity check. If you have additional resources (poisons, flammable oils) you can create more types of traps.

You can collect trophies from the corpses of tracked wandering monsters while traveling across the wilderness. Each trophy gives you either a +1 to defense, attack, or save score in regards to that type of creature.

Wizard Class


You gain +1 Save vs Magic for every Wizard template you possess. Further each additional wizard template increases the number of Spell Capacity you have by 4 and Casting Dice by 1
Starting Equipment: cloak and hat, dagger, spellbook, 1 random spell scroll

A Spell Casting + Spell Capacity
B Book Casting
C Vancian Casting
D Spell Research

Spell Casting
See the rules below about wizard magic system and their spells.

Spell Capacity
You start with two spells known, rolled randomly from the Starting Wizard Spell list. Your spell capacity refers to the maximum amount of spells you can learn and you start with a Spell Capacity of 2. You can learn new spells from scrolls. It takes an hour for a Wizard level in 6 to learn chance to learn the spell.

Book Casting
You may cast a spell out of a book without using any magic dice. This happens as if casting a spell from a scroll.

Vancian Casting
You may prepare a single spell to be cast without a spell dice. The spell is lost after it has been cast and is treated as if it came up as a 5.

Spell Research
A Wizard may spend 2 weeks and 200sp for and Intelligence+Level% chance to construct a custom spell. Every 100sp further increases the percentile roll by 1. Custom spells must have a specific purpose when researched.

Wizard Magic System and Spells

If you choose to play a wizard, you use casting dice as a measure of how many spells you may cast per day and how strong they are.

You may prepare a number of spells each morning equal to your level. You cast by investing your casting dice in a spell and then rolling them. The more dice, the stronger the spell. Each die that you invest has a 50% chance, returning on a 1-3, of being refunded back into your casting pool. The more casting dice you roll, the more powerful the spell. Some spells have an effect based on the total number of dice you roll (listed as [dice] in spell descriptions) while others have an effect based on the sum of those dice (listed as [sum] in spell descriptions).

Casting a Spell From Memory

Step 1: Pick one of the spells you have memorized.
Step 2: Chose how many casting dice you want to invest in the spell, and remove them from your casting pool.
Step 3: Roll however the invested dice. The spell takes effect.
Step 4: Dice that show a result of 1-3 are returned to your casting pool

Wizard Magic 

Starting Wizard Spell List
1. Animate Arms
2. Candlemass
3. Skywalk
4. Horrible Glyph
5. Capture
6. Magic Mouth
7. Black Sabbath
8. Forevermore
9. Empty Socket
10.  Deadly Queen’s Kiss

Animate Arms
R:Caster T:1 Weapon D:[dice] turns
One weapon in the possession of the caster becomes vigilant in their defense. It floats at their side and if anyone attempts to strike the caster it attacks them as if wielded by the caster. The weapon deals damage without a Strength modifier and after it deals [sum] damage it ceases to be animate.

R:10'  D:[sum] minutes
[dice] lit candles appear inside the caster's hand. Each sheds light as a regular candle would but may be attached to any surface the caster wishes. Unlike rather candles, these do not go out if wet.

R:Touch T:1 creature D:[dice] rounds
The creature touched is imbued with magical energy allowing it to move up to [sum] feet per round as if walking on air.

Horrible Glyph 
R:Touch T:1 surface D: [sum] rounds
The area touched is marked by a glyph so horrible that those who come within 20' must roll morale or save versus fear or otherwise become overcome with disgust and move away.

R:30' T:1 creature of up to [dice] HD  D:[sum] minutes
A creature you point at is pulled into a bottle where it is trapped for a brief period. You may release the creature from the bottle at any time you wish. If the bottle breaks the creature is freed.

Magic Mouth
D:[sum] hours
The caster creates [dice] inventory slots within their body that only they can access. These take up inventory as they normally would. These are only detectable to the caster. At the end of the spell's duration they are expelled forcefully.

Black Sabbath
R:30' T:1 creature  D: [sum]/2 rounds
The caster of this spell selects a target which now takes damage as if being caught unaware if it's shadow is attacked.

R:Touch T:1 object  D:[sum] minutes
One object touched is kept in place where it was when it was touched.

Empty Socket
R:Touch T:1 [dice]eyes  D:[sum] minutes
The eyes you touch is incased in a thin mantle of magical energy and falls out of the head of its owner. It still provides sight and at the end of the spell’s duration magically returns to it’s original cavity. By making a successful attack roll you may use this spell to pop out the eyes of unwilling targets. If an eye is left unattended and damage comes to it, it is destroyed.

Spit to Scythe
R:[sum]' T:spit  D:Instantaneous
The caster can convert their spit into a blade by spitting it out creating a light weapon for [dice] minutes alternatively the caster may target the spit inside another's mouth dealing [dice]d4 damage to them as their spit turns to blades.

Deadly Queen’s Kiss
R:Touch T:1 object  D:[dice] hours
One object is imbued with incendiary devastation and may be commanded to explode dealing [sum]/2 damage to those within 2'. Alternatively it may be left to detonate to another's touch dealing [sum] damage to them.

Wood items have a 5in6 chance of being destroyed per casting  dice
Iron items have a 3in6 chance of being destroyed per casting dice
Magic items have a 1in6 chance of being destroyed per casting dice