Two New Products and a New Notion

Hey folks. Three items today …

ITEM ONE – BLOODY BASIC IN SOFT COVER

Bloody Basic – Classic Edition is now up for sale as a soft-cover book. A game with characters levels 1 to 6, with elves, dwarves, halflings, fighters, clerics, magic-users, thieves and all the rest of the classic fantasy elements, for $8.99. I’m working on getting the Contemporary Edition out pretty soon as a PDF, and then a hard copy, and then the other editions will follow – Fairy Tale, Chaos, Apocalypse, Jules Verne, etc.

ITEM TWO – BLOOD & TREASURE MONSTER TOME PDF

The PDF of the Monster Tome is now available for download for $6.99. It includes 172 pages of monsters, with 258 monster entries. I hope to have the softcover and hardcover books up for sale in two or three weeks. As I often do, I’ll be offering a free PDF to those who buy the hard cover edition of the Monster Tome, so if you’re planning on buying the hard cover later, you’ll probably not want to buy the PDF now.

Monster Tome II will have to wait for 2015.

ITEM THREE – STRANGE TWIST OF FATE

Just so this isn’t a completely commercial post, here’s a little notion for using a fate mechanic in your adventures.

When you delve back into heroic fiction, back to the days of the Greeks, Romans and Norsemen, it’s hard to avoid the concept of fate. The Fates and Norns measured out the days of a man or woman’s life and cut the string when it was time for them to die.

If you’re running a game set in these times, or any time if you like it, you might want to inject a little fate into the game. You could also inject Doctor Fate into your game, but that’s a matter for another post.

Obviously, you don’t want to use fate as a way of arbitrarily cutting a character’s life short. You can, however, use it as a way to determine whether character’s are beloved or cursed by “the gods”.

You could do this in one of two ways.

The first is to randomly determine a person’s fate for each adventure, every adventure. First, determine which deities are looking down on the player characters by rolling D10.

1. Lawful Good
2. Neutral Good
3. Chaotic Good
4. Lawful Neutral
5-6. Neutral
7. Chaotic Neutral
8. Chaotic Evil
9. Neutral Evil
10. Lawful Evil

If you use the three-tier alignment, roll D6.

1-2. Lawful
3-4. Neutral
5-6. Chaotic

Next, determine the character’s fate for that adventure by rolling 3d6. If the character is the same alignment as the deity, they enjoy a +2 bonus to their roll. If they are the opposite alignment, they suffer a -2 penalty to their roll.

1-2. You are loathed by the gods – subtract -2 from all d20 rolls during this adventure
3-6. You are cursed by the gods – subtract -1 from all d20 rolls during this adventure
7-12. The gods are disinterested – your fate is in your hands
13-16. The gods favor you – add +1 to all d20 rolls during this adventure
17-18. You are beloved by the gods – add +1 to all d20 rolls during this adventure, and re-roll one failed saving throw.

An interested god will be watching over the adventure. Whenever an accursed or loathed character performs an action in accordance with the deity’s alignment (or any element of their alignment), they are permitted to re-roll their fate. Whenever a favored character does something in opposition to the deity’s alignment (or any element of their alignment), they likewise must re-roll their fate.

If you are using this system, you might want to add a couple spells to your game.

Tell Fortune – 1st level spell for clerics, druids and magic-users; it literally tells the character’s fortune (i.e. loathed, cursed, favored, beloved).

Read Signs – 1st level spell for clerics, druids and magic-users; tells you the alignment of the deity watching over the characters during this adventure.

The other way you can use a system like this is to put the characters’ fates into their own hands. Instead of always rolling to determine a character’s fate for an adventure, the player’s instead offer themselves up for judgment. The system works the same way, it just puts the decision in the hands of the players.

7 thoughts on “Two New Products and a New Notion

  1. Item One – Ordered! I admit to some excitement.
    Item Two – I like the Grunewald cover. I may have to buy this in hardback.
    Item Three – This subject simultaneously fascinates and frustrates me. The whole notion of Fate as a cosmic force is fraught with complexity and quite difficult to apply to RPGs without impinging on player agency. I have used the concept of random “birth gifts” (including ill luck and good fortune) based on the old AD&D 2e Celtic/Norse setting books. But your notion of rolling one's fortune not at chargen but before each adventure is an interesting one, perhaps best suited to a campaign with capricious Greek-type deities.

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  2. I agree on the point of capricious deities. I picture the Greek gods as portrayed in Harryhausen's Jason & the Argonauts, or to some extent in the Iliad and Odyssey – poking their noses into the affairs of mortals almost just to relieve their boredom with being gods.

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  3. Love that monster cover–what is that picture from? Also like the JMS Roger Dean-style YES-like logo. So now WotC can sue you for the basic set, and YES for the logo. (Just kiddin'.)

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