Thursday, 18 August 2016

Let's Read: The Book of Erotic Fantasy: Chapter 2: Rules, Skills and Feats Part 1

Welcome back, friends, for a further investigation into what a mathematician's sex life must look like.

Chapter 2 (this is really taking a while) focuses on the mechanical aspects of sex in D&D. As if reading my mind, the first header here is "Rules? For Sex?" - apparently, you should only roll dice for sex when it's important to find out how good it was. It doesn't say why the quality of the sex might be important to a game, but it at least tells us sometimes you can just fuck and not roll dice.

We're introduced to the Appearance stat - a seventh 4d6-drop-lowest roll that determines how attractive your character is. A few skills become partially Appearance-based - Bluff, Gather Information and Intimidate can be used with either Charisma or Appearance.

Do you have to flash your pecs and perfect treasure-trail to intimidate some Orcs with your App?

Are you willing to deal with the fan backlash from breaking this guy's nose?
Weirdly, Disguise is now exclusively an Appearance skill. Surely being more attractive would make disguising yourself more difficult? Looks bring scrutiny, after all, especially when you're an 18 App demigod and everyone else is either a Half-Orc Barbarian with yet another dump stat or a shit-covered peasant!

There's a table which tells us that the average dragon is more attractive than the average Dwarf, which seems weird. And that the Will-O-Wisp, a featureless ball of light, has an App score of 20.

It's literally more attractive than any normal human. A fucking ball of light.
Censored for the prudish.
It seems to be low-hanging fruit to mention that the table for aging penalties to Appearance includes Juveniles getting a +2 bonus for being "cute". With the content of this book, that seems more than a bit inappropriate.

And everyone gets a -2 penalty to Appearance checks outside of their species - except Elves, because Mary Sue.

Sidebar: Appearance and Sexual Organs isn't about having an ugly dick, but says that due to personal preferences, being well-endowed doesn't give you a bonus to Appearance checks, and doesn't assure any skill in bed. No, that comes down to Perform (Sexual Techniques), a skill we still haven't got to. 

Then we get another list of creature types and notes about their average Appearance. It has an interesting bit where Constructs require specific DCs to make them attractive (e.g. DC 30+ to give a score of 16-17), and that rotting Undead are App 1 or 2 ("Which of these corpses would you rather fuck?") and that Vampires are generally "sexy". There's a lot of vampire love going on here, and this was well before Twilight, so we can assume that Lestat had an influence here.

Then we get Size and Sex, which features some interesting quotes - "A Halfling can use fellatio to pleasure an Ogre (or vice versa)"...
Just gonna leave this here.
But if you're trying anything with something a size category away from you, that's a -4 penalty to your relevant checks - which implies there's more to fucking than just Perform (Sexual Technique) rolls. And that makes me sad.

Next time, it'll be the real meat and potatoes - How To Sustain Sex, bedroom uses for existing skills, and of course, the STD table.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Big Update!

So, regular followers will know that I've done a lot of Microlite20 content - it's my preferred no-prep system, and I use it with any new group to gauge what kind of game they might be interested in.

Well apparently, that work didn't go unnoticed - Seth Drebitko decided to take me on as a partner, so now I'll be sharing my time between here and working on the next generation of M20 content!

We have a few really cool things in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled for new content coming from us!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Let's Read: The Book of Erotic Fantasy: Chapter 1, Part Three: Sex and Species

Our first chapter still has a lot of info to get through, so I'll get stuck straight into the next section – Sex and The Species, looking at (as one might guess) how the various species in a fantasy world might view sexuality.

It goes into detail regarding the “standard” sexuality for each of the Core races, with added details about pregnancy for these races. There’s nothing too exciting here, but there’s a lot to unpack. I’ll briefly summarise anything interesting:

Dwarves are so mired in tradition, there are “Dwarven Sex Manuals”, to show young (40 year old) Dwarves the accepted positions and techniques to use. (Now there's some good loot if ever I saw it...)

Elves are almost all bisexual.

Gnomes are apparently sex-toy maniacs, and see sex as way more fun than any other race.

Half-Elves are either too mature for Elves or slower to mature for humans, making puberty super awkward.

The half-orc entry makes some really unfortunate mentions of gay half-orcs sexually dominating their tribe-mates being the closest thing they get to acceptance.

And halflings are all polyamorous!

Humans are, as always, the most varied, blah blah blah.

This section also covers centaurs, doppelgangers (and their bizarre snake-like mating rituals), dryads (and their tragic single-target sexuality), giants, gnolls (with an amazing lack of mention of female pseudopenises), Goblinoids, Kobolds, Lizardfolk, merfolk, minotaurs, nymphs, orges, satyrs (total shaggers) and sprites.

Phew.

The book also makes mention of a few races (giantborn, felids, serpentines) who aren't common OGL creatures. I'd assumed these are races from other products by the same company (the way Green Ronin offers advice for adding their base classes into their other settings), but as it turns out this is Valar Project's only book.

Not that surprising.

It also gives a brief overview of the other creature types, like Aberrations, Elementals etc - which implies some things about druids (even though they said they wouldn't cover bestiality), introduces the idea of intellective necrophilia (i.e. banging a sentient undead like a Vampire), and gives a rather worrying foreshadowing in the Construct section:

"However, there is one type of construct, the pleasure golem, that is designed specifically for engaging in sex. See Chapter 6: Gods and Monsters for more information"

Well - I'm not sure if the idea of a Pleasure Golem or the fact there's a whole section dedicated to sex-monsters is worse. Let's cut our losses and say both. Both are worse.

Now I tend to avoid using the artwork from the book, but I couldn't resist sharing this piece of wonder:
1000 hours in MSPaint to keep things under control
Sidebars 
Intelligence & Sex – your min-maxed Half-Orc Barbarian with an Int less than 6? Not considered eligible in most societies for sex, apparently. It gives another tip to the idea that 10 times your intelligence score gives you a rough idea of IQ.

House of a Thousand Pleasures - describes a brothel with doppelganger prostitutes.

Next up, the section we can all use - Rules, Skills and Feats.

Joy.

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Isle of Dread - Remix Edition Part 1

So, my previous game has ground to a halt due to grown-up issues, so I'm going to try and get everyone back together, or replace those who can't continue, with a better schedule and a new campaign.

And what better way to start a new campaign than the Isle of Dread?

I do plan on changing things up a bit, and injecting a little weird into the game. After all, the module is left fairly open with regards to what's really going on - one of the best things about older modules, in my opin
ion. That level of openness and hackability makes it way easier to make the whole thing fit into your world, rather than modern modules where you lift encounters or basic plots and have to leave the rest.

I'll be using Blood & Treasure for the game, for a nice combo of new-school ideas and old-school charm.

For a start, let's make the Kopru more interesting AND give them a little more foreshadowing than "bad things on Taboo Island!"

Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Order of Nemesis

Image from Paizo
Paladins are holy warriors. The lead the charge against the enemies of their God, pushing back the grand forces of Chaos and Evil to the edges of civilisation, hoping one day to wipe it out entirely.

They are shining beacons of righteousness and hope to all.

Except the little people.

When the Paladins stroll through town, they ask about demonic invasions, Orc warband movements, or the doings of the Evil Overlord next door. While dealing with Capital Letter Chaos and Evil, they rarely have the time to ask about corrupt landlords, abusive spouses, or uncaring madams, and even if they do, they simply dont care about these minor doings in the grand scheme of Evil.

But The Order of Nemesis cares.

Dedicated to an ancient Goddess (Nemesis, Lady Vengeance, She), considered heretical by most of the faiths of the land, The Order is made up of those who will not stand by and watch the innocent suffer. Recruited from the lowest rungs of society to protect those who can't protect themselves, they are the Grey Guardians of many a city - even if their presence is passed off as simply superstition.

Recruits are taken from those who are wronged and wish for only one thing - revenge. Once She hears their prayers, they awaken one day with an oily, grey dagger under their pillow, and a message in their hearts.

Go seek your vengeance, my Child.

If they go through their retribution, they are inducted into The Order soon after, donning no uniform bar a grey cloak and their dagger.

The Order of Nemesis always has its ear to the ground - seeking out corruption and evil in the lowest parts of society, and providing revenge for those who cannot seek it themselves. They can make excellent allies, willing to share information to take down a high-priority target, or fierce enemies if you managed to wrong someone under their protection.

Order of Nemesis Code of Honour

  • Protect those who cannot protect themselves
  • The lowest of Men deserve the same as any other
  • Any crime against the weak must be avenged
  • No man is beyond Her reach - not even Her Children
  • Forgiveness is weakness
In game terms, the Order is made up of Assassins. In systems where Assassins gain spells, they may choose spells from either the Assassin or Paladin spell lists. While they have to be at least Lawful, most are Lawful Evil.

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Dungeon Mascot! An OSR Hireling Class

Wroot The Goblin by Christopher Burdett
When you are deep underground, fighting for your survival against horrors born in darkness, inimicable to your sanity, it can be a welcome relief to find a friendly face. Often, these are less powerful enemies who are more likely to surrender in exchange for their lives (or even a share of the treasure!). But, these party favourites can become a liability at higher levels, making them more likely to die at the hands of some deep horror or ancient trap.

Letting them advance in this class might help with the survivability of the players new "pet", and might even lead to them to becoming a valuable party member! Or, knowing the average players, just another meatshield...

Requirements: Must be a small creature of 1HD or less, must have rolled max on the Reaction Roll upon first meeting them.
HD: 1d4+1
Attack: As Thieves
Saves: As Thieves
XP: As Cleric
Weapons and Armour: As Thieves
Level Cap: 5

Dungeon Mascots are a great tool for adventurers, helping to keep morale up with their friendliness and obsequity. Any allies traveling with a Dungeon Mascot gain a +1 bonus on saves versus fear or insanity, and provide a +1 bonus to Morale to other Hirelings.

Dungeon Mascots also take on the role of packrat - they increase their carrying capacity by 25%.

They are also eager to please, and organise their hauls with surprising efficiency - once per delve, they can pull any mundane item worth 10gp or less from their packs (this takes a turn). Every level, this increases by 10gp (to 50gp at max level).

Once (and only once), they can throw themselves in the path of a lethal wound received by a PC, dying and making everyone a little sad. Some players with less scruples might abuse this, but such is the life of the Dungeon Mascot.

Poor little bastards.