Archive for October, 2015

PFBB Bestiary – Giants!

October 31, 2015

PZO9093-Urathash_120

Here’s another Pathfinder Beginner Box monster conversion for you on this all hallows eve…giants!

Actually, I wanted to do vampires for Halloween, but they just have too much going on to fit in the standard Beginner Box monster format (that, and vampires may be just a little too deadly for BB characters to handle).¬† So, you got giants instead. ūüôā

I took some liberty with their Rock Catching ability, but I couldn’t really see it coming in to play very often, so I don’t think it’ll matter much.¬† Have fun smashing puny humans!

Edit:¬† I just realized that I forgot to add the giant’s long reach abilities.¬† DOH!¬† I’ve attached a corrected version.¬† Sorry about that.

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LWC – What’s in a Karg?

October 19, 2015

The Long Winter Campaign will feature a number of small, stone fortifications, represented by castles on the Outdoor Survival map.  These fortifications are commonly called kargs, taken from the dwarven word for stone fortifications, usually built in mountainous regions.  In the post-Cataclysmic world, karg specifically refers to a pre-Cataclysmic stone fortification, which is probably at least partially in ruin, but still livable.

The Outdoor Survival Map; the castle icons represent kargs

The Outdoor Survival Map; most of the castle icons represent kargs

The Spells of Ending damaged nearly every fortification and city in the region.  Yet, despite their dilapidated state, kargs still present the strongest possible defense.  Not even the dwarves posses the engineering skills to build such formidable structures in the post-Cataclysmic age.  So, most damaged kargs are still in use, their breaches repaired as best as possible with wooden palisades and ramparts piled from ancient rubble.

A crazy old wizard probably lives in this tower-karg.

A mad wizard’s tower-karg.

Kargs are typically small-ish forts, built at strategic points, and capable of supporting a few dozen soldiers at most.  During the Old Empire, kargs served as fortified watchtowers and outposts, protecting this border province from barbarian incursions and goblinoid raids.  In the Cataclysmic age, a karg represents an extremely powerful fortification, usually home to a lord, or the headquarters for some powerful faction (such as the Paladins, Rangers or Druids).  Some of the more remote kargs have fallen into the hands of the monstrous races, the powerbase for an ambitious orc warlord or a goblin pretender king.

This karg is on the larger side.

This karg is larger than most.

They typically have small ‘dungeons’ for the keeping of prisoners and storing of provisions.¬† In many cases, these dungeons have been expanded to store additional supplies for the long winters.¬† A handful of the old Imperial kargs were built on the ruins of even older fortifications, and the process of expanding their dungeons to accommodate more supplies exposed long-sealed depths.¬† Some lords may permit adventurers to more fully explore these deeper dungeons…in exchange for a share of any treasures recovered, of course.

This karg needs a little work.

And this karg needs a little work.

Finally, it should be noted that new stone kargs cannot be built.¬† No one, not even the dwarves,¬†retains the knowledge to build such solid structures ( wooden palisade forts, on the¬†other hand, can be easily built).¬† So, if you want a nice, stone fort, you need to go out and find one, and then you’ll probably have to¬†take it from its current tenants.¬† This provides an opportunity for the players to get into the kingdom building game, if they so choose.¬† All those pre-positioned stone forts make nice targets for would-be warlords.

LWC – House Rules

October 1, 2015

When I started thinking about running a campaign using the PFBB, I came up with a grocery list of things about Pathfinder I didn’t like and¬†wanted to change, including porting over a number of concepts from 5th Edition (such as Advantage/Disadvantage).¬† But as the list grew, I realized that I’d basically be rewriting the game, which completely undermines the idea of running a PFBB campaign “out of the box.”¬† A massive rewrite of the rules would also effectively be a bait-n-switch on the players, who’re expecting a Pathfinder-based game, and would eliminate the utility of 3rd-party resources, such as Hero Lab.

Instead, I decided to keep everything on the player’s side of the screen by-the-book, with only a couple of minor changes.¬† One of these changes¬†is implementing an inventory slot system for encumbrance (as PFBB has no rules for such), and another is eliminating critical hit confirmation rolls (to help speed up the game a bit, and make combat more lethal – I want this to be a dangerous world, after all).

On my side of the screen, however, I plan to change a quite a bit.¬†¬†These changes should be largely transparent to the players, and include things such as¬†altering some of the monsters a bit, adding¬†the missing iconic monsters (gnolls, bugbears, trolls, etc.),¬†and substitute certain magic items (some of the PFBB magic items are just lame – Ring of Swimming, lookin’ at you).

To later to talk...maybe they should run

Too late to talk…maybe they should run?

The biggest change, however, will be in encounter building.¬† I plan to simply toss PFBB’s encounter building rules in favor of the old school approach of GM discretion and random generation.¬† This is not a perfectly symmetrical world where the challenges rise incrementally with the PC’s experience.¬† It’s a wide open sandbox, and it is entirely possible (indeed, probable…even desirable) that the party will run into something they can’t handle, and then they’ll have to either talk their way out,¬†or run for it.¬† I’m angling for a style of play that challenges the players, and not just their character sheets.

The other significant change, mentioned in earlier posts, is making most magic items unique in the world.¬† Which is why I’ll be substituting certain items.¬† A unique¬†Ring of Climbing (+5 to climbing checks) seems underwhelming to me.¬† You probably wouldn’t risk your neck for something so lame.¬† But replace that with a unique¬†Ring of Invisibility and now you’re talking.¬†¬†The ‘One Ring’ indeed!


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