Search the World of Onn

Friday, December 16, 2011

Something on my Mind

In the past, I've had long go-round discussions with my group about the way to find a character-power versus monster-power 'balance'. I've seen some real good dissections of HD vs Level vs Monster Lovel, but I'm wondering what the classes would look like if they were built in the same way monsters were instead of the mostly arbitrary charts we've come to know.

Over the weekend I'll post more in this!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The World of Onn Forum

I decided to let the World of Onn/Rifthaven forum go. In case anyone had it booked marked, don't fret. Onn is still going strong and coming along as I hoped it would.

(or, as most would say, behind still and causing me fits, lol)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hit Points as Real Damage, Part II

In the last post, small changes to how healing worked were introduced into the current system of Onn and in general any retro- or oldschool-style game. I say small, but also far reaching due to the fact that hit points are a central part of the game, as is their loss and recovery.

Damage and Death is the way hit points are lost (obviously). Individual Referees may desire to come up with systems of their own to simulate the declining health of an adventurer as they lose hit points, but for the scope of Onn, the fact they are getting so close to death is enough for this one.

If a character is reduced to 0 hit points exactly, he is unconscious but stable. If left alone long enough, the character may recover or die on his own (Referees are free to adjucate this to what best fits their game).

Under 0 hit points, a character is considered dying from internal and/or external damage. Each round the character rolls a Toughness saving throw with his negative hit point total applied as a penalty to the roll. If he fails the roll he takes an additional point of damage; suceeding the roll places him stable at 0 hit points.

Characters reaching a negative hit point total equal to their maximum 1st level hit points are dead.

If a character heals naturally or is magically healed back to positive hit points, he suffers a -4 penalty to all die rolls until he has a full day of rest.

Natural Healing is the most often neglected recovery method of hit points. In worlds where magical healing is available, natural recovery is often moot or all but forgotten. Characters regain their Constitution's Natural Healing rate for each day of rest. Rest is considered non-stressful activity (equipment upkeep, foraging, small game hunting, sitting around or praying/studying, etc) no matter where the character is. Adventurers don't need a warm bed and cushy settings to be considered resting (though of course it is the most preferred!).

Now, if a character spends 2 weeks in a civilized location and comfortable while under the care of another tending to him, he regains full hit points at the end of the 2 week period regardless of how hurt he is.

Fast Healing is a weaker form of regeneration (that all-too-familiar property of Trolls). Characters with Fast Healing heal the indicated rate regardless of their activity level until they reach 0 hit that point the body is too damaged to continue to repair itself.

Magical Healing is the most common form of healing adventurers encounter. The 4 healing spells Clerics, Druids, Divine Champions and Rangers have access to in the World of Onn would look like so:

Cure Light Wounds*
Spell Level: Cleric/Druid, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Immediately cures wounds on the target equal to 1 point, plus the target's natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis but when cast in this fashion no damage is cured.
An evil reversal of this spell allows an Anti-cleric to cause light wounds for 1+1d6 damage if he successfully strikes the victim with a +2 bonus on the ‘to-hit’ roll.

Cure Serious Wounds*
Spell Level: Cleric/Druid, 4th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Immediately cures wounds on the target equal to 4 points, plus double the dice of the target’s natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis, cure blindness or deafness but when cast in one of these fashions no damage is cured.
An evil reversal of this spell allows an Anti-cleric to cause 4+2d6 points of damage if he successfully strikes the victim with a +2 bonus on the ‘to-hit’ roll.

Healing Circle*
Spell Level: Cleric/Druid, 5th Level
Range: Self
Duration: Instantaneous
This spell heals the caster and all allies in a 10 ft radius around the caster of 4 points, plus double the target’s natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis, cure blindness or deafness in an ally at the caster’s desire, but when these maladies are removed only 1 point, plus the target’s natural healing rate are cured for that individual.
An evil reversal of this spell allows an Anti-cleric to cause a circle of wounds inflicting 4+2d6 points of damage to all enemies in a 10 ft radius around the caster.
Cure Critical Wounds*
Spell Level: Cleric/Druid, 7th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Immediately cures wounds on the target equal to 16 points, plus quadruple the target’s natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis, cure blindness or deafness but when cast in one of these fashions no damage is cured.
An evil reversal of this spell allows an Anti-cleric to cause 16+4d6 points of damage if he successfully strikes the victim with a +2 bonus on the ‘to-hit’ roll.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hit Points as Real Damage

Working off the supposition that Hit Points are purely how much damage a creature can sustain before being killed, the Constitution ability can serve as more than just a Hit Point adjustment for hit dice gained when levelling up. Constitution can be used to affect natural healing as well in a definable way.

Ability ScoreAdjustmentNatural HealingFast Healing

Like normal, Adjustment affects the amount of Hit Points per HD the character has. Natural Healing is the amount of hit points a character regains for a day of rest, while Fast Healing is a slower but similar ability of regeneration.

Likewise, Clerical healing magic would work by using the character's Natural Healing rate. The more robust/tough/quick to mend/etc the character is, the more damage healing magic repairs, speeding up the recovery of wounds through holy power, like so:

Cure Light Wounds
Spell Level: Cleric, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Immediately cures wounds and injuries equaling 1 point, plus the recipient’s natural healing rate. Optionally, this spell can remove paralysis but when cast in this fashion no damage is cured.

So a Cleric casting Cure Light on a character with an average Constitution (9-12) heals 1+1d3 hit points of damage, while a more robust individual (Constitution 15-16) would be healed 1+1d6 points of damage.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Other Class Options for Fighting-men

If a Fighting-man decides not to establish a stronghold at 9th level, he may opt to become a Druidic Knight, Knight, Paladin, or Warlock if he possess the requisite ability scores and meets any other requirements.

Druidic Knights are fighting-men that have an affinity for Nature and revere one of the Nature deities. To become a Druidic Knight, a fighting-man must possess a 13 Wisdom and 12 Constitution and be on good terms with a Druidic Circle or Ranger Order.

The character must approach the Circle or Order and make an offer of at least 10,000 gp and/or 2-5 permanent useful magic items given as a gift, they will train him to use the abilities of Wilderness Lore, Pass without Trace and Fast Movement. In addition they will teach him to use druidic orisons and cast 2/0/0 Druid spells per day as a 3rd level caster, but he cannot do so while wearing predominantly metal armor.

In exchange for this, the Druidic Knight swears fealty to the group and must assist its members in times of need. He can expect sanctuary at any place held or friendly to the group

Knights are travelling fighting-men that swear fealty to a nobleman, such as a Duke or Lord or even a King or Emperor. Knights travel the realms, upholding the Laws and undertaking quests for their liege. They spend large amounts of time participating in Tourneys as well, showcasing their martial skills against their equals for land and monetary prizes.

Due to the even more highly regimented martial training Knights receive, they gain 2 additional Combat Options and attack at +1 Attack Rank.

In exchange for the oath of allegiance, a Knight can expect sanctuary in any establishment in his liege’s region. The Knight is expected to provide shelter and comfort to other Knights of his liege as well. If a Call to Arms is made, the Knight is expected to make haste to his liege’s rally point and perform whatever duties his liege needs of him.

Knights may be granted baronies after a long service or particularly important quest and can found a stronghold at that time.

Paladins are Fighting-men dedicated to a non-nature deity. Similar to Divine Champions, Paladins are more militaristic and kick-in the door types who are trained to take action in the name of the Gods. If there is evil, a Paladin will surely be charged with ending its existence. To be a Paladin, a Fighting-man must have never performed an overtly evil act in his career. He must possess a Strength 12, Wisdom 13, Constitution 14 and Charisma 15.

The character must approach a religious order and make an offer of at least 10,000 gp and/or 2-5 permanent useful magic items given as a gift. If accepted, they will train him to use the abilities of Cure Light Wounds (as the spell) once per day and Cure Disease and Dispel Evil (as the spells) once per week each. In addition they will teach him to use clerical orisons and cast 2/0/0 Cleric spells per day as a 3rd level caster.

Warlocks are fighting-men that have some measure of arcane talent, but eschewed the path of the Magic-user for the more martial arts. Misunderstood as making pacts with demons or other dark powers for their arcane ability by most commoners that learn of their abilities, Warlocks are actually extremely willful warriors that are trained to reach out and harness their Ethereal fields and bend it to their martial skills. To be a Warlock, prospective Fighting-men must possess Strength 12, Intelligence 14 and Charisma 13.

The character must find a Magic-user or Magical College to learn the basics of spellcraft. In exchange for a gift of 5,000gp and 7-16 magical items in their search for arcane mastery, Warlocks are taught the ability of Prestidigitation and in the casting of 2/0/0 Magic-user spells per day as a 3rd level caster. Warlocks can cast their spells only while unarmored, or if they are wearing non-magical Light armor or any magical armor. In addition, they may fire a bolt of magical energy once per round that inflicts 1d6 + Charisma adjustment in magical damage and can imbue their shield with magical energy that absorbs pure magical damage attacks, such as magic missile spells.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Multiclassing in Onn

Here's a simple set of multiclassing rules that has drawn on B/X and its race as class rules.

Characters with a 15 or greater in more than 1 classes’ Prime Attribute score have the ability to perform in more than one class at a time, due to natural talent in the diverse training they require. These types of characters are called Multiclassed Characters. Characters begin play as a multiclassed character at 1st level.

Multiclassed characters have their own experience chart and hit dice progression. When a multiclassed character earns enough experience, he advances in level in both of his classes at the same time. When a multiclassed character reaches his level limit in any of his classes, he ceases to advance in that class but continues to advance in the other.

Multiclassed characters use the best attack rolls table allowed to his classes and levels. These characters also use the best saving throws allowed by virtue of all his classes and current levels.

The armor and weapon restrictions of a multiclass character are at the referee's discretion. In general the most restrictive weapon restrictions are used for religious (Cleric and Druid) characters, while multiclassed Magic-user classes can make use of any other classes’ weapons, but are restricted to no armor use. What classes can be combined are up to each referee's campaign.

There are 2 exceptions to this rule:

·         Multiclass elven Magic-users can wear magical Light armor without any restriction to spellcasting ability.

·         Multiclass gnomish Illusionists can wear magical Light armor without any restriction to spellcasting ability.

Multiclass Charcter XP Chart
1 (1d6)0
2 (2d6)3,000
3 (3d6)6,000
4 (4d6)9,000
5 (-)12,000
6 (5d6)25,000
7 (6d6)50,000
8 (7d6)75,000
9 (-)150,000
10 (8d6)300,000
11 (-)450,000
12 (9d6)600,000
13 (-)750,000
14 (-)900,000
15 (10d6)1,050,000

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sorry Folks!

Sorry the posting has way slowed down the last few months! Please be patient as I turn the corner into the homestretch of the Revised Core Rules for Onn! I'll begin posting up alot more in the coming weeks and get things back on track!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Percentage Based Skills - 2nd Look

About a month ago I presented a percentage-based skill system that converted all the x-in-6 chances from OD&D and what I used in their d12 conversion for Onn Core Rules. Having been playtested by a friend of mine, Tom, and his gaming group for the last month, here is the refined system:
  • Characters begin play with a base score of 8 + the character's relevant ability score + any additional adjustments (such as racial adjustment) = the base % chance of success.
For example, Cedric the Elf Magic-user has an Intelligence score of 16. His chance to Detect Hidden (secret doors and the like) is 8 base + 16 Int = 24%. Because he is an elf he gains an additional +10% to this particular skill for a total of  24 + 10 = 34%.
  • When a character advances each level beyond 1st level, he adds 3 + his Intelligence adjustment and multiplies the result by 5. This number is the amount of skill points he can distribute among his skills as he sees fit, so long as no skill recieves more than 10 points.
For example, Cedric reaches 2nd level as a Magic-user. He gains 3 + 1 (Int adj) = 4 x 5 = 20 points to distribute among his skills. He decides his Detect Hidden has been very useful and allocates 10 points to it, raising it up to a 44% and distributes the remaining 10 points into his other skills.
  • [OPTIONAL] The Referee or player keeps track of how many times the characters use their skills successfully and relevantly for the game session. Once per session a player may declare he is trying to improve the skills a character has successfully used. For this roll, the player attempts to FAIL the skill check (rolling higher than their chance of success) and gains a +1 bonus to the roll for each tracked use of the skill being improved. If this reverse check is failed, the character gains a permanent +1% to their chance of success. Succeed or fail, the player wipes all tracked uses out and begins tracking anew.
Our elf Cedric's player decides to start tracking his character's skill uses with the Referee's approval. A couple hours into the session, the party hits a dead end and according to their mapper must be at the location of a secret door (based on what they found previously). Everyone in the party fails to find it. Cedric's player declares he is thinking back to all of the lessons his mentor taught him on how to stay safe and find very hidden things. The Referee tells Cedric's player he has 4 relevant skill checks for Detect Hidden so far and the player casts the dice against his 44%. He rolls a 41% and adds his +4 for his 4 relevant uses so far for a total of 45%. Failing the check, he gains a +1 to his chance of success in the future and is granted a reroll with his new score of 45%.

Typical use of this system is rolling equal to or under your chance of success (just like using Thief skills in older editions of the game). Onn doesnt have Thieves though, so this system also doubles for those players that likes those percentage dice.

 NO SKILL SYSTEM SHOULD EVER DICTATE THE FUN YOU ARE HAVING!!! IF A PLAYER GIVES YOU A THOUGHTFUL EXPLANATION OF SOMETHING COVERED BY SKILL USE AND YOU CAN'T SEE A REASONABLE EXPLANATION WHY HE SHOULD FAIL, THEN DON'T ROLL THE DICE! One trap is to over use the dice and make skill checks for everything under the sun. Some games run fine this way, but don't change your playstyle to accomodate a system...adjust the system for your playstyle.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

XP Charts - Re-tweak

After playing the older games and retro-games for nearly 30 years, I understand better how the XP charts of the various classes made them characters of as nearly equal power as you can be when combining magical ability and non-magical ability. It didn't make then the same LEVEL but rather gave the feel that the classes were of the same approximate power level at similar XP TOTALS. One thing difficult to quantify though is magic use. With the various effects that magic can produce, a true balance is an illusion (seriously, how do you compare a Fighting-man's combat ability to a Magic-user's spellcasting ability...apples and mangos).

After some experimenting with my PbP games and asking a friend that plays in another group to try it a few months ago, I modified the XP charts somewhat after getting their feedback:

LevelBardClericFighting-manMagic-userShao Disciple

Clerics also includes Druids.
Fighting-men also includes Barbarians, Divine Champions, Rangers and Spellblades.
Magic-users also includes Illusionists.
* Denotes 'Name' Level - where a character with the class ability may found a stronghold. Characters' HD progressions also slow down at this level as well and XP needed is a flat amount. Most classes do not gain any new class abilities after this level.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another view on Skills

Sometimes you can have too much time on your hands to think but never enough to do anything with it. I've been commuting 2 hours back and forth to work in Virginia the last 5 weeks and during that drive and sitting in traffic alot of great (in my mind) things have come out, but since I'm driving no real way to capture the details (something about the police around the Baltimore/DC frowns on out of state people doing things besides just driving, I dunno).

Anyways, everyone that knows me knows I have this love for the red-head stepchild d12. Using Onn's Ability Score adjustments of +/-2, you have more leeway for adjusting the results of a d12 then a d6 when making some kind of dungeoneering skill check. For those frowning now and about to think 'oldschool D&D' didn't have such things and this new school crap doesn't have a place in D&D or its clones, I'll simply say generally in the B/X and OD&D rules, most things had a flat 2-in-6 chance of success (with some Referees houseruling ability adjustments can affect this) and even Gary and Dave and other founding greats used ability checks and other systems to determine success of certain things considered 'skills'.

But enough of digression, if you're still reading you want me to get to the crunchy bits of the post. So I made Onn's 'Dungeoneering Skills' a d12 when I wrote the Core Rules. With the small modifiers ability scores have and the chances to do things (converted directly from the x-in-6 chance) it worked well as a flat system, but offers little room for growth for characters well-practiced (after levels and levels of doing them).

Early D&D and its clones and retro-games are all based around percentages, even if 'funky' dice are used. 2-in-6 = 33%, elves and their 4-in-6 chance to detect secret doors = 66%, heck even hobbits had a high percentage chance (depending on the version of the game, as high as 90%) to remain unseen outdoors. Since D&D-type games are class and level based, organic growth like a skills-based game dont work very well hand in hand normally. I've seen some houserules for combat and magic that severed the ties to class and level that looks very fun and dynamic.

One thing I thought up while I was driving back and forth was a percentage-based skills system. This is thoroughly untested (so far) but a short discussion with my home gaming group refined what was in my head to this:

1) Characters begin play with a base of 8% + the skill's relevant Ability Score.

Example: if a character has an Intelligence score of 13, his ability to Pick Locks would be 21% (8+13) at 1st level.
  • Races and classes that have any bonuses to skills would multiply the bonus by 4 and add the result to their base chance of success.
2) During the course of a game session, the players keep track of successful relevant uses of their skills (dictated by the Referee). At the end of the session, the player rolls a check for each skill he used, adding +1% for each relevant use to his chance of success, but subtracting each level attained. If the check is a success, the player adds +1% to his chance of success.

Example: Our lock picking character has 6 successful attempts under his belt the Referee allowed him to record. At the end of the session, he rolls a Lock Picking check against a 27% chance of success (base 21+6). If successful, his base chance rises from 21% to 22%.

3) When a character attains levels beyond 1st level, he gains (3+Int adj) x 5 percentage points at each level. The points can be distributed as the player sees fit, but no more than 5% can be added to a skill at each level.

Example: Our character with the 13 Intelligence has a +1 adjustment. On attaining 2nd level, he gains 20 points ((3+1)x5) to distribute among his skills. He decides lock picking has been a useful skill so he allocates 5% to it, raising it up from a 22% to a 27%.

Using percentages allows the Referee more latitude in assessing bonuses and penalties and allows for some more organic growth without breaking the bank, so to speak.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Shao Disciple Combat Options

Originally, Shao Disciples were granted access to the Fighting-man's Combat Options. In a further design to make them more than 'poor man fighters', they have been given their own list of combat options, some from the familiar Fighting-man Options and some unique for the class.

Disciple Combat Options (4th level): The character can select one of the Combat Options listed below (similar to the Fighting-man Combat Options). At 8th, 12th and 16th levels an additional option may be taken.

· Cleaving Strike - If you kill a melee opponent of 1 HD or more, you can make an immediate free attack on another opponent within your melee reach, but no more than once per round.

· Combat Defense - You can voluntarily take a penalty on you ‘to hit’ rolls up to the value of your Bonus to Hit (pg XX, to a maximum of -4) and gain this penalty as a bonus to armor class until you decide to end the defensive stance.

· Critical Strike - You quickly determine weaknesses you can see in your opponent. You can score a critical hit on a natural roll of ‘19’ (if you can hit your opponent) and ‘20’.

· Disarm - The character can attempt to remove his opponent’s weapon from his grasp. If the character makes a successful attack no damage is inflicted. The victim must make a Dodge saving throw with half the attacker’s level applied as a penalty or his weapon falls 1d10 ft distant.

· Deflect Magical Missiles (12th+ Level) - The character can us one of his Ki Strikes to enable his Deflect Missiles ability to deflect any ranged spell attack that requires a ‘to hit’ roll for 4 rounds. The saving throw also applies the spell’s level as a penalty.

· Eagle Claw – When fighting unarmed, you add your Wisdom adjustment to damage as well as Strength.

· Flying Kick - When fighting unarmed and charging, you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage with your unarmed attack.

· Grenadier - When using grenade-like weapons you lessen all range penalties by 2.

· Holding the Line - If an opponent charges and moves through your attack area, your free attack will halt their charge if it is successful and they fail a Toughness saving throw.

· Ki Blast - The character uses one of his Ki Strikes for the day to fire a blast of life energy with the same range as a sling. Damage inflicted is equal to unarmed strike dice.

· Kiai Shout – instead of attacking, you can focus your Ki once per encounter and make a war cry that will make 1d3 of your closest opponents flee for 1d8 rounds if they fail an Ego saving throw.

· Manyshot - You can make a bonus missile weapon attack each round by hurrying your reload at the expense of accuracy. Your regular attacks suffer a -2 penalty ‘to hit’ and the bonus attack suffers a -4.

· Melee Archer - When throwing or firing a missile weapon while in melee combat, the character does not generate a free attack from his melee opponent(s).

· Monkey Grip – You are trained in a unique grip that allows you to wield two-handed weapons (except pole-arms) as one-handed weapons in your primary hand. Attacking in this fashion carries a –2 penalty on all ‘to hit’ rolls made with the weapon.

· Mounted Archery - You are proficient in fighting from horseback, moving wagons or chariots with missile weapons and do not suffer penalties for unstable conditions.

· Mounted Combat - You are proficient in fighting from horseback, moving wagons or chariots with melee weapons other than the spear or lance and do not suffer penalties for unstable conditions.

· Pugilist - The character does +1 point of damage when striking with his bare hands or feet. He is considered wielding an allowed off-hand weapon and to have the Two-weapon Fighting ability while fighting unarmed.

· Sharp Shooting - When firing a missile weapon into melee combat, the character halves any chance to hit blocking melee combatants.

· Single Weapon Style - Fighting with a one-handed weapon and nothing in your off-hand, grants you a +1 bonus to Dodge saving throws and a -1[+1] bonus to your armor class.

· Skewering Strike (8th+ Level) - If attacking with a lance, pole-arm, spear or trident any critical hits you make also strikes the creature in the 2nd rank behind your foe for normal damage.

· Smash (12th+ Level) - If you only make a single melee attack in a round at a -4 penalty, you add half your Strength score to your damage.

· Spear Maneuvers - When fighting with a spear the character can reach the 2nd rank while fighting 1-handed. The character may set a spear or trident against a charging opponent and if the character hits (attack roll required) he inflicts double damage to the charging opponent.

· Wrestler - When using wrestling to attack, you gain a +2 bonus to your ‘to hit’ rolls.

· Zen Archery - The character applies wither his Dexterity or his Wisdom adjustment on ‘to hit’ rolls with missile weapons, whichever is greater.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Using the HD values for PC Combat Statistics

Since the last post lead into this sorta and I feel its relevant, I worked up a chart depicting the Attack Bonuses and Saving Throws (using the Monster's Single Saving Throw Target from Swords & Wizardry for this simple example). Onn caps Monster Attack Bonuses at +15, so using the HD progression given in the last post, this is what it looks like:

Attack Bonus/Saves by HD - CHARACTERS

Now, on the surface this looks pretty even, especially at lower levels where Monster attack ability outstrips the fighting-man's. Now Onn has a maximum bonus of +2 for generated ability scores, so using the most extreme example, a 1st level Fighting-man could have anywhere from a +1 (no additional bonuses) to a +4 (+1 base attack, +2 Str and +1 for using a weapon of choice) for a +1 to +4.

At 9th level a Fighting-man has the same +9, but with an additional +0 to +6 (if he was lucky enough to find up to a +3 weapon he's mastered in) for a total of +9 to +15! Clerics and Magic-users as well can get up to a total bonus to hit of +10 and +9 respectively at 9th level.

The Monsters at 9 HD have a flat +9. Now you could come up with some system for determining ability scores for them, but this would add to the bloat of the stat block. You could up the Monster HD to d10 or even d12 since they would be taking more damage more often. Or you could lower the PCs HD from d6/d8/d4 (Cleric/Fighting-man/Magic-user) to d4/d6/d3 and make them more fragile.

This is where the level system shines. Adding in the fact that PCs gain abilities more numerously than monsters, splitting their HD from their direct combat statistics allows for a more dynamic system where the extra abilities of the characters are more in balance with the power of the monsters they face.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Arms Race of RPGs

As a side effect of the way damage spells work for Onn (namely uncapped for scaling damage magic), at some point a character who is only gaining a flat +1 or +2 per level is going to get wiped out by something like a high level caster's fireball, even if the saving throw is made.

Going back to OD&D, the classes did continue to gain HD after they reached Name Level (8th for Clerics, 9th for Fighting-man and 11th for Magic-users). Its something that the more modern (Supplement I Greyhawk on up) versions of D&D have eschewed in favor of caps on spells and lower HP progressions until the sunset of 3rd Edition/d20 RPGs. They went super powered though, with big dice and every level adds.

I went back to OD&D and looked at the patterns and Onn and looked at its patterns as well and came up with the following general changes to the HD progressions:

Character Hit Dice

Now at the levels the character does not gain a HD, the character gains +1 hp with Constitution adjustments (minimum of 1 hp). Onn uses HD to determine immunity to spells and spell effects (like Holy Word or Death Spell) so using a scaling HD also makes for good sense for characters as well as monsters.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fatal Lurks


Most lurks are small predators that impersonate other creatures. Normally not deadly under normal circumstances, it is known through the sparse records recovered that these creatures were experimented on in Darkmoor during the rise of the Zuhn Empire. If they were ever used is unknown, but at some point specimens escaped and evolved into the common forms known today.

Lurkers are wide and very flat creatures that cover ceilings in caverns. The top of their bodies resemble rough stone, making them hard to spot, while the bottom is covered in tiny legs that anchor it and can be used to grab victims. When prey passes under it, the lurker drops onto it and attempts to constrict its victim. Lurkers gain a +2 bonus on surprise checks if not found before attacking. The lurker’s initial attack gains a +2 bonus on the ‘to hit’ roll. When a lurker hits, it attempts to wrap its victim (+4 bonus to the wrestling check). Once successful it will wrap itself around the victim and crush for 2d8 points of damage.

Mimics are an advanced form of fatal lurks that can change into a couple of different objects, Most common are chests, wardrobes or other closable objects. They are hard to detect and gain surprise (+2) if unnoticed. When a victim opens the mimic it strikes, snapping shut on any appendages stuck within (Dodge saving throw to avoid if not surprised). Mimics can extend a sticky pseudopod to strike victims as well. Victims struck must succeed at a strength check on 4d6 or be drawn to the mouth and bitten every round until freed. Rumors about of mimics that emulate larger objects and one large as a small house exists, but none have been confirmed.

Piercers are fatal lurkers that populate large caverns and other open underground places. When prey passes under a piercer they drop from their position and attempt to lance their target. Victims failing a Dodge saving throw are run through and knocked down. If a piercer is successful it secretes an enzyme that breaks down flesh, inflicting 1d6 points of damage per round. On the ground, piercers will climb the nearest wall to get high so it can drop again. Until then they fight with a pseudopod that inflicts 1d4 points of damage.

Trappers are much like lurkers but they lie on the rough floors of caverns and ‘wrap up’ their victims.

Lurker / Trapper (L) - AC 2[18]; HD 8; Att slam (2d4+wrestle); Save 8; Morale 8; MR Nil; Special surprise (+2), crush (2d8), wrestle (+4); Move 30 ft (10 ft) swim; TC A; CL/XP 10 / 1,400

Mimic (M) - AC 4[16]; HD 4; Att bite (1d8) + pseudopod (1d8+wrestle); Save 13; Morale nil; MR Nil; Special surprise (+2); Move 60 ft (20 ft); TC A, K; CL/XP 4 / 120

Piercer, 1HD (S) - AC 0[20]; HD 1+1; Att pseudopod (1d4); Save 17; Morale 6; MR Nil; Special enzyme (1d6), lance victim, surprise (+2); Move 30 ft (10 ft); TC A; CL/XP 1 / 15

Piercer, 2HD (S) - AC 0[20]; HD 2+2; Att pseudopod (1d4); Save 16; Morale 6; MR Nil; Special enzyme (1d6), lance victim, surprise (+2); Move 30 ft (10 ft); TC A; CL/XP 2 / 30

Piercer (M) - AC 0[20]; HD 4+4; Att pseudopod (1d4); Save 13; Morale 7; MR Nil; Special enzyme (1d6), lance victim, surprise (+2); Move 30 ft (10 ft); TC A; CL/XP 4 / 120

The Gaunt


The gaunt are a horrid degenerate race found in the Great Waste and the Ironsands Desert. Some say they have been found in the Deserts of Uln as well. Certain places in these regions have a destructive effect on living creatures that enter them for prolonged periods of time. Those not spared the painful mutation by being killed soon after entering are turned into the Gaunt.

So far as has been seen, any creature can be turned into a gaunt. They resemble zombies, with patches of rotting flesh and tight leathery skin, but gaunt are far more dangerous. They still possess a feral intelligence, with most of their higher brain functions being destroyed by their mutation.

Gaunt move with a surprising quickness when they discover prey. In combat they attack with whatever natural weapons they possess. Humanoids for example will attack with fists and bite. The primary goal of a gaunt is to wrestle its opponent (+4 on wrestling check) and score a pin. Once a victim is held they will begin to feed immediately by biting. The bite of a gaunt is extremely dangerous, as it will infect the victim with the gaunt’s mutated cells and start the process in them on a failed Toughness saving throw. After 1d6+1 hours a System shock is needed for infected individuals, failure meaning they die. On a success, each hour afterwards the victim loses a point of Constitution until they reach a zero, whereupon they become gaunts themselves.

Gaunt (M) - AC 8[12]; HD 4; Att wrestle (special) or bite (1d8+disease); Save 13; Morale Nil; MR Nil; Special disease, immune to sleep, charm and hold, wrestler (+4); Move 150 ft (50 ft); TC A; CL/XP 6 / 400

Saturday, May 21, 2011


As a note, just got the computer back last night! I did continue drafting the Treasures and Atlas sections on my laptop, but it has none of the software for the real work, nor art, so while things are ahead, they are behind in a fashion.

Stay tuned for more news, previews, Random Dungeon and Onn goodness!!

A sub-campaign started while I've been away - S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks using Onn as the ruleset!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Due to my power supply frying in my desktop PC, work has once again ground to a halt on the Revised Core Rules and Supplement II. All the files are safe and no data was lost (I back everything up in a crazy way now) but the software I use for everything and the pdf software is on the desk PC, so until I get a new one...I'm spinning my wheels.

I did finish off the monsters section and get started on the treasures section before everything happenned. I got as far as implementing a new/old treasure style more in line with D&D using Treasure Classes and designated A through K (there are no individual classes and group classes). Basically every group of monsters has a treasure class, whether they are encountered individually or not. The Referee can reduce the treasure by half for less than average numbers of monsters encountered or double it if more than average monsters appear. Also, the treasure list is expanding more, allowing for more miscllaneous treasures and more types of cursed treasures.

I also have rooms 7 thru 20 for the random dungean as well on that drive, so I may roll up new ones and save those for later.

I'll post more as news happens.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Resource Updates

As of today, I have Sections 1 to 8 (124 pages of material) reformatted and only need to finish up Sections 9 (Monsters, nearly done), 10 (Magic Items), 11 (Atlas of Onn) and the Appendices of the Revised Core Rules. I decided not to split the book into seperate players's and referee's books and to keep it all in one volume as a matter of value to the people that will buy this and the fact that as far as all the retro-games/clones/remakes goes, Onn is the only resource that is a full rules resource for players and Referees as well as background material and information for a setting 99% compatible with Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons, AD&D, Swords & Wizardry, Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Lybrinth Lord or almost any 'old school' RPG based on the d20.

As for Onn Supplement II for Swords & Wizardry, after i finish reformatting the RCR I'll have this done within a week or so, being able to use the format of the finished book for the rest of my projects. Things are moving slowly, but still moving.

As an aside, I've been fixing the monster section. Its only 47 pages, but has 170 seperate creature entries (not counting creature variants like Treants of 7-12 HD). So thus far with ploting all of the classes out to 25th level, adding 7th level Cleric, Druid and Illusionist spells and 8th-9th level Magic-user spells, a few more races and a new class, the page count hasnt blown up to an unrealistic level. I'm getting excited again about how his will turn out.



Some say once long ago, during the Zuhn Empire’s reign, the experiments carried out on monsters and animals in Darkmoor’s halls of science produced these monstrosities. These creatures resemble huge frogs nearly 10 ft around with short, sharp claws and topped by the head of an alligator. Frogligators are excellent swimmers in water and hop fast on land.
Frogligator hides have a slight adaptive ability, granting them a +1 bonus to be hidden and on surprise rolls. They possess the same lashing tongue attack of their normal-sized cousins, able to reach up to 15 ft distant. On a successful ‘to hit’ roll, the victim must succeed at a Strength check on 4d6 or be dragged into the mouth for automatic bite damage. Up to four smaller than man-size creatures, such as gnomes and halflings, can be swallowed whole and take 1d8 points of damage per round until retrieved.

Frogligator (L)AC 4[16]; HD 6; Att claw (1d6) + bite (2d8) or tongue lash; Save 12; Morale 8; MR Nil; Special camoflague (+1), swim, tongue lash; Move 90 ft (30 ft) / 150 ft (50 ft) swim; TC A; CL/XP 7 / 600
[DISCLAIMER - Image used from the 'Alligator Frog' minaiture from Center Stage Miniatures site.]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Dungeon, Room 6

Another large chamber roughly 20 ft wide but 40 ft long. The ceiling in the southern half of the room looks as if it partially collapsed, as several feet of rock are shattered on the ground and the ceiling extends about 5 ft higher.

Hiding in the rubble is a giant snake (50% chance for either a constrictor or poisonous snake). If not discovered it will strike with surprise.

Snake, Giant (L) – AC 5[15]; HD 3; Att bite (1d4) + special; Save 14; Morale 6; MR Nil; Special constriction (2d6) or average poison; Move 90 ft (30 ft); TC A; CL/XP 4 / 120

Random Dungeon, Room 5

This plain stone chamber appears to be empty, near the center of the room some dark stains and a skull rest on the floor.

Running about 1 inch high along the east and west sides of the room are iron bands. They stick up from the floor and against the walls. When at least 2 man-size creatures move along the same wall, the entire floor tilts, dropping them into a 15 ft pit. The entire floor rests on a central stone beam (like a see-saw) that runs east/west and is counterweighted to spin two full rotations. On the second spin anyone in the pit of man-size or larger must successfully make a Dodge saving throw or be decapitated by the sharp iron edge of the floor. The rotation of the floor and the edge carry the head back up and the sudden stop usually bounces the head off the wall and rolls it in the general vicinity of the room’s center. There are 5 bodies of adventurers (long dead fighting-men, nothing usable) and 3 giant badgers (more fresh but rotting). One adventurer is decapitated.

Random Dungeon, Room 4

A large stone chamber roughly 20 ft long and wide houses several large nests, of which are several large badgers the size of a man.

2 Badgers, Giant (M) – AC 4[16]; HD 3; Att 2 claws (1d3) + bite (1d6); Save 14; Morale 7; MR Nil; Special Nil; Move 60 ft (20 ft); TC A; CL/XP 3 / 60

Random Dungeon, Room 3

Camped in this stone room are 3 small creatures, barely 2 ft tall. They look as if they haven’t eaten a decent meal in weeks, their light grey skin pulled taught over their thin frames. Several bones and scraps of leather litter the room, but nothing appears intact. Several alcoves line one side of the room as well, their contents hidden by the darkness. The gremlins here have been starving for a good meal for a long time. The scraps of what’s left of their last meal has nothing of use or value. The alcoves are lined with statues of dwarven warriors, with the exception of location B; in this alcove is a dwarven magic-user whose hands are held out as if he were reading a scroll, but none is present. Each of the statues were previously living adventurers turned to stone long ago, then sold off to collectors. How they ended up here is anyone’s guess.

3 Gremlins (S) – AC 7[13]; HD 1d3 hp; Att 1 claw (1) and devour food; Save 18; Morale 6; MR 20%; Special bad luck aura, devour food, DR 1/arc wood; Move 120 ft (40 ft); TC B; CL/XP B / 10

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Random Dungeon, Room 2

2 - Heading Things Off Quick: The door to this room is locked with an easy lock. The room is lined with plain, upright stone coffins, all of which are opened. Inside are the dried husks of dead warriors, their ancient weapons and armor corroded beyond repair. The bodies themselves are unremarkable, but if anyone in the party inspects any of them closely without touching them, it will be noticed that the heads were cut cleanly from the bodies and set back on the neck stumps. If the bodies are touched or moved, the heads will roll off the bodies and attack! One of the bodies is concealing a wand of floating disc (39 charges, caster level 5).

12 Crawling Horrors, Head (S) – AC 6[14]; HD 1d6 hp each; Att bite (1d4); Save 18; Morale Nil; MR Nil; Special turn as skeleton, undead immunities; Move 60 ft (20 ft); TC A; CL/XP B / 10 each

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Random Dungeon

Since the end of the X4 game (which was awesome if I say so myself), I've changed jobs and my regular tabletop game has been forced on hiatus. I still have a play by post and  late night messenger game going, but these are more like situational sessions than campaigns. Anyway, I figured it would be neat to create a Random Dungeon using the tables for encounters/contents in the Expanded Core Rules every day or so to do up a short description of a room and its contents. Use it if you want or just steal a thing here or there for your own Onn/OD&D/S&W or B/X D&D games. As a new project, we'll start with a 1st level-type difficulty. Heres a larger size map, cause i know its tinyish over on the right.

Consider the squares to be 10 ft with a height of 10 ft, doors to be old iron-banded wood (not quite rotten yet), unless otherwise noted and no light.

Since Area 1 is the entry area, there are no encounters, treasure or traps (let the players feel a little safe before the carnage begins). The worn, winding stone stairs lead to a rough-hewn room about 30 ft square. The dank and musty air feels oppresive and the flickering light creates menacing shadows across the walls. From the base of the stairs you can see passages leading north and south from the far corners of the room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tunnel Horror

Inhabiting the dark places under the earth, tunnel horrors are large, bug-like terrors best avoided by those that know of their existance. Tunnel horrors are beetle-like creatures that walk upright on four thick legs, their other four legs ending in wickedly sharp and strong pick-like claws. They can feel the vibrations of creatures moving on stone (a type of tremor-sense) within 200 ft. Tunnel horrors have the a fanged maw as well and a single, compound eye on their heads. Their eye glows with a soft limunescence and at a distance can be mistaken for a faint lantern. In combat, those looking at the eye (25% chance per round unless the attacker is avoiding looking at the monster's upper half, suffering a -2 penalty on 'to hit' rolls) suffer the same effects as a confusion spell for 1d3 rounds, plus the difference of the failed saving throw. They can burrow through solid rock at the rate of 10 ft per round. A favorite tactic of tunnel horrors is to wait behind a wall of rock a few feet thick and then burst through when the feel something approach the other side, gaining a +1 suprise bonus.

Tunnel Horror (L)
Armor Class:2[18]
Hit Dice:8
Attacks:4 claws (1d6) + bite (1d8)
Saving Throw:8
Magic Resistance:Nil
Special:burrow, confusion
Move:90ft(30ft) / 30ft(10ft) burrow
Challenge Level/XP:10 / 1,400