Weapons Break

September 15, 2016


Something Pathfinder (or most fantasy RPGs, including D&D) doesn’t touch on is the frequency with which Medieval weapons broke.  My research indicates weapons, especially swords, broke frequently, primarily due to the poor quality steel most blacksmiths had to work with during the Medieval period.  But even weapons made of high quality steel could still break with ‘robust’ use.

It bothers me that, barring unusual circumstances, RPG characters can often use the exact same weapon purchased at creation all through their adventuring careers, when history suggests it was actually fairly rare for a weapon to be used so long, let alone be passed on to one’s heirs.


To reflect this, I am considering using the following rules next time I run a game:

  • Standard weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1 or 2.
  • Masterwork weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1.
  • Magic weapons have a percentage chance of breaking on a natural attack roll of 1:
    • +1 weapons have a 5% chance of breaking
    • +2 weapons have a 4% chance of breaking
    • +3 weapons have a 3% chance of breaking
    • And so on

The purpose of these rules is to further complicate the logistics side of the game, to encourage players to carry multiple weapons (for backup), hopefully discourage the tendency of Pathfinder characters to hyper-specialize in a single weapon, thus injecting a touch more verisimilitude in the game.

If these rules seem unduly harsh to you, you may consider having normal weapons break on a natural 1, masterwork weapons having a 50% chance of breaking on a natural 1, and magic weapons break only under extraordinary circumstances.


Out of the Vault – A Post-Atomic Funnel Crawl

August 25, 2016


Here’s a simple little funnel occupation table and an accompanying equipment table.  The idea is a Vault somewhere needs something and has to send a bunch of  expendable  citizens out to the wasteland to find it.  Death and hilarity ensues.

Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter – Last Call

July 16, 2016


The MCC Kickstarter is down to the last 3 days, so if you were thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, now’s the time.  The KS campaign has already cleared several stretch goals, plus there’s an add-on for the funky dice you need for DCC/MCC, as well.


I got the chance to play a little Dungeon Crawl Classics a few weeks ago, doing a 0-level funnel (Sailors of the Starless Sea).  The numerous charts for DCC had always been a turn-off for me, but I found in practice they weren’t so bad after all (for 0-level characters, at least).  Plus, the adventure just had a really cool, funky vibe to it: weird magic, non-traditional monsters, and lots of opportunities to get your 0-level funnel dudes killed off. :)  Alas, none of my characters survived, but I had a blast playing.

As I’m impatient for post-apocalyptic goodness, I’m already kicking around ideas for my own version of a DCC PA game, though it would be all-funnel, all the time.  I’m thinking 0-level wasterlanders with laser guns and atomic grenades.  Sure they can die fast, but they can also kill things fast.  Just don’t get too attached to your characters.


Mutant Crawl Classics Kickstarter is Live

June 24, 2016

For anyone who is interested, the MCC Kickstarter has (finally) gone live.  If you don’t know, MCC is to Gamma World what Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) is to D&D.   Here’s the cover:


I’m in for the full color hardback version.  I just hope they add an option for the funky dice, too – those can be hard to find sometimes.

And here’s the link to the Kickstarter campaign.  Cheers!

What Makes a Character Memorable to You?

May 16, 2016


Just wondering what you think makes characters memorable: their “build,” or how you play them in game?

For myself, I think most of the time what a character does in game makes them far more memorable than their collection of feats, skills and abilities.

Long Winter Campaign is…Go?

May 7, 2016


Looks like I might finally have a chance to run the Long Winter Campaign in a couple of weeks.  Now it’s time to drill down from high-level concepts and ideas to specific content.

I will, of course, post campaign updates here, for those who are interested.  Cheers.

Edit:  Never mind.  Looks like the Long Winter campaign will have to wait a little longer.🙂

PFBB Bestiary – Remorhaz and Yeti

April 29, 2016

By Ben Wootten, used without permission


I figured the Long Winter Campaign could use a couple of new, icy monsters.  So I present Beginner Box conversions for the Remorhaz and the Yeti.

Please let me know if you have any questions or notice any errors.  Cheers!

PFBB House Rule – Aid Another

April 6, 2016


Those of you familiar with Pathfinder core recall that there is a rule for aiding another character during a skill check.  Pathfinder Beginner Box has no such rule.  This provides an opportunity to add a simple house rule that borrows from 5th Edition without affecting any other part of your BB experience.

Simply, when one character aids another during a skill check, the player making the skill check rolls two d20s and uses the higher result (in 5E this is called Advantage).  In order to aid another, the character must be trained in the skill in question.  Of course, there may be particular circumstances in which aiding another during a skill check is either impossible or highly impractical (at the GM’s discretion).


Castle Crom

April 1, 2016

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately.  March just kind of got away from me, and next thing you know it’s April.

So, just throwing around an idea here for a Swords & Wizardry campaign: Castle Crom.

The Rules


Some of this…



…and a dash of that…

The Monster Manuals


Just for something different.



Definitely the version with Cthulu Mythos.



And this, because I’ve never used it before and it has some creepy monsters in it.



And the Map


From a game called Demonlord.  No idea where I found this version, but I thought it looked cool.


PFBB Expanded Deities

March 1, 2016

Kyra - Cleric

Here’s the Expanded Deities for the Pathfinder Beginner Box.  What I’ve done is take the four deities presented in the BB and add five additional ones, making 9 in all (and one deity for each alignment).

As much as possible I’ve tried to avoid duplicating abilities and spells.  Given the BB’s limited options, in some cases I had to cheat a bit with the holy weapons and bonus spells.

Technically the BB doesn’t allow PCs to be evilly aligned, so perhaps you can use the evil deities for NPCs, or change their alignments, or just ignore deity alignment altogether (as the BB seems to).

On a final note: GMs may want to use this document as a reference for creating their own deities, or allowing players to create their own deities.  Simply let your players pick two abilities they feel are appropriate for their deity (with GM approval, of course), and then a selection of appropriate bonus spells (one each of 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells).

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, etc.  Cheers.

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