Sunday, May 17, 2020

Blindfolds and Dragons

As found in an old textbook.
Here we go friends, another item for your games. I am trying to work on stuff for the sake of creating, rather than getting wrapped up trying to make stuff to please groups or individuals. I got the idea of this item from the neat-o OSR RPG Mork Borg. Hopefully next week I will have something new and weird for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Lawyers, Guns, and Money


Note: Guns are not toys, they are the most dangerous tool you are likely to ever come in contact with. Used and stored correctly they can be safe to the shooter/handler, if not they can lead to tragedy that will leave people broken or dead emotionally and physically. In fiction, guns can be an exciting and “dangerous” addition to many stories. However, if you plan on using a gun for anything beyond self-defense, hunting game, or target practice you should seek mental health help; no matter how angry you are, it isn’t worth it, they aren’t worth it.

While every type of weapon has its own unique qualities, few have changed the face of battle as much as firearms. They are deadly, destructive, and outright vicious; combining these properties in their own unique way, guns can be very different from any other weapon found in the Dungeons & Dragons arsenal. Found in the 5E Dungeon Masters Guide on page 267 and 268, the guns are “balanced” but have the overall feel of any other weapon found in the rest of 5th edition.
The central purpose of this post is to provide a list of options for Dungeon Masters to make firearms feel unique. These options aren’t meant to be used all at once, nor are they truly balanced; guns in general aren’t particularly balanced, that’s why they were/are carried into every major war since they became more than a metal tube on a wooden pole.

Guns are Loud. Stole this graphic from the net.

For your information. Stole this graphic too.

Guns are LOUD
Movies often depict people getting into prolonged gunfights, especially indoors, and still being able to hear a pin drop after everything is said (or shot) and done. From personal experience I have heard a single .223 rifle shot without ear protection at an indoor gun range. For me, it was less of a sound and more of a sudden and intense stabbing sensation in my ear followed by silence and pressure inside my eardrum, then a ringing noise. I got my hearing back after about 20 minutes, the ringing stayed for a few days.
One way to add a drawback to firearms to take a note from reality and make them loud, incredibly so. Shoot a gun in a town, castle, or room and everyone is going to know about it, no roll needed. To find where the shot originated might require a Perception check, especially if the area is prone to echoes. 

Firing Outdoors: DC 13 – On Failure: Character is deafened for 1D4 Rounds.
Firing Indoors: DC 18 – On Failure: Character is deafened for 1D4 x 10 minutes. Disadvantage on Perception checks involving hearing for 1D6 days.

Guns are Savage
If your setting has muzzle loading firearms, here is a description of wounds caused by musket balls and Minie balls taken from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine:

The old style smooth-bore musket had a limited range and fired a round ball of lead that usually broke the skin and fractured any bone it hit. The new musket had a rifled barrel and fired a conical bullet with a hollow grooved base, called the MiniƩ ball. The new rifled muskets had a much longer range and better accuracy, and the projectiles traveled faster than those from the smooth-bore muskets. Additionally, when a MiniƩ ball struck a soldier the top of the cone flattened out, resulting in massive damage to tissue and splintering of bone. http://www.civilwarmed.org/surgeons-call/amputation1/
If you are using more modern firearms in your setting here is a description taken from Wired Magazine on what a .223 rifle round can do to the body:

It has so much energy that it can disintegrate three inches of leg bone. “It would just turn it to dust,” says Donald Jenkins, a trauma surgeon at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. If it hits the liver, “the liver looks like a jello mold that’s been dropped on the floor.” And the exit wound can be a nasty, jagged hole the size of an orange. https://www.wired.com/2016/06/ar-15-can-human-body/

A really old pic of mine of some weirdo bullets. Art by: Me
 
Options
Increased Critical Multiplier: As you can see, when they hit, they hit hard. If you want to make firearms feel deadly and different, give them a x3 or even x4 critical multiplier.
Advantage on Damage: Another way to give firearms greater levels of danger, roll damage twice, or even three times, taking the highest result.

They Pack a Punch
Recoil is the biggest disadvantage guns have as compared to most other projectile weapons. It is hard to escape Newton’s third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Shooting a target isn’t just a matter of point and click, one has to compensate (the shooter bracing or some other mechanical solution) for the recoil of the gun otherwise you’ll likely miss your target. I won’t bore you too much with the math, but in general the bigger the bullet (or damage die) the greater recoil.
While rifle rounds, in general, produce more recoil, it is easier to compensate for the recoil with a rifle. The reason for this is you can brace the butt of the rifle against your shoulder, using your upper body weight and muscles to reduce the sway. With a pistol, the shooter only has their wrist and grip strength to reduce sway. 

A collage I made out of 19th century illustrations.

Recoil
Single Shot: -2 Penalty to-hit with a pistol, -1 penalty to-hit with a rifle.
Multiple Shots in a Single Round: Cumulative -2 penalty per shot after the first with a pistol, a cumulative -1 penalty per shot after the first with a rifle.

Leading a Target
The reason why armor fell out of use for warfare was due to the fact that as muzzle velocity increased armor became less and less capable of absorbing the energy caused by the bullet’s impact. While early firearms could still be countered by the kinds of armor found in Dungeons & Dragons, more modern firearms can easily punch through the thickest of armor.
Despite what first-person shooters may indicate, it is difficult to hit a moving target, it’s not that people can dodge bullets it’s just that people generally suck at predicting movement and aiming. Here are a couple options to give your shooters hard and soft targets:

Armor Only Partially Effective: Armor only grants a partial bonus depending on type: +1 to AC for Light, +2 to AC for Medium, and +3 to AC for Heavy. Shields only grant a +1 bonus to AC versus firearms. Magical Enhancements (to characters or armor) and modifiers from stats still provide their full value to AC. For natural armor, the character or monster only provides half of its value.
Moving Targets Only: Targets only add stat bonuses and magical enhancements to AC against gunshots. If a target moved more than 5 feet during their previous action, they get a +4 bonus to their AC versus firearms.
Simple and Streamlined: Give the shooter advantage on to hit rolls against most targets. This bonus does not apply when firing at a target moved more than 5 feet during their previous action.


A 19th century illustration I altered.

Guns Aren’t Toys
PC’s acting a bit too cavalier when they handle firearms? The solution is simple, next time they do it say,” Well, [Insert PC Name Here], while waving that loaded gun around like an idiot, your finger slipped and hit the trigger.” Then roll randomly to see who or what in the room get shot.
Not fair? Shrug and tell them, “You’re right, but this happens pretty frequently in the real world. Now, you’ll be more careful, won’t ya?”

Guns are Finicky
Even the simplest guns are complex compared to most medieval weapons. You can go days or weeks without maintenance on most other weapons so long as they don’t rust/split/fray. Firearms on the other hand can quickly become inoperable or even dangerous to the user.


Another collage I made out of 19th century illustrations.

Critical Failures: Firearms start with a critical failure number, a number that always means a failure when rolled on a D20, equal to 1 (or more depending on how primitive the gun is). If the PC doesn’t perform maintenance on the firearm after each day where the gun in used in battle increase the critical failure number by 1. This increase only occurs after each day of battle, if a character doesn’t use it in battle that day it doesn’t increase the failure number. Travel can also be rough on firearms, you can simulate this by increasing the number by 1 for: every 3 days of travel by land, every 2 days when traveling by water or in a very humid climate, or every day when traveling by sea or near saltwater. Guns don’t like moisture, they HATE saltwater. 

Failing in a Big Way: If the shooter critically fails, the gun becomes jammed and unusable until 10 minutes is spent making a DC 10 Craft (Gunsmith) skill roll. If the character is using an early pepperbox (multiple loaded barrels) or revolver there is a chance that there could be a mishap call chain-fire. If the PC critically fails, have them roll a D20, on a result of 5 to 2 all the barrels/bores fire in a cone equal to the gun’s first range increment. Anyone in the cone has a random chance of being hit. On a 1, the firearm blows up doing its maximum possible damage to the shooter, the gun is completely destroyed if this happens.

So, here ya go, use some of these in your game and let me know how they work out for you.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A post after a long silence.

Cyborg Lady By: Me

Space Marine PC from one of my games. Art By: Me

A request pic from reddit. Art By: Me

Retro-Wave request from reddit. Art By: Me

Been a long silence, without much to show for it outside of a few pics. I had been toying with the idea of starting the blog back up, so here I go. I'll try to work up something crunchy soon.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Necromantic Giant Power-Fist OR I took way too long making this.

Hey folks, been a while since I last posted, this is mostly because I got sucked into making this thing look as "perfect" as I could. The name and design are based off of the art and epics of India. Daishasa is a combination of Daitya (a kind of giant) and Rakshasa (a kind of "demon", though they weren't always evil), both of these creatures appear in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. I wish I had heard of these works sooner, they are on par with Homer's Iliad and Odyssey as far as skill, imagination, and literary importance.


5e Version. Art By: Me

OSR/OD&D Version. Art By: Me
 
Lore:

These are the mummified arms of giants called Daishasa who were at war with a vast human empire to the far south-east. To even out the disparity of physical might between humans and the giants, alchemist-necromancers “harvested” the arms to create items that improved a soldier’s fighting capability. With the war now long in the past, these magical tools have made their way to the rest of the world.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Brain-Themed Pin OR A new item with improved mechanics and color!

Hi folks! Here is a Brain-Themed pin whose stats work equally well for OSR/OD&D as well as 5e. I have also included an improve versions of my crazy magic pipe in super-awesome color!


This version works for OSR and 5e. Art by: Me

 Text: 


A pin the length of an adult’s hand. Its head, shaped like a human brain, is hollow and made of milky quartz. Below the brain: vertebrae cast in platinum, discs made of gold, red copper nerve bundles protruding from the spine, a hollow needle shaft crafted from silver.

This very rare item requires attunement. Once it is attuned, it grants a +1 bonus to Intelligence to a maximum score of 20. As part of the attune the user pricks themself with the needle tip which will draw blood into the hollow brain, absorbing 1 HP per level. The user’s maximum hp is reduced by 1 per level. This reduction cannot be cured and persists for as long as they remain attuned. The brain emits a dull red glow when filled with blood. While attuned, the user gains a +1 bonus to their choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, to a maximum of 20. The user may switch which stat receives the bonus during a short rest.
 
 
5e Version. Art by: Me

 Text:


A small shell pipe with: gold and turquoise bands, engraved silver stem, a charm of inked parchment and stone beads. Smells like the sea and cherry pipe tobacco.

This rare pipe may be smoked in any environment, even underwater. Placing a fish scale in the pipe’s bowl lets the user breathe water for up to 10 minutes by puffing through the stem. The user may continue to smoke the pipe while using it to breathe. A new scale may be added once the previous one has been expended, the user may do this while submerged. The pipe also grants the following powers.

1/Day the user may cast Hold Person with the spell manifesting as smoky tentacles that enwrap its target. Save DC 12.
At-Will the user may cast Speak With Animals, though the spell only works on aquatic animals, so long as they puff on the pipe or are holding it.
 
OSR/OD&D Version. Art by: Me
Text:

A small shell pipe with: gold and turquoise bands, engraved silver stem, a charm of inked parchment and stone beads. Smells like the sea and cherry pipe tobacco.

This rare pipe may be smoked in any environment, even underwater. Placing a fish scale in the pipe’s bowl lets the user breathe water for up to 10 minutes by puffing through the stem. The user may continue to smoke the pipe while using it to breathe. A new scale may be added once the previous one has been expended, the user may do this while submerged. The pipe also grants the following powers.

1/Day the user may cast Hold Person with the spell manifesting as smoky tentacles that enwrap its target.
At-Will the user may cast Speak With Animals, though the spell only works on aquatic animals, so long as they puff on the pipe or are holding it.