Search the World of Onn

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Planar Cosmology

My last post dealing with Psychics I made mention how they draw on the Astral Plane to power their mind abilities. In the Onn Core Rules I explain how magic draws on the Ethereal Plane to power magic. This brings me to Onn's Planar Cosmology.

In the center of all is the Mortal Realm (or Prime Material, for those more familiar with that terminology). It is the plane all others are anchored to and indeed, there may be infinite alternate dimensions or realities of Mortal Realms where differences may range from simple and unobtrusive to wildly different and unrecognizable.

Between the Mortal Realm and Elemental Realms is the Faerie Realm and Twilight Realm.

Next come the Elemental Planes of Air, Earth, Fire and Water.

Outlying even farther are the Planes of Entropy and Life.

Even farther out are the Realms of the Gods, the Realm of the Dead and other Planes (such as the Prison Realm).

The Ethereal Plane surrounds and connects all of these planes together, providing connections and weaves them all together. This is also the Plane of Magic, where spellcasters draw their powers from. Only through the use of magic can one enter the Ethereal Plane.

The Astral Plane also touches all other planes and is concurrent with the Ethereal Plane in existance. Spellcasters cannot use magic to enter this plane, only a highly psychic mind can project itself into the Astral. In addition, it connects the Dream Realm to all other planes. The Astral though reaches a point beyond the most distant God's Realm that ends in a barrier that most percieve as a massive Astral Whirlpool. Creatures entering it have never been seen again (even Deities). Occasionally exceptionally powerful creatures that should not exist in 'normal' reality come from beyond the barrier and using the Astral Plane, make their way to the Mortal Realms to wreak havoc.

What happens to one's spirit on death is a subject open to debate. The most popular theory currently among sages is divine spellcasters are taken to the realm of their Patron Deity, arcane spellcasters become part of the Ethereal Plane, Faerie creatures (such as Elves) become part of the Faerie Realm, Psychics become part of the Astral and the rest travel to the Realm of the Dead. Of course this topic, while hotly debated, would require the death of the theorists to prove who was right (and of course, they're not in a rush to prove anything!).


I have to say, I like the idea of having a '3rd' type of magic in my game. You can call it 'psionics', 'mind powers', 'astral bending' or whatever floats your boat. I've been working on a system of my own to define the abilities of what I'll call my Psychic class for Onn. Psychic powers aren't native to Onn, but rather the Astral Plane. A Psychic, instead of drawing on their Ethereal Field to produce effects, have either learned how to or natually tap the Astral Plane and draw power from it in order for their minds to affect reality around them.

Mechanically, it's no different than divine prayers or arcane magic, but the small bit of fluff on where it comes from can lead to some interesting role-playing for characters that are practicioners or knowledgable of its existance. Up til lately, I knew that I wanted to include the mind powers as a 3rd magic, but I wanted something that would either appeal or repulse players as well.

Implementation was the difficult thing. Using something similar to 'spell slots' would seem a bit too inorganic, while the point systems of games past and present make the player play a numbers game. I think I have a system now that divides powers into levels, much like spells, but has a check associated with it depending on the level of the character and level of the power, similar to Clerics Turning Undead. We'll see how well it functions soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barbarian Class for Onn

Hit Dice Type: 1d8+1 per level; after 9th level +2 hp per level.
Armor/Shield Permitted: Light and Medium Armor and All Shields.
Weapons Permitted: All.
Prime Attribute: Strength and Constitution, 5% XP Bonus for 15+ in both.
Attack Table: As per Fighting-man.
Starting Gold: 6d4x10.

While a properly trained Fighting-man is common in all cultures, the warrior-folk of most commonly found in Norsicar are a more feral type of warriors. Oft-times when in combat, they are overtaken by a powerful rage and become more of a destructive force that the people of other lands fear and respect. Because of their harsh upbringing, they resist damage from the elements better then peoples from the 'softer' lands. Though uncommon, Barbarians can come from other lands (for instance, those from desert lands are referred to as Dervishes).

The Barbarian is a sub-class of Fighting–men who are strong and tough. Barbarians must have scores of at least 13 in Strength, 12 Dexterity and 13 in Constitution. They have several special abilities, drawn from their wildnerness upbringing. Most Barbarians are brought up in a tribe or clan that has a totem animal, a sacred life form that the tribe holds in near-divine reverence. While Barbarians respect individual toughness, most possess a will as unbending as their bodies and are highly honorable, if a bit uncouth.

Barbarian Class Abilities

Taboo: Barbarians have great faith in Druidism due to living in harmony with the lands in order to survive. They hold animal life, especially a totem animal, as sacred. Arcane magic is viewed as a door to an unnatural world, however while it is tolerated, practicioners of it will never be accepted.

Berserk (1st Level): This grants the Barbarian a +2 bonus to the attack roll and damage rolls for one entire combat, but the character takes a +1[-1] penalty to armor class as well. Immediately after the combat ends, the character must rest for 1 turn or be exhausted, suffering a -2 penalty to all die rolls and a +2[-2] penalty to armor class for the rest of the day.

Resiliency (1st Level): Barbarians, being toughened by their constant exposure to the elements of Nature, reduce the damage from heat and cold-based attacks by 1 point per die. They are tougher than a normal man as well, gaining a bonus hit point per hit die.

Wilderness Lore (1st level): Barbarians can follow tracks and trail markings in the wilderness or indoors in natural settings. He can determine numbers, length of time since the tracks were made, size of the track makers and speed moved. Barbarians also lessen the chance to get lost in the wilderness. They are proficient hunters, possessing a chance to supply their party with 1 days’ worth of food under normal conditions. Barbarians gain a +1 bonus to any die rolls to determine the success of these actions.

Multiple Attacks (2nd level): Against creatures with less than one full hit die, a Barbarian makes one melee attack per level each round.

Combat Options (3rd Level): Barbarians gain Fighting-man Combat Options at 3rd level and additional Combat Options at levels 8th and 13th.

Weapon Mastery (3rd Level): Barbarians gain Weapon Mastery at 3rd level and are treated as a Fighting-man of 2 levels less. They gain additional 'slots' at 6th, 9th, 12th and 15th level.

Ferocity (5th Level): While Berserking, the Barbarian can continue to function normally while at negative hit points until the combat is over. He must still roll his system shock saving throw each round, but will not die or go unconscious until after the combat is over.

Greater Resiliency (8th Level): Against heat and cold-based effects, Barbarians automatically recieve half damage. If the effect allows a saving throw for half damage, the Barbarian only recieves one-quarter damage on a successful saving throw.

Barbarian Camp (9th Level): If the Barbarian establishes a holding, he attracts 10d20 loyal followers, at least half of which will be barbarians desiring to follow such a famous hero and be the next legend of the homeland.

+2 hp
+4 hp
+6 hp
+8 hp
+10 hp
+2 hp

The Berserker will appear in the forth-coming World of Onn: Core Rules Companion Supplement and levels above 15 will be covered in that volume as well.

To convert into standard Swords & Wizardry, Hit Dice would be 1d6+3 and hit points beyond 9th level would be as a Fighting-man, use the attack and saving throws as a Fighting-man and discount the Weapon Mastery and Combat Option abilities. Restrict to Leather armor and Shield, but allow any weapon.


Since the World of Onn doesn't use alignments, I use a simple group reputation system to determine how NPCs that may have heard of the group's deeds and how their impression affects how positively or negatively they are recieved. Even though a group may have a high score for their overall reputation, some people will have a negative reaction, especially if the group has thwarted the plans of such groups in the past in order to build their reputation. Doing things that advance the character's goals while benefitting others will raise a group's reputation, while actively (and openly) performing bad deeds will impact the group's reputation score. If a Referee chooses, Reputation scores for each character can be kept track of. Reputations start at a base score of 8+1d4 and thereafter rise and fall over the group's career.
19++3 to Reactions, 15% better prices when trading
17 - 18+2 to Reactions, 10% better prices when trading
13 - 16+1 to Reactions, 5% better prices when trading
9 - 12Average
5 - 8-1 to Reactions, 5% worse prices when trading
1 - 4-2 to Reactions, 10% worse prices when trading
0 or less-3 to Reactions, 15% worse prices when trading

Potion Miscibility

When writing the Onn Core Rules, I wanted to add this little table to the 'Potion' section of the magic items, but there was no room and I didn't want to go over my page count, even for a single page. I may add it to the Onn Companion Guide, but until then, here is the Potion Miscibility Table I use. When a character drinks a potion that has a duration longer than Immediate and at least one other potion is still in effect, the Referee can roll on the table below:

Potion Miscibility
d% RollResult
01 - 15Explosion! 5d6 damage to imbiber!
16 - 25Explosion! 4d4 damage to imbiber!
26 - 40Poison!
41 - 50Immiscible! Both potions negated!
51 - 60Immiscible! Both potions reduced to half efficiency!
61 - 90Miscible! Both potions work normally!
91 - 99Compatible! One potion works at 150% efficiency!
00Discovery! Potions combine for new effect (possibly not beneficial)!

It should be noted that if mixed externally, the effect will affect a 10 ft radius if applicable (such as the explosion and poison results).

Some of Onn's Deities

I thought I'd post some information on Onn's Deities, just to break into the enormous number of spells I'm working on (I hadn't realized how spell-centric the blog has been over the last week until today). The World of Onn doesn't use any alignment system and its Deities are not constrained by them either. A follower of Apathos (Deity of Lords and Generals) could be a beneficent Lord or vile Tyrant or a bloodthirsty General of a great army. The Deities draw their power from the faith mortals have in their core concepts. They leave mortal morals and ethics to the mortals and support whomever believes in them. So for your consideration:

Favored Weapon: Long Sword
Holy Symbol: Ruby Eye
Arek is the Demon Lord of Oozes, Slimes and Madness. His titles include the Slime Lord and the Infernal Madness. Arek was imprisoned long ago for his crimes in the mortal realms, but has found ways to project small amounts of his power so his clerics still receive spells. Because of his status, his shrines are usually only found in the most out of the way places or underground and in the sewers of civilized places. Clerics of Arek are a strange lot, given to fits of crazed thoughts or those driven mad by a past experience. They also seek to spread the habitats of slimes and ooze creatures. Arek cannot personally respond to his cleric’s prayers due to his incarceration, but he is always depicted in his shrines and temples as a pillar of slime with a multitude of ruby eyes. In his eight pseudo pod-like arms he wields long swords.

Favored Weapon: War Hammer
Holy Symbol: A bleeding right hand
Tymira is the Goddess of the Alleviation of Suffering, Healing and Protection those in Need. Her titles include the Healing Hand and the Wounded Lady. Long ago Tymira was simply the Goddess of Protection, but during some deific battle the former Goddess of Healing was struck down. Seeing the suffering caused to mortals she took up the former goddess' mantle of healing and alleviating the ills of those in suffering as well as her own of protection. Because of this she has earned the eternal enmity of Ordulin and Zargos. Clerics of Tymira seek to ease the pains and protect others in the name of their goddess. Tymira usually only manifests as a bleeding hand to those faithful who call upon her, but has manifested as a raven-haired girl with alabaster skin and a wounded right hand in the past. In her shrines and temples only her wounded hand is ever depicted to remind her worshippers of their role.

Favored Weapon: Bastard Sword
Holy Symbol: A pair of crossed swords
Vardion is the God of Combat, Strength and War. His titles include the Lord of War and the Weapon-master. Those who live by violent means usually find the favor of Vardion. Vardion is also the right hand of Apathos and the clerics of both Deities can be found working together on many occasions. Clerics of Vardion live by the blood spilt by their blades, but prefer the regimented fighting found on a battlefield or through the use of sound tactics when in non-regimented groups. They despise those that fight simply to slake their blood-lust and will attack any berserkers or followers of Astaroth on sight. Vardion is said to reside in a great hall full of the bravest and honorable of warriors, fighting great battles by day and celebrating with mead and wenches by night. He is depicted as a massive man, full of strength and with a mane of blood-stained brown hair. His bastard sword, Magiddo's Touch is always in his left hand. For the faithful of Vardion, his favor is shown by the bringing of weapons and armor, strength or luck to those combatants in need.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hand of Ether

Hand of Ether
Spell Level: Illusionist, Magic-user, 1st Level
Range: 30 ft
Duration: 1 turn

This spell forms a roughly hand-shaped field of translucent and faintly glowing energy from the caster's Ethereal Field. While this spell is in effect, any spell the caster casts with a range of 'touch' can be chanelled through the hand and directed by the caster to strike a target within 30 ft (which gains the same combat adjustments 'to hit' as the caster normally does).

Flame Winds

This spell, ripped from the Ultima V computer game, seemed like such a good fit for the Druid class. Ultima's magic system was a cool blend of alchemy and mysticysm. You had to procure spell components (called 'reagents') and actually take the time to mix the reagents into spell formulae before you could cast the spells. Since all of the book keeping was done by the game, it worked beautifully and made the setting almost unique for the way it handled it's magic. Another tidbit about how Ultima is influencing my Onn.

Flame Winds
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 150 ft
Duration: Immediate

Flame Winds causes the air in a 15 ft x 15 ft cube to burst into flames, burning any victims within for 5d10 points of fire damage (Toughness saving throw for half damage allowed). At 10th level and every 3 levels afterwards, the area of the cube increases by 5 ft. Unlike a fireball, Flame Winds can only burn the air in the available area, so it will not expand beyond its defined area if there is not sufficient room.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike
Spell Level: Druid, Magic-user, 1st Level
Range: Caster
Duration: 1 round / 2 levels

Lightning Strike encases the caster's empty hand in a sheath of visible lightning. The first creature the caster strikes with a +2 bonus on his to hit roll recieves 1d8 points of lightning damage, plus 1 point per 2 caster levels. Metal armor and shields are useless and provide no benefit in defending against this spell.

Sympathetic Transformation

Since the World of Onn uses a System Shock saving throw to determine how well a character deals with massive physical changes to his body, such as being petrified or having his body reformed into something else, there is a little-known magic from the Zuhn Empire's heyday that allowed casters to take other forms without worry of the magic overcoming them and possibly malforming their bodies or the stress of taking on new shapes killing them.

Sympathetic Transformation
Spell Level: Magic-user, 4th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Special

When this spell is cast, if a transformation spell of some type (enlarge, polymorph, stone to flesh, etc) immediately follows on the target, he automatically succeeds any required System Shock saving throw the transformation effect may call for. This spell will last as long as the transformation spell affecting the character lasts.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sirac's Point on Hiatus

Due to my being sick over the last week and getting worse and not better, the Sirac's Point session for this week was cancelled. Next week's session is off as well due to previously made plans, so my players have 2 weeks to relax and enjoy their accomplishments thus far.

April 8th should be the date for Session 10.

CharacterSex/RaceXP GivenXP TotalNext Level
Vicar Flambo of VulknarMale Endu7009,96512,600 (+10%)
Vendee, Arcane GuardianMale Elf90010,43416,200 (+10%)
Galeena the WarrioressFemale Halfling4004,6107,600 (+5%)
Vicar Cregg of TymiraMale Human7008,74012,600 (+10%)
Brother Rak’ShanMale Tigran457,1247,125 (+5%)
Autumn the WarrioressFemale Human4004,4317,600 (+5%)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Analyze Magic

Analyze Magic
Spell Level: Magic-user, 2nd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 item per 2 levels

When this spell is cast, the caster gains the knowledge of a touched magical item's properties and any associated command words. All items must be handled in succession, else the spell ends. This spell will reveal cursed items 10% of the time, otherwise identifying then as something beneficial. This spell may not reveal the properties of an artifact, at the Referee's discretion.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Difference in Old vs. New

While I could never put my preference of old school games into one single coherent short explanation, I just stumbled across this and it created a Lightbulb Moment of Zen and explains exactly why I like old school games more then 'modern' games:

It's interesting how, in a "modern" RPG, you create a powerful and strong hero, spending hours to choose your previous careers, skills and history while Old School RPG were all about BECOMING a hero and creating your character was rather simple procedure.

You strip away all of the mechanical simplicity or complexity and rules gobbelty-gook from any game and it's the mindset of modern games that already has you somewhere before you begin your career. It's the concept of older games that characters began as nobody, but through wit, guile and some amount of luck, could rise up and become someone. That part of the magic is gone...

Forsaken Knights

Forsaken Knight, Undead (M)
Armor Class:-1[20]
Hit Dice:9
Attacks:2 weapon (1d10+2) or 2 touch (1d8+2)
Saving Throw:6
Magic Resistance:15%
Special:DR 9/Blessed, immune to sleep, charm, and hold, aura, harmful touch, spell-like abilities, command undead
Challenge Level/XP:14 / 3,000

Divine Champions are rare enough that when one turns from his Deity, his Deity takes notice. Low level Divine Champions are given sufficient leeway, but after a Divine Champion’s deeds become part of his church’s lessons and he becomes a shining example of his faith, transgressions can have severe consequences. The greatest is turning away from one’s faith in a crucial moment. For breaking this vow, the unfortunate Champion is laid with a Curse of the Forsaken - on his death he will be denied the peace of an afterlife, bound in his body to forever roam the mortal realm - in effect becoming a powerful undead.

No matter what type of armor a Forsaken Knight wears, it appears tarnished and worn, his holy symbol blackened and twisted. If the Knight’s features can be seen he appears much as in life, but with leathery, mummified-looking skin and a hollow voice. His eyes glow with a feral red to sickly orange color.

In combat, Forsaken Knights are devastating melee opponents. In addition to their martial abilities, they produce an aura of blight 10 ft radius that inflicts a -2 penalty on all enemies’ attack rolls, their touch inflicts 1d8+2 points of damage from the death energies that sustain them and 3 times per day they can use in any combination spiritual weapon (1d6+1 damage), consecrate* and finger of death (at 9th level Clerical ability) as a spell-like power. Once per week they may perform a word of recall as well. Lastly, Forsaken Knights can command undead and cast spells as a 3rd level Anti-cleric.

For a conversion into Swords & Wizardry, the Forsaken Knight's movement score is 9 and XP Value is 2,600.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Retrospective: Building Onn as a Game

I thought this was important enough to post despite by self-imposed ban on posting til Monday. I spent about 6 fun-filled hours dungeon crawling with most of my oldest gaming friends and the people most responsible for the playtesting the budding idea for creating my own game for my Onn setting. I handed out Onn Core Rules books to all present, with a 'Merry Christmas' because these players are the ones that allowed me to begin the process of game deconstruction and design.

I was asked a few questions (I had not really told anyone about the books, as they were supposed to be Christmas presents, but I got a bit behind schedule) and when I made the statement "I knew I was making the game I wanted when Bob* walked out of the game that one night", some of the players nodded remembering the night in question and the player in question's wife gave me a confused look. We got started right after that, and I didn't have a chance to explain my answer (it sounded more negative than I intended, because without 'the Event' happening this game probably would have never have been created and would have languished as nothing more than defunct houserules for a different game), so I'll take the time to do so for all to see. It's also a lesson in design - sometimes you may have a great idea, but still be on the wrong track. Lastly, it's a lesson about friendship and gaming - sometimes you need to listen to what your friends and players aren't saying as much as what they are saying.

It started out, as noted elsewhere, for a 3.5e setting with rules 'modifications'. Before my last 3.5ed campaign was started (early in 2007), I posted to the group's website that I would like to run a houseruled game with some information on the changes. The group responded positively and green-lighted the project. Now, through what was turning into a rewrite of powered down 3.5ed rules, I would add some houserules and when we would get together there would be some discussion of them and either the group would agree to playtest the rules changes or shoot them down before almost each session.

I think throughout the campaign, I used 2 or 3 initiative systems and one of the players would always ask "so which Initiative system are we using this week?". Looking back the players were definitely more patient than I deserved and for the most part whenever I rolled out changes they would generally accept trying them. Except once...and it turned out to be the critical turning point that changed my tack and moved Onn away from being a 3.5ed supplement.

I had tinkered with all of the classes I wanted to have in my game but largely left the Fighter class intact at the beginning. Trying to deal with the enoumous amount of feats they amass and their combat power was too much a headache. I did get around to it though and the night we sat down to game and I had the proposed rule changes one of the players, Bob, with a fighter character had a literal meltdown, shouted a couple of choice words, balled up the proposed rule changes and walked out. Most of the other players had varying reactions and the wind was literally sucked out of the game for next few sessions. We all got together to play though, so play on we did.

Now, Bob and I have known and played together for a long time and Bob's opinion is something I value. While we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, we can hash out something from both sides and play on without any real issues. So when this happened, I knew I was on to something and at the same time knew I was on the wrong track trying to use 3.5ed and 'roll back' the power level of the game. We were in the middle of a campaign though and I couldn't and wouldn't just kill it after the other players had played though to that point.

From that point on, most of the rules changes were kept to a minimum. Ones that had been made were largely to continue previous changes to keep the game flowing at the level of power I had gotten it. Bob did eventually return to the group, we talked it over and it's water under the bridge. I continued to work on what was to become the Core Rules, using S&W for the framework and the successful rules changes I did get to playtest in that 3.5ed game, as well as the rest of the rules playtested in S&W/Onn games throughout last year.

But without 'the Event' happening, Onn would have only existed as a watered-down version of 3.5ed instead of its own game standing on its own merits. So in a way that can almost only be possible for a RPG, the World of Onn: Core Rules as a standalone RPG may never have happened if one of my friends hadn't gone Oldschool Rebellion.

Moreso than anyone else, thank you Bob, because in your moment of chutzpa, you helped me in a way I never though of and guided me in a direction I would have never taken on my own.

*Everyone in the gaming group knows Bob's real identity, but I don't see any reason to plaster it all over the internet. It was a single moment in time in the gaming group's history, but it was a defining moment for the creation of my Onn.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Saturday Gaming

I'm making an extra effort to join my longtime friends and play with the Saturday Group tomorrow, so there won't be any posting probably until Monday. The more I think about it, I've been playing weekends with some of these people since the waning days of AD&D 1st Edition. That's a long time considering a simple game of "Let's Pretend" is what has been bringing us together for such a long time and has formed some long lasting friendships both in and out of gaming. I enjoy their company and miss them more than I care to admit some days, especially since the years are starting to go by a little faster now and the games I can attend are too few and far between.

Enjoy the weekend folks - Onward Adventurers!

Tales from Sirac's Point, Session 9

We played Session 9 last night. Some interesting developments occurred but more on that in a few days...

Updated 3/23:

Solenus 22nd, 5231 A.C.

Moving back into the hallway the group discovered a nearby door on the left and another door father down the hall, also on the left. Rak’Shan listened at the near door and heard some sort of buzzing noise. He moved quietly to the farther door under the cover of archers and listened, but heard nothing. There was another door as well, quickly explored to reveal a partially collapsed room with a hole where part of the back wall once was. Now the group knew how the living creatures made their way into the tomb.

Attempting to open the nearby door, Rak’Shan succeeded and was face to face with an angry stirge. Autumn ran up and slammed the door and the group heard the sound of a bar being slammed into place. A quick tactical discussion followed and the group decided to retreat to the other side of the farther door to allow missile fire while Rak’Shan played ‘bait’.

A success, sort of, as bait happened. Six orcs flooded the hallway as Rak’Shan ran towards the group. Unfortunately, another orc opened the second door to peek out, right into Rak’Shan’s path of flight. Rak’Shan hit the door and dug his claws into it, hanging like a sad Garfield in a car window, but scaring the bejezus out of the orc. He slammed that door into the orc’s face as the rest of the group traded missile fire with the orcs (there was an eventual bar slammed into place during the combat, but the group was too busy to really do more than take note.

One orc escaped the slaughter in the hall and fled back into the other room, the group pursued, right into an angry swarm of stirges. That’s when they found out the orcs were using the stirges as pets (much like a human uses a war dog). As combat was joined, the orc’s leader and his two sub-commanders burst through an archway at the far end of the room.

Things got bad for the group quickly, with two members being successfully attacked and weakened by Stirges and the orc leader cutting down another. A few timely spells from Vendee (who until this point has used his magics sparingly, favoring his martial skills with the bow) helped bring down the stirges and the last of the orcs. A quick exploration revealed the stirge room and the room with the door farther down the hall were connected by a room in between them (the orc leader’s chamber). The other door was barred as well and the decision to hole up was made as most of the group had traded wounds with the orcs and stirges and several members were still critically wounded. The orc’s lair was sacked for its treasure (a small amount of coins) and the group rested as best it could.

Solenus 23rd - 24th, 5231 A.C.

The group rested, healed wounds and decided to stay put an additional day so the Clerics would be at full strength. Going over Vendee’s maps, the only place they hadn’t explored was beyond the large warded doors.

Solenus 25th, 5231 A.C.

Close to when the party was making ready to leave on the second rest period, Rak’Shan heard voices in the hallway outside. He quietly unbarred the door and peeked outside, seeing a group of humans, soaked and in tattered clothes. The group decided to let them in and Flambo made initial contact, nearly scaring them away. Vendee was unsure they should be trusted, as how could such pitiful humans be here…he felt something was amiss.

The humans, it turned out, were part of an orcish slave caravan. The weather turned and they were sheltered in a cave with minimal guards. The humans revolted, killing the guards and they explored deeper into the cave, finding themselves in a nearby room that had partially collapsed into the cavern, then encountering the party and being here and now. The group broke the chains holding the former slaves and armed them with the orcish gear. The group gave the humans the option of coming with them or braving things on their own. To Vendee’s dismay, the humans opted to travel with the group.

Going back to the great doors with the divine wards, several hours were spent in examination, both magically and physically. While the wards were still intact, they seemed in place to keep something in. Not seemingly dangerous to the opener, the true danger seemed to be implied in the warnings of horrible death and dark times for the openers. Undaunted they opened the doors, breaking the seals. The wards, having lasted for thousands of years, were set off and it was noted nothing seemed to happen.

Entering a huge crypt, complete with great statues of warriors in each corner, an ornate sarcophagus on a raised dais and a life-size statue of Haindrad and his frost dragon mount, torches around the room flared to life. Galeena started to complain of feeling ill and stayed back with the humans (to keep an eye on them mostly), while the group moved to investigate the chamber.

Flambo with some help removed the sarcophagus lid, revealing the remains of a mummified warrior, complete in his ancient armor, clutching his bastard sword to his breast and shield covering his legs. Muttering something about ‘this one not coming back’, Flambo dug out vials of oil and blessed them in the name of Vulknar. Vendee used his skills of prestidigitation to ignite the blessed oil magically after Flambo doused the body. Watching the flames burn down, the body seemed mostly intact, singed and blackened but not overly damaged. The rest of Flambo’s oil reserves were blessed and smashed into the stone coffin quickly and lit by Vendee, igniting into a conflagration.

Cregg and Rak’Shan were exploring the rest of the room while this was happening. Everyone took notice when Galeena had a seizure, fell to the ground and started retching violently.

The body, still on fire sat up and glared at Flambo and Vendee with its deep, red-glowing eyes. Galeena cried out and sat up as her belly exploded, revealing she had swallowed the black orb/pearl they had found weeks ago. It gave off an energy pulse and vaporized as Galeena slumped to the ground in a pool of blood and gore, freaking out the humans she was with.

Haindrad stood, bringing his blade to bear at the humans and uttered a word, sending crackling dark energy at them. The shadowy energy exploded around them and every human fell over, a look of agony and horror on their faces. Rak’Shan jumped onto the dragon, discovering it was not true stone but plaster and it was cracking and flaking off, revealing the rotting hulk of an actual dragon inside. Rak’Shan ran faster then he ever had before in his life, behind one of the statues in the nearby corner and fired arrows at the thing as combat was taking place between Haindrad, Vendee, Flambo, Cregg and Autumn.

Calling the dragon, Haindrad leapt up and swung onto the creature’s neck. Glaring at Flambo - “I will come for you” and then cast a Word of Recall.

The group was stunned for a moment, not sure what happened, then regrouped, checked the wounded and dead and looted the crypt, not finding much coinage, but several items of obvious magical power due to their age and new-looking condition as well as several personal effects of Haindrad’s.

Galeena was barely alive and it was ascertained that even if magically healed, she would need rest to fully recover. The humans were gone, their eyes telling a horrorific last moment of life...

This is where the session ended for the night...

CharacterSex/RaceXP GivenXP TotalNext Level
Vicar Flambo of VulknarMale Endu3,7159,26512,600 (+10%)
Vendee, Arcane GuardianMale Elf3,6159,53416,200 (+10%)
Galeena the WarrioressFemale Halfling1,7954,2107,600 (+5%)
Vicar Cregg of TymiraMale Human3,7158,04012,600 (+10%)
Brother Rak’ShanMale Tigran3,5907,0797,125 (+5%)
Autumn the WarrioressFemale Human1,7954,0317,600 (+5%)

Everyone in the party has gained a level!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Eagle’s Eye Trading Coffer (Secret Organization)

I started writing the World of Onn as a campaign supplement for D&D3.5 and as such, the last campaign I ran in it was for that system. Events transpired that saw a city overrun by the troops of a usurper to the throne of the Great Kingdom and then the transofrmation of the region into a haven for undead. One of the player characters seized the opportunity to establish a network that would work towards removing the undead threat, install a legitimate government and continue to support it as well as oppose tyrants anywhere people are oppressed. Most of the following text is written by Brian Freed, with minor editing by myself.

While there will be an established hierarchy within the guild, individual members are given plenty of flexibility to act on their own while on missions. The core objective of the guild is to not only earn profit for the coffer, but better the world around them in the process. Values to be displayed by the membership include protecting the weak, solving problems, and fighting against tyranny and slavery whenever possible.

Organization Type: Spy Ring/Trading Company

Spy Ring: Information is power. This aspect of the guild will look to garner information whenever possible, which should be passed up the chain of command when necessary. After the re-establishment of the rightful rulership of Whitemarsh, the coffer will serve as the “eyes and ears” of the government to help prevent any resurgence of Inquisitors or others who wish to overthrow the throne. All outside jobs, for instance – gathering information for a local lord – must be approved by the leadership. Only those jobs that are within the goals of the organization, benevolent in nature, or helpful to the security of the populace overall will be accepted. For example, the coffer will not accept scouting jobs for a group of thieves looking to gather information on the building layout of a local merchant. If however, the merchant in the example was thought to be smuggling slaves, the job might be taken.

Trading Company: A legitimate business operation that will provide porter, protection (body guards and caravan) and eventually shipment operations. Protection could also be in the form of anti-theft setup, like providing a business with traps and such to deter thievery. Once Whitemarsh's government is re-established, the community will need to be revitalized and rebuilt. This part of the organization will look to supply the local populace with the means to do so. Shipment and protection is for legitimate purposes only; jobs will not be taken where there are known smuggled goods involved or protecting known evil/criminal individuals. This will also help with information gathering as this aspect of the organization grows because travel will help establish a large network of information sources. This would be the major source of income to support the other phases of operation.

Major Goals
1. Establishment of the rightful government of Whitemarsh.
2. Once the above has been taken care of: Protection of the government through providing information. This, of course, is dependent on the government being benevolent for the people. This goal would change if the new ruler proved to be tyrannical in nature.
3. Oppose the followers of Nerak the Tyrant, God of Slavery, wherever possible.
4. Protection of those legitimately in need.

Creed - “Individual Freedom allows for individual fulfillment of destiny”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Imprint

Rogue Ranger Games is now the official imprint for the World of Onn FRPG and will be responsible for future Onn Core Rules support, including the Companion Expansion and WoO's first module: Expedition to Haindrad's Tomb.

Fantasy Adventure Studios will continue to be the imprint for Swords & Wizardry's Onn Supplement I and the upcoming Onn Supplement II.

RRG has taken over the Fantasy Adventure Studios Lulu Storefront as well. In the process, a hardcover volume of the Core Rules is now being offered for $21.95, the softcover volume has been reduced to $12.95 and the e-Book volume remains at $5.25.

Onn Supplement I for Swords & Wizardry is still for sale and going strong and will continue to be available for the low price of just $10 for a softcover edition and $5 for the e-Book edition.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Collection of Magical Rods

Some of the Magic Items that can be inserted into any Old School-type of fantasy game (namely Original D&D, 'B/X' D&D, Swords & Wizardry and World of Onn) are the most fun. Here's a small collection of Magical Rods to add to your game:

Note: If used as a weapon, magical rods function as clubs. All spell effects are considered as if cast by a 9th level caster for the purpose of Dispelling (if applicable).

Rod, Blast: Allows a spellcaster to drain one of his memorized spells away and fire a bolt of magic at a target to a range of 30 ft with a +2 bonus on the ‘to hit’ roll. Damage inflicted is 1d4 per level of the spell drained. Does not use charges.

Rod of Health: This rod can restore 2d6+2 hit points to an individual once each day, but can be used on an unlimited number of people. Does not use charges.

Rod of Illumination: While held, this rod provides light as a light spell. Does not use charges.

Rod of Leadership: While held in battle, increases the Morale score of character’s hirelings by +1. For characters with established strongholds, improves the reactions of followers and peasantry to any decisions by +1 when held while ruling in state. Does not use charges.

Rod of Prestidigitation: Allows the user to do simple actions that mimic simple tools (such as lighting candles, fires and pipes at the snap of a finger, cut hair, shave, sew rips in clothes, etc) or produce small extremely minor magical effects (such as levitating a book, flipping pages, create a faint ball of light 1 ft radius, make his eyes glow, etc). No effect can cause more than 1 point of damage and has an extremely limited range, usually never more than 10 ft and magical effects never last more than a turn. Does not use charges.

Rod of Weapons: On command, this rod will take the form of any one-handed (or multi-handed capable) weapon until commanded to revert back to rod form. Roll 1d3 for the rod’s magical bonus. Does not use charges.

Orbulous Servitor (Lesser Golem)

Orbulous Servitor Golem (Lesser, S)
Armor Class:4[15]
Hit Dice:1 (6 hp)
Attacks:1 claw (1d3) or flaming oil (1d8 for 2 rounds)
Saving Throw:17
Magic Resistance:Nil
Special:Immune to sleep, charm and hold, flight
Move:150ft(50ft) fly
Challenge Level/XP:2 / 30

Orbulous servitors are metallic spheres that float about 3-5 ft off the ground. They have a single red eye that tracks from side to side and a single claw that hangs from the bottom of their body. While not very good combatants, orbulous servitors have a higher degree of agility than other golems and can make good use of grenade-like weapons if available. They mainly see use as an assistant to handle dangerous reagents or tedious work like pot stirring and the like.

For a conversion into Swords & Wizardry, divide first number of the base movement rate by 10, so Orbulous Servitors would have a S&W movement of 15.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A nice suprise

I got a nice suprise when I woke up yesterday evening - the Misus told me a package arrived earlier in the day. Now, I recieved softcover copies of the Core Rules I ordered on Saturday, Thursday afternoon - just in time to give to my Thursday nite gaming group as thanks for their patience in helping me finish playtesting it. The package I got Friday was the lone copy of the Core Rules I ordered in Hardcover format. I wasn't expecting it until next week at the earliest so it was a suprise!

I was originally planning on doing a single-volume hardcover Core Rules (hence ordering one to make sure it was correct), but one of my players suggested breaking it into a Player's Volume and Referee's Volume. The Core Rules has a natural break in it already by design for PDF customers to be able to print out one half for their players if they so choose and the full book or just the referee's half for themselves for at the table. So I'm going to look into this and if the pricing is cheaper or similar for two smaller books versus one larger book, I think I'll offer both types of hardcovers.

I'll keep things posted...

Post Update 3/13:

After doing some pricing, producing a Player's Volume would cost about $17.75 and Referee's Volume $18.25...about $10 more than a single volume. Apparently hardcovers start at a minimum pricing of $15.60 (I thought it was closer to $10 for some reason). I don't see a reason to do this, but if there's enough interest I can put up seperate volumes as well as the whole Core book as Hardcovers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tales from Sirac's Point, Session 8

Another week and another session. This one had some frustrating developments, all due to the dice. More on that later though, along with the session log.

Updated 3/14:

The session was a good one, but early on the dice were not playing nice for almost anyone. Some nights the dice allow you to perform near miracles, well this session was the opposite. Most to-hit rolls were barely successful, saving throws difficult to make and wandering monsters non-existant (a full day's worth of nothing!). The fight with the Living Statues featured creatures with Damage Resistance that Cregg's player correctly guessed could be overcome by blunt force. The players were plinking away at them the whole time when they could hit. The it got real bad when characters started dropping like flies. It wasn't the AC of the creatures that was so difficult, but the dice were mediocore at best. I guess it was one of those sessions where the players did everything right, but the dice just don't want to play nice...but it was frustrating never the less.

Solenus 20th, 5231 A.C.

The door across the hallway opened easily for Rak’Shan (much to the group’s surprise) into a room containing statues of a male and female warrior flanking a plain stone sarcophagus. Inside the door were also statues of gargoyle or demon-like creatures. Galeena was told to search the room for traps (Rak’Shan was still deafened from the grenades that killed the scarab beetles). She made a dramatic show of how dangerous it could be for her, but eventually acquiesced and entered, making a careful search until she felt it was safe. Wary of the statues, Flambo cracked open the sarcophagus finding another long dead body. Galeena made a search for traps around the stone box and determined it was safe, climbed in to check for treasures while the group went back into the hallway to wait for her, not wanting to overly disturb the dead. She found some potions, a bronze jug, a sum of silver and some gold coins. Rushing the pair of potions out to Vendee, she returned to collect the coins when the statues stepped off their bases and attacked.

The fight lasted a long time and during it, Rak’Shan, Flambo, Galeena and Autumn went down at various points. The creatures were taking the best the group could dish out but seemed barely phased by the blows. Vendee, not having much in the way of offensive magic at his disposal, hit one of the statues with an Enlarge spell, cramping it and making it difficult to move for the creature, but it still hit Rak'Shan a couple of times and in its larger state could reach Flambo. Cregg, taking Flambo’s two-handed hammer after he fell unconscious, discovered the creatures had a weakness against blunt weapons. Vendee dismissed the enlargement effect before the creature did any further damage with its increased reach.

The party began strategically retreating at one point, while trying to save the dying (and using an unconscious Flambo’s bulk as a natural barrier) and Galeena raced past the statues with one of the potions she took from the tomb. She tumbled past the statues, confusing them and jumped into the stone box, dragging Rak’Shan (who lay at the base of the box) with her. After several moments with the statues not responding to her replacing the potions, she stood up and said “now what???” to Vendee and Cregg. Realizing she was now in the box they were tasked with guarding, the statues simultaneously turned and swung, nearly cleaving Galeena in two. She fell limp back into the box and on top of Rak’Shan.

Mustering one last offensive, Vendee settled on using his Spellblade Weapon and Cregg hefted Flambo’s hammer.

Eventually, the statues were piles of rubble and a threat no more. Vendee, normally unscathed by combat, was even sporting some nicks and a bruise. Miraculously, all of the companions were alive, some barely hanging on, but alive nonetheless. Piling up the rubble that was the remains of the statues in front of the door, the group set to tending the wounded and resting.

Solenus 21st, 5231 A.C.

With everyone at least conscious, but some members (barely) walking wounded, they group stayed put, continuing to rest and tend the injured. Rak’Shan discovered his hearing had returned, probably sometime during his unconscious state. Magical healing was generously applied and the day was otherwise uneventful. Vendee studied the potions during the day and determined one was a Potion of Levitation and the other was a Potion of Growth. The bronze jug was discovered to pour fresh water endlessly when the stopper was removed and the jug tilted.

Solenus 22nd, 5231 A.C.

After doing their morning rituals and such, the group left the statue room, moving down the hall to another side door. In the distance of their bulls-eye lantern’s light, the hall ended in a large door or double door (they weren’t sure) but Flambo, Cregg and Rak’Shan (all Clerics or Cleric Subclasses) could feel some holy energy coming from the door. They noted it, but wanted to investigate any doors before they went the rest of the hall to make sure nothing came up from behind again, one member citing what happened to Lirus the Apprentice a few days ago.

Again, Rak’Shan opened the door easily. In this room was an obvious illusion of a young man in his teens. Dressed in the garb of a squire and the illusion followed the boy through flashes of his teen years, learning to fight and then as a young adult being inducted into the order of Apathos. As a middle-aged man they saw him lead virtuous warriors into battle against some undefined darkness or evil. The last image they saw was of the man, older, haggard-looking with streaks of grey hair and sunken eyes. The holy symbol now worn by them man was still of Apathos, but blackened and twisted. This last threw the group. The man looked alive, so it ruled out his being some powerful form of undead warrior.

They hypothesized he turned from his faith at some point, hence the blackened holy symbol (Apathos’ symbol is a Red Crown, sometimes on a black field). Flambo stated that he thinks things are not as they seem, as this place seemed more like a prison for something, or someone and not truly a tomb. It seemed like people of ancient times were especially keen on keeping this location secret.

Not finding anything else, they moved on. Down a different hall after they discovered an intersection, the nearby door they decided to investigate wouldn’t open for Rak’Shan. Flambo attempted to as well, yanking hard enough to get a crack open. Rak’Shan saw there was something barring the door on the other side…and a green flicker.

Busting the door in, the group encountered four skeletal creatures with green glowing eyes. One of the creatures, dressed in tattered robes and wielding a staff, gestured wildly and shot magic missiles at the group. Flambo drove the creatures back into the room with the power Vulknar. They didn’t have anywhere to go, so the fighter skeletons formed a defensive wall around the magical skeleton. Wounds were traded but the group prevailed after another long, pitched battle.

Among the useless weapons and armor one of the skeletons was found to be wearing a tarnished, but decent suit of chain mail. Rak’Shan’s insistence of going armorless has been a point of contention for other party members (namely Flambo, who heals him when Cregg cannot). Not seeing a hole for his tail and not wishing to wear what he considers bulky armor, Rak’Shan tried it on to satisfy Flambo. While the armor was indeed heavy, it sized to fit Rak’Shan to the point of forming a hole for his tail. Taking a chance on it not being cursed and indeed magical, Flambo took the armor with the rest of the group’s blessing and indeed, it enlarged enough to fit him as well as he pulled it on (with the light sound of links being forged and added).

A search was made and a secret door was found as well, leading to a small room with book-lined shelves and the remains of a table. Vendee, hoping the skeletal magic caster had a spellbook was disappointed there was none to find, but the group did find a scroll that was extremely fragile, but did not disintegrate when it was opened. The arcane writing was ancient, but Vendee could identify the scroll was magical and contained a spell of the First Circle, Burning Hands.

The Session Ended here, with the group making ready to go back into the hall and look for any other doors they may have missed…

CharacterSex/RaceXP GivenXP TotalNext Level
Flambo, Adept of VulknarMale Endu1,3855,5505,850 (+10%)
Vendee, Arcane VeteranMale Elf1,5105,9198,100 (+10%)
Galeena the MercenaryFemale Halfling5802,4153,800 (+5%)
Cregg, Adept of TymiraMale Human1,2354,3255,850 (+10%)
Rak’Shan the MonkMale Tigran1,2603,4893,800 (+5%)
Autumn the MercenaryFemale Human5802,2363,800 (+5%)

Cregg has reached 3rd level!
Galeena has reached 2nd level!
Autumn has reached 2nd level!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's all about the image

I was looking at the cover for the two Onn books I've produced thus far for the public and I like everything about them except for the FAS logo. It's crude, childish and just downright an eyesore. This past weekend the old Saturday group I used to be part of had another game that I couldn't attend due to my non-weekends off work schedule and girlfriend's Birthday. I was looking over some material I'm working into public form for another project and I was thinking about those darned Greeks, Moi Greke, Mythica and Brian's Rangers.

(This all comes together in an odd way, or maybe not so much)

My girlfriend and I went to one of the local, small state parks a couple of years back, with me dressed in Renn-Faire garb for some snapshots for a now-defunct project (one of them is the picture to the right over my profile info). I'm sitting here looking at those covers and that ugly logo. While all of this is circling my head I started thinking about Rangers, and this led to remembering how Brian, when he played a Ranger it always had a name that started with an "R", like Rand or Rommel (did I mention before how he likes the Desert Fox?), and so on.

I started tinkering around with the picture...and got this on a whim...

Now I know this doesn't look like much of a ranger, out of place with the wrong colors in the woods and all that, but in theory the lightly armored, self-reliant (not to mention dashing) figure may be more of a Roadwarden between civilized lands ranger than the tree-hugger ranger...anyway to the point, Brian's "R" rangers inspired the name "Rogue Ranger". It formed on a whim, but it looks alot better (to me) and 'feels' right...

I may move FAS over to RRG after I let it simmer for a while and think about it.


The manual for Ultima IV had a beastairy in it that was illustrated. One of my favorite opponents was a creature called a Headless. The picture was of a hairy, fuzzy creature in a loincloth and wielding a spear. It didn't look dangerous at all (except for the spear) and they were like Kobolds for Britannia I guess cause they were dirt cheap XPs and always seemed to be near max numbers for encounters. Another way Ultima has affected Onn I guess.

Headless (S)
Armor Class:6[13]
Hit Dice:1d4 hp
Attacks:bite (1d4) or weapon (1d6-1)
Saving Throw:18
Magic Resistance:Nil
Challenge Level/XP:A / 5

Headless are small (3 ft tall) humanoids with a fanged mouth set in the center of their torso, but with no head or visible sight organs. Their squat bodies are covered in short fur and they wear primitive furs for clothing and can wield primitively constructed weapons (spears, daggers, slings, clubs, etc). They sense their surroundings through air movement and can ‘see’ invisible and hiding creatures as plainly as visible ones.

For a conversion into Swords & Wizardry, divide first number of the base movement rate by 10, so Headless would have a S&W movement of 9.

Permanent e-Book Sale

In Gary and Dave's memory and honor of the game they gave us, Fantasy Adventure Studios has decided to keep the prices of it's e-Books low and affordable.  The World of Onn Supplement I for Swords & Wizardry will remain at $5 (for 147 pages of S&W additions and goodness!) and the World of Onn: Core Rules stand-alone game is now selling for $5.25 (for 228 pages and a complete game!).

There are no plans to ever raise these prices, and all future e-Books will follow these pricing guides as well.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saving Throws

Even though it may get my Old Schooler Card revoked, I have to say I like the 3-save system (I made into a 4-save system by re-adding an old school element) more than the archaic 6-save system from back in the day. Having 3 categories for general use that shows how well a character can resist those effects instead of arbitrary attack forms is alot easier (to me) to just tell a character to roll X save without really needing to think it over. Back in the day, I had a hard time differentiating between Magic Wands and Spells for oddball saving throws. But this is the system I use for Onn:

From time to time, a spell or some other kind of hazard requires you to make a saving throw. A successful saving throw means that the character (or monster) avoids the threat or lessens its effect. Each character class has a group of Saving Throw target numbers, which gets lower and lower as the character gains levels. To make a saving throw, roll a d20. If the result is equal to or higher than the character’s saving throw target number, the saving throw succeeds. Monsters can also make saving throws (a monster’s saving throw target number is listed in the monster’s description). There are three typical categories of saving throws: Ego, Dodge and Toughness. Each covers a select type of effects and are listed below:

• Dodge - Dodge saving throws are used to lessen or avoid some targeted attack forms, such as a traps and the like.
• Ego - Ego saving throws are used to avoid mind-affecting attacks and effects that would override the character’s own thinking and/or decision making ability or self identity.
• Toughness - Toughness saving throws are used to resist effects that alter or cause damage the physical form or body of a character.

The fourth type of saving throw is used in special situations that aren’t affected by class or level of a character because it relies on the character’s inherent ability to withstand great physical and/or spiritual adversity: the System Shock. This is checked on percentile dice (d%) rolled over a number based on the character’s Constitution ability score. The System Shock is used when the character’s physical and spiritual being are damaged or transformed so drastically that a typical saving throw would not apply - suffering magical aging, being changed into a different form, being brought back from the dead, taking over 25 points of damage from a single, non-magical source, such as a single attack (even if it is from a magical weapon), or over 50 points from a magical source (such as a Fireball). These last two events causes instant death regardless of current hit points if the System Shock saving throw is failed.

Even though player characters have their saving throws delineated by class and category, monsters use a single saving throw. The Referee should feel free to add any modifiers he deems fit. The Referee is the final arbiter of what type of saving throw an attack form uses if there is any confusion or question. Regardless of modifiers, a natural ‘1’ or ‘01’ always fails, whereas a natural ’20’ or ‘00’ always succeeds.

Lightning Stroke

Though impressive in name, this spell is a simple one for budding Magic-user-types and Druidic Initiates...

Lightning Stroke
Spell Level: Druid, Magic-user, 1st Level
Range: 90 ft
Duration: 1 round

When this spell is cast a small, rumbling stormcloud immediately forms over the head of the designated target. On the round after the spell is cast, the cloud emits a small stroke of lightning, inflicting 1d6 points of damage, plus one point per caster level. There is a 10% chance of a forked stroke of lightning, also affecting a single victim within 5 ft of the target (chosen randomly if more than one creature is near the target). Victims of this spell gain a Dodge saving throw for half damage.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

World of Onn: Core Rules

It's Here!

As a 'sneak peek' thing, I put the Core Rules softcover and e-book up versions for sale at midnight over at my Fantasy Adventure Studios Lulu storefront (link on the right). I'm posting here for those early-morning bird-types so if anyone is interested, they can get a jump on their weekend. I'll be posting to the message boards later today.

For those that have shown interest and emailed their thoughts, thank you for the support.

For my players in the Thursday game, as well as the Saturday night players that have begun the game, I have your copies of the book ordered as a Thank You for enduring the continual play testing.

James Bobb

Friday, March 05, 2010

Tales from Sirac's Point, Session 7

The weekly game was played last night. The group got through several tough encounters and (barely) survived 2 deadly traps. My dice went through a cold-hot-cold cycle through out the night as well. One constant that has been happenning thus far is the lack of wandering encounters - the dice seem to want the PCs to survive for a while longer I suppose. I'll post the details of the game in a couple of days (it may well be the longest post I've done to date).

Updated 3/8:

On the way to the game, Vendee's player commented about my post on Experience Points and how I was granting them. He likes more of a faster advancing game at lower levels, with a drop off at mid levels. Normally I would agree, I hate playing  low levels of more 'modern' games. But playing S&W and now WoO, I find I like low levels more than I have for a long time. The characters are alot more fragile and the players are more creative in keeping themselves alive. Since we are playing 3 weeks out of every month thus far I didn't want a fast advancing game, otherwise the players would just blow through the levels and this isn't WoW or WotC d20 (1st or 2nd Edition). With a good use of tactics though (and having 2 Clerics) the characters have been pacing about 2 sessions per level thus far and are taking most of the encounters they do have fairly well. So far things have been win/win I think (well I hope).

The session itself is too huge to post reasonably. The group, bolstered by the return of Rak'Shan dealt with several encounters, including a group of goblins, skeletons with skeletal hounds being commanded by a powerful green-eyed skeleton (while turning affected the lesser skeletons, the green-eyed skeleton negated this somehow and forced his 'troops' back into the fight).

Rak'Shan went down in this fight, as well as later in the night when a deadly trap was set off and he was squarely in it's path of destruction. He made his saving throw for only half damage, but it still did enough to him to take him down. This has been a slight issue over the past several gaming sessions, as Rak'Shan has been the primary door opener and trap-worker, with Galeena doing duty as his backup. Since he's in front so much, he takes the most damage usually in initial volleys if the monsters know the group is on the other side of the door or is coming their way. He has a decent AC as well, one of the highest in the group (we play with Ascending AC) but when you get attacked 3+ times after opening a door (sometimes with suprise), it wears you down. The player is frustrated (exclaiming "Monk's Suck!" after he went down for the second time near the end of the session), but it's not through any fault of his own (except for not letting either of the 2 clerics know he's walking dead sometimes), it's just the role the party needs him to take is one of the most dangerous. If he survives these low levels to about 4th or 5th level, I think he'll see his class differently, but I play to the dice and either the dice will get him (and the rest of the party) or they won't.

Another thing, interesting, that happened in the session is the party encountered three rusty, ancient servitor golems during their encounter with the above mentioned skeletons. One promptly chucked a grenade at Cregg (a dud, as randomly determined by the dice...they seem to like my players more than me sometimes) and another slammed the door to the room they were in. After the skeletons were dispatched Flambo, being a Cleric of the Forge and Sun God, used his wits to befriend the little floating golems, gain a safe place to rest and them to join the party and all for a pint of oil for each golem (must be his good looks). The servitor golems had a small cache of 5 more grenades they grabbed before leaving their workshop room, which they used later to destroy a swarm of scarab beetles (it was a bit of overkill, but the golems wanted to protect the first friendly people they've seen in a few thousand years). They are also a bit of comic relief for me as well, as i described them as floating sheres with a tracking cyclon red eye travelling across the 'front' of the thing. Cregg's player pulled up a sound bite on his phone that sounded like R2D2 on crack, and the group nicknamed them Huey, Dewey and Louie. It seems they can understand, read and write (archaic) common, but no one can understand 'machine code'.

Up til this point, I've kept the 'mekanical' and 'gunpowder' related things in the background. In Sirac's Point they saw a labor mek offloading a ship's cargo at the docks, and at the dig site, they encountered another (deactivated) one and in the Zuhn Regiment's Tomb saw a crumbling War Mek. Now they've encountered Servitor Golems and grenades. Some of the frescoes depicted rifle troops alongside a phalanx of warriors of the Zuhn Empire. Slowly they're being exposed to the less fantastical elements of Onn in small bits at a time. I hope they enjoy it playing in it as much as I have running games set in it over the years.

There was much gathering of treasure and exploration. The scarabs were the last event of the night and we ended the session in front of the door across the hallway after the group searched the room for shiny bits and baubles.

Campaign Date:
Solenus 19th-20th, 5231 A.C.

Dramatis Personae:
CharacterSex/RaceXP GivenXP TotalNext Level
Flambo, Adept of VulknarMale Endu1,0204,1655,850 (+10%)
Vendee, Arcane VeteranMale Elf1,0704,4098,100 (+10%)
Galeena, Woman-at-ArmsFemale Halfling4721,8351,900 (+5%)
Cregg, Novice of TymiraMale Human1,0203,0903,150 (+10%)
Rak’Shan the MonkMale Tigran9322,2293,800 (+5%)
Autumn, Woman-at-ArmsFemale Human4721,6561,900 (+5%)

Flambo has reached 3rd level!
Vendee has reached 3rd level!
Rak'Shan has reached 2nd level!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Gone and Not Forgotten

As anyone who makes the Old School Blog rounds knows today was the second anniversary of the passing of the man we all know simply as 'Gary'. I don't have any sweeping stories about meeting or playing with him, although once I just missed him at a Con I attended with a few friends (the only Con I had ever been to, actually). Thankfully one of them was quick-witted enough to get his autograph in my OD&D Greyhawk Supplement, something that I'll treasure always. Though I never met the man, every time I sit around a table with my friends, it's thanks to Gary.

Though he couldn't be part of D&D and see his child through all of its tumultuous latter years, the seeds he planted back in the day continue to grow. As long as we pass on the fun of the past to the gamers of the future the flame will continue on.

Thank you Gary, you are still missed...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Core Rules Cover

It's all coming together now...

Kimberly's rough draft for the cover is over on the right. A faintly greek-looking adventurer in a breastplate, horse-haired helmet, pavis-like shield and sword about ready to do a very PC-like foolish thing against a hovering wyvern. The whole scene takes place on a high cliff at night under Onn's full twin moons of Seluna and Feluna.

Looking at this makes me want to roll up a PC and jump in, because that warrior (Fighting-man, or possibly a Divine Champion?) is in real need of some friends...