Showing posts from September, 2023

Converting 5e CR to Classic HD

Challenge rating (CR) in Dungeons & Dragons, Fifth Edition determines basically everything you need to know about your monster: armor class, hit points, and average damage per round. This makes conversion between 5e and classic editions of D&D like B/X quite difficult, not only because of different conventions but also different expectations of how monsters and their math should function. Hits deal more damage than in classic D&D because characters add their ability bonus to the dice roll, and hit dice are kind of arbitrary and calculated retrospectively because what really matters is hit points by challenge rating (e.g.: a giant monster might have d12-sized hit dice whereas a medium monster might have d8-sized hit dice, but a CR 10 monster needs to have around 160 hit points either way). What do you if you're writing an adventure that you want to support both systems, but you don't want to work from scratch? My friend Nova found herself in this situation while

Cinnamon Cocoa Cookies

I have made this recipe five times in the last week: first for some friends, then for my partner, then for her friends, and then for even more of her friends. Not complaining, though, because they're delicious! And it makes me really happy to make and share with other people. Think of this as an application of my " variable cookie recipe ". That is, totally make it, but also think about how you would make your own cookies! Baking is really fun and easy, and it helps if you think of it as something that expresses you and your own taste. Chocolate and cinnamon are "me", but what's "you"? I'm really excited at the thought of having people over to hang out over fresh cookies. Maybe you might consider making some for your game night? Recipe Here's the recipe! It makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on how big you make them, though I've managed to stretch it into about 30 cookies (since my partner's baking sheets are smaller than mine).

Trophy? No, Cthulhu!

My friend Liz from Underground Adventures just introduced me to Cthulhu Dark and, in doing so, kinda blew my mind. I've been raving about Trophy Gold , or Trophy in general, for a couple of months ( see my shared review on Bones of Contention with Alex and Ram —that we only just published because we're a bit behind). It turns out that Trophy Dark , the original rulebook in the series, was based off of a rules-light Lovecraftian horror game called Cthulhu Dark . Even better is that Cthulhu Dark seems easier to grasp than Trophy ! If you've played Trophy , you know that there are two main kinds of rolls you can make: risk rolls for when your character is... risking their safety or sanity, and hunt rolls for when your character is delving deeper into a mystery. Both start with 1 light die plus another light die if your character is skilled at the task; only for risk rolls, however, do you roll a "dark die" representing the potential risk of your character'

FIVEY Playtest: Justice for Neverwinter!

I ran my homebrew ruleset FIVEY for the first time using the first adventure in the Justice for Neverwinter series, originally (sorta kinda) written for Dungeons & Dragons, Fifth Edition . It turned out to be a lot of fun! Though not because of the adventure. Background I feel like I need to explain what this adventure is and justify using it. Justice for Neverwinter is a series of mediocre railroaded adventures that try their very best to model political situations through a gushily rad-lib lens (“peaceful protest!”). The first adventure in the series is about a factional dispute between a mining company (called ForestCo, obviously), its overworked employees, and a tribe of kobolds whose land the company stole to build their mine and company town. The adventurers are sent by ForestCo to deal with the kobold problem by whatever means, but soon they realize the plight of the kobolds and the workers (who are somewhat overeager to work together, even unprompted by the party). Th

Working on a FIVEY Packet

I've had the rules bible for a while, but that's less fun than something I could hypothetically print! They look pretty plain, but maybe that will change. I'm just happy to have the main nitty-gritty rules over one spread. Actually going to run some tonight :)

M. Kirin's Iron Valley: An Informal Review

Iron Valley is a solo tabletop game based on the Ironsworn system, but drawing from farming and village life simulation games as its inspiration (especially Harvest Moon / Story of Seasons , Animal Crossing , and Stardew Valley ). My friend Lino from PinkSpace brought it up, and I asked if we could play in parallel because I wanted to hang out, and also because I so desperately want a pencil-and-paper farming game that I can zone out playing. Here's my short-form verdict by way of Discord message: i think lino should also give a verdict, but mine is: it’s conceptually very sweet but you kinda need to bring your own game (“ fuck you design ”, as per alex), and it also infantilizes the reader and—by making the game overly cozy—swings in the opposite direction because you can’t help but think about how perfect everything is. one example is that, like harvest moon and similar games, it quantifies friendship points via gifts you give them, but it treats it as wholesome and contr

Vent: Gendered Representation

Someone shared a Reddit post , quoted below: Games Made By Cis Women As the title says. Looking for games made or designed by cisgender women. Played most of the indie games I could find that are made by women, but surprisingly few seem to be made (or are designed) by cisgender women. Wanting to expand my experiences. I vomited the thoughts below: i get where they’re coming from and sorta sympathize, but think they’re sorta misattributing the root cause in a way that comes off as reactionary? i always call it tumblr/reddit culture as a shorthand/joke, but there are cultural differences between female and male spaces that rub off on even individuals who transition later. e.g., tumblr trans culture is associated with trans men and reddit trans culture with trans women. it feels weird. attributing it to sex-assigned-at-birth reflects short-sightedness at the least and more likely implicit prejudice, but i’ve asked myself a similar question. not an insignificant number of trans

FIVEY: Abstract Monsters

FIVEY uses brackets to place monsters in one of five categories: mooks, grunts, elites, lieutenants, and bosses. This makes it really easy and quick to come up with a monster and basically speak it into existence! You just need a bracket, a defense class, and some abilities. Monster Brackets Bracket HD GA D/A Mook (M) 1 +1 2 (1d4) Grunt (G) 2 +2 3 (1d6) Elites (E) 4 +3 4 (1d8) Lieutenants (L) 8 +4 5 (1d10) Bosses (B) 16 +5 6 (1d12) Your monster's bracket determines their hit dice (HD), their general ability stat (GA), and their average damage per action (D/A). Hit dice are used to determine or randomize their total hit points: you can roll that many d6s, or just multiply by 4 if you're in a rush. The general ability stat is the monster's base stat for stat checks or contests, which is doubled for tasks at which the monster is considered skilled. Damage per action is basically self-explanatory, especially if you use the example dama

FIVEY: Human Beings in Fiveria

Originally I wanted a way of rationalizing a 120-day calendar. Speaks for itself, obviously! Human Beings Human beings were originally inter-dimensional colonizers who traveled by starship to conquer distant worlds and thus escape the certain destruction of their home planet. One particular fleet targeted a world system called Fiveria for how it so resembled Terra, except with much shorter orbital cycles and exceptionally quick-growing vegetation. They were met however by a united front of Fiverian peoples, for the first time putting aside their particular differences on a social scale, who swiftly and surely defeated the fleet by means of magic hitherto unknown by human beings. The fleet's underlings were granted refuge on Fiveria, and were eventually fully integrated into the world's increasingly cosmopolitan society. Meanwhile, other fleets of human beings still roam the cosmos, conquering worlds and reshaping them in their own image. Fiverian Calendar The solar cycle of Fi

Roople the Dragon Queen

I think RuPaul is fucking hilarious, sue me about it. My brain can't resist the punny potential between drag and dragon , especially when villain characters are so often played out to be extremely gay and campy (because gay people are evil, of course!). The more I thought about it, the more I got really into it. So, without further ado. See the FIVEY monster rules if you need help interpreting the stat block! Though it's pretty bog-standard. Roople, Dragon Queen ( Boss ; HD 16, DC 20, GA +5, MV 8/16) A draaagon queeen? I am the QUEEN OF DRAGONS! Now, sashay... away. Roople, about to annihilate a disrespectful bard. Roople is an ancient dragon with prismatic scales and a silver tongue. She finds beauty in things that reflect her image, and her lair is (in her eyes) the most beautiful thing of all. She hoards fine dinnerware and sculptures made of glass, and the very walls of her lair were carved out from the inside of a ginormous amethyst geode. Many people fear Roople fo

Normalizing Skerples' Medieval Price List

I wanted to normalize Skerples’ list of medieval prices to make it easier to compare items! I took copper as the standard, so silver pieces are multiplied by 10 and gold pieces are multiplied by 100. That being said, there are probably many costs listed that are probably better accounted for in silver or gold (too expensive, probably, for a commoner to even fathom). Keep in mind that the minimum wage, so to speak, seems to be maybe 50 copper pieces a month or 600 pieces each year. If we assume, for convenience's sake, that one-twelfth goes to the state and another twelfth to the church (not an exact tithe, but whatever), we can say that a commoner has maybe 500 copper / 50 silver / 5 gold to spend each year. (If this were OD&D , that would be a nice 100 silver / 10 gold). Normalized Medieval Prices Food & Cooking Town Country Animal Feed 3 2 Beer, Small 2 1 Cheese (20 lb.?!) 50 40 Cookpots 10 20 Eggs (12 c.) 7 3 Fruit (1 lb.) 20 10