Archive for the ‘Creations’ Category

Alien Scum: A new class for White Star

January 9, 2017

Artwork by Ariel Perez


The universe teems with life, but not all of it is noble or enlightened. All manner of unsavory aliens throng the crowded space ports and hive cities of the known worlds, displaced and exploited, eking out a living any way they can.  These are desperate, dangerous beings willing to do anything to make a credit, and they’ve developed an equally dangerous skill set as thieves, thugs, snitches…and worse.

PFBB: Essential Monster Stats

July 14, 2015

First, sorry for my prolonged absence of late.  I’ve been busy with some RL things, plus I had a touch of blogging burnout.  I think I’m better now. 🙂

A friend has been running Rise of the Runelords at one of our FLGS, and for some reason it has sparked a renewed interest in me to run that Beginner Box campaign I blogged about some time ago.  So, reading through the BB rule books again, I finally noticed that the stat blocks given for Black Fang’s Dungeon (pages 2-15 of the GMG) are condensed to just essential combat information.

PZO1130-GoblinsIt occurred to me that it may be helpful to have these condensed stat blocks prepared for all the monsters in the BB (including the four from the supplements), so that one could easily copy and paste them into a document for ready reference.  And so I went ahead and did it: condensed stat blocks for all the official BB monsters, including a blank template so you can add new monsters, if you’re so inclined.  There’s a DOC version and an RTF version.

Note that the formatting appears screwed up when you preview it in Mediafire, but when downloaded it should be fine.

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

Alternate S&W Whitebox Character Record

May 22, 2015

I’ve been tinkering around with the Whitebox character record a bit more.  This version assumes armor determines a character’s movement rate, but retains the overall 20 inventory slots.

Generally speaking (and feel free to adjust to taste):

  • No armor = Move 12
  • Leather armor = Move 9
  • Chain armor = Move 6
  • Plate armor = Move 3
Click here to download.

Click here to download.

It is perhaps not as realistic as tracking weight or some other systems that use inventory slots, but I think it gets the job done and is very easy to use.

Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Character Record

May 19, 2015

I was (re)reading the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox rules and noticed that Whitebox breaks out movement based on the total weight a character is carrying, regardless of their actual Strength ability score.  It looks something like this:

  • 1-75 lbs = Move 12
  • 76-100 lbs = Move 9
  • 101-150 lbs = Move 6
  • 151-300 lbs = Move 3

The chart in the book is much cleaner than my crude replication, but it gets the point across.  Looking at the chart got me thinking about abstract inventory/encumbrance systems again.  Instead of using pounds/weight for each tier, use abstract inventory slots instead, broken down into 5 slots per tier.  A character can carry one item per slot, or 150 coins per slot.  Further, characters are restricted to carrying a single “heavy” item, such as a suit of plate mail, small treasure chest, a marble bust, or a rolled up tapestry or rug.  Really heavy items require two or more people to carry, and they count towards their limit of one heavy item (i.e. if you’re already carrying one heavy item, you can’t also help carry a really heavy treasure chest).

But, the best way to get my point across, I thought, would be to incorporate it into a character sheet.  And so, that’s what I’ve done, modeled off of an old OD&D character sheet I found posted at the OD&D forums.  And here it is:


Click on me to download.

So, starting at the top of the equipment section, as you fill in gear, you can just cross reference to see your current movement rate (and chance to drown, should you fall into water).  It’s not perfect, of course.  For one, it’s not as forgiving as the Whitebox chart it’s based on.  Also, as you consume items, inventory slots will become empty in the middle of the chart, which can end up making tracking things a little more complicated (or else you’ll have to do a lot of erasing and writing things back into the upper slots); a little judicious forethought can minimize these problems (i.e. permanent items are recorded towards the top of the chart; consumable items recorded towards the bottom).

Let me know what you think.  Cheers.



Modern Firearms for White Star (and Whitebox)

May 12, 2015

Modern firearms have two modes of firing: single shot and rapid fire.  Single shot attacks use standard combat rules: roll a d20, adding the attackers Base Hit Bonus and Dex modifier (if applicable) versus the target’s AC.  As you would guess, a single shot attack only uses a single round of ammunition.

Combat Pistol

Combat Pistol

Rapid Fire attacks fire several shots at once (minimum 2 shots), up to 10, 20 or 30 rounds, determined by the type of weapon used.  RF attacks are not made against AC, but instead involve rolling a d10 for each shot fired: each d10 that rolls a 1 scores a hit on the target regardless of its AC.  Roll damage for each hit scored.  Each shot fired consumes a round of ammunition.  Attackers may divide the number of shots fired between different targets.  Simply divide up the dice and roll each batch separately.

  • Combat Pistol – 1d6 damage, range 30 feet, clip 15 rounds, wgt: 3 lbs., Rapid Fire 10
  • Submachinegun – 1d6 damage, range 40 feet, clip 30 rounds, wgt: 6 lbs., Rapid Fire 20
  • Combat Rifle – 1d6+1 damage, range 70 feet, clip 30 rounds, wgt: 8 lbs., Rapid Fire 20
  • Machinegun – 1d6+1 damage, range 100 feet, belt 100 rounds, wgt: 15 lbs., Rapid Fire 30

Example:  A SMG can Rapid Fire 20 rounds in a single combat round (note: this is actually not very accurate for a 1 minute combat round, but some accommodation must be made for D&D’s abstract combat mechanics).  Assuming a player decides to go all out, they consume 20 bullets and roll 20 10-sided dice.  Each dice rolling a 1 scores a hit on the target(s).

Combat Rifle

Combat Rifle

Creatures only hurt by silver weapons still require silver bullets to harm.  For those creatures only harmed by magic weapons, it’s left to the GM’s discretion whether modern firearms are equivalent to magic weapons, or whether actual magic bullets are required.

Firearms are quite loud.  Nearby monsters should be immediately alerted when guns are fired.  GM’s may also want to consider making an additional wandering monster check every time firearms are discharged.  GM’s should also consider whether sound suppressors are available, and what the trade offs for using them should be.

One final consideration, ammunition should probably be rare or fairly expensive.  Otherwise, your players will just load themselves down with ammo and blaze away at everything, relying on “spray-n-pray” to win every battle.

Obviously, these rules should be applied sparingly against the PCs, especially at low levels.  Conversely, even low-level mooks armed with assault rifles can make effective adversaries against high level PCs.



Optional Rule: Mercenaries lose the Combat Machine ability and replace it with the Burst Fire ability, allowing them to roll d8’s to score hits, instead of d10’s.

Optional Rule:  Modern firearms can be reloaded very quickly, especially so in the context of a 1 minute combat round specified in Swords & Wizardry Whitebox and White Star.  So, you may wish to “hand wave” reloading of firearms, assuming the PCs are proficient enough to reload very quickly and keep blazing away.  This will have the effect of reducing some of the bookkeeping involved, essentially ignoring a gun’s ammo capacity.

Optional Rule:  You may want to adjust the target number to score a hit based on range.  For example, rolling a 1 to 3 if the target is adjacent, 1 or 2 at short range, a 1 at long range, and 0 at extreme range.

White Star RPG: Simple Feats

May 9, 2015

Well, White Star has got my creative juices following, so I’ll probably be on a bit of a White Star tear for a while.  I already wrote up some simple feats for Swords & Wizardry Whitebox, and Crypts & Things (also based on Swords & Wizardry), so I thought I’d do up some feats for White Star, as well.

Exactly how many feats to dole out to your PCs is left to the individual GM.  Personally, I think I’d let players pick feats at levels 1, 3, 6 and 10, but you may feel differently about it.  Unless otherwise stated, a feat may only be selected once.

The GM may want to omit or modify some of these feats, depending on the kind of game they’re running.  For example, if you’re running a Traveller-esque setting, where interstellar travel takes weeks, then you may want to omit the Hyper Comm feat for robots (which allows FTL communications).  Likewise, if you’re not really enforcing the turn-based timing mechanism of OD&D, then you may want to tweak the Fast Healing trait for aliens.

Per usual, please let me know if you have any questions or notice any errors.  Cheers!

White Star Advanced Equipment: Grenades

May 8, 2015

untitled1 Proton Grenade Proton Grenades are rare military-grade explosives which are impossible to acquire legally.  On rare occasions a batch of these potent grenades show up on the black market.

Proton Grenades have a range of 30 feet, inflicting 5d6 damage to everyone within a 20 foot radius.  Anyone caught in the blast radius is allowed a saving throw for half damage.

untitledHand Nuke Hand Nukes are particularly dangerous explosive devices of unknown alien construction.  They are nearly twice as heavy as standard grenades, and thus cannot be thrown as far.  These grenades are considered highly illegal on most planets.

Hand Nukes have a range of 20 feet and a blast radius of 50 feet.  They inflict 10d6 damage, though targets are allowed a saving throw for half damage.

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day – The Badass

April 16, 2015

SW-Appr-Day-LogoFollowing is my meager contribution for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2015 – The Badass, a tongue-in-cheek class for S&W Whitebox.



“Badasses roam the gutted worlds of the Apocalypse Rim, plundering the crypts and tombs of long-dead space gods, in search of planet-busting relics and vast hoards of alien gold, gems and space-mithral.”


And for those who may be interested, here’s some additional material I’ve written for Swords & Wizardry (mostly for the Whitebox edition):



Example Mini-dungeon Map

February 10, 2015

Following is an example of how I envision doing the “mini-dungeons” in the Metro mega-dungeon.  I’d use the one-page dungeon format for each node in the mega-dungeon, and keep each mini-dungeon to a dozen rooms or less.  That’s about enough territory for one game session, maybe two.


As you can see, each mini-dungeon includes a brief history of the dungeon, a wandering monster table and encounter keys.  There’s enough room leftover to cover any special encounters or rules for the area.

I’ll probably end up tweaking the one-page dungeon format a bit to suit my own purposes, but I’m happy with how the concept turned out.

Btw, incase you’re wondering, I used GridMapper to make the map.  It’s a dead simple little program to use, but that simplicity does have some drawbacks.  The biggest drawback is you can’t key the map; I had to copy the map to Paint to enter the numbered keys.  GridMapper also lacks icons for most dungeon features (such as pit traps), and it cannot draw diagonal lines.

The Black City Mega-dungeon

February 8, 2015

Over at the Dreams in the Lich House blog, there’s a series of posts on another mega-dungeon project that implemented the kind of “nodal” dungeon model that I was talking about in my last post, called the Black City.  The Black City uses the concept on a smaller scale than I’m thinking of, but the theory is the same.  And from the play reports I’ve read, it seems to have worked quite well for their game.

Here’s a look at the map for the first level of the dungeon:

transit schematic

I still fancy the hub-and-spoke layout of the Moscow Metro, so that would most likely serve as my inspiration, though on a significantly reduced scale.  Each ‘node’ on the map would be fairly small, good for 2 to 3 play sessions worth of exploration.

If you like reading play reports, I recommend checking out the Black City.  The reports are well written and interesting (unlike my own), and the setting is just completely kick-ass: Vikings exploring a ruined alien city on a frozen island near the artic circle.  Lots of cool science-fantasy goodness, though not so gonzo like Anomalous Subsurface Environment (not that I have a problem with gonzo, mind you 😉 ).


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