-8 hp . . .

For a variety of real-life reasons, I won't be updating this for the immediate future. It isn't dead (at least not yet) but it may be heading that way.


nWOD House Rules: Melee Combat

This is the melee expansion of the nWODcombat hack that I put up a few months ago. The intent is to make combat a little more mechanically engaging, and less like two combatants rolling all out attacks every round. It's still in beta testing, so feedback or thoughts are very welcome.

The goals of the change are twofold:
1) Characters have realistic options other than just going full-tilt and hoping they kill the other guy first. A defensive character can likely avoid taking hits for at least a couple of rounds. At the same time, an unarmored character, especially a mook, can often be dropped in a single good hit. This makes things like surprise and tactical movement more effective.

2) A character's equipment choice affects their fighting style. Weapons like axes are great for dishing out lots of damage, but less effective for playing defense. Pole-arms are good all-round killing tools, but can't be paired with a shield, which leaves the character vulnerable to projectile weapons. Knives are concealable and still pretty useful in a grapple, etc.

Details and a stats handout below the cut:


Skills and specializations

One of the many (many) game engine debates has to do with how many skills a 'skill based' engine (open d6, nWOD, etc) should have. I'm of the opinion that long and short skill lists both have their advantages and disadvantages. What follows is a generic houserule for skill specialization that I've been using in an attempt to have the best of both worlds.

The short version: require specialization past a predetermined skill level.


Rehashing Fantasy Species: Elves

It's not that I don't understand why most people hate generic fantasy elves - I hate them too. The whole 'beautiful nature-loving people who are in all ways superior to you' is obnoxious. But I'm a sucker for ninja-species, so rehabilitating elves is something of a compulsion. 

(Edit: 07/13 - some minor rebalancing and reorganization.)


Elves are the alpha-predators of the deep woods; nocturnal carnivores who live in small nomadic tribes. Their cultural ethos and raiding practices put them at odds with more settled species. Human myths and rumors paint elves as predatory sociopaths, and there is some truth to this view. Ruthlessness comes easily to these sentient pack hunters.  


Monster: Mordt-spinner

Also called: Khalikarch, Bone Harvester

A man-sized tangle of spider-legs and savage claws, the Mordt-spinner decorates its body with pieces of refuse and carrion as camouflage. The smaller ones prey on rats and the occasional possum or dog. The larger ones can tear a man out of his armor and devour him in minutes.


SMG Archetypes (with nWOD stats handout)

In an age when a sniper with a .50 caliber rifle can turn an enemy into pink mist from over a mile away, some of the best weapons for door-kicking and room-clearing are still compact, low caliber automatic weapons.* Submachineguns are the quintessential short-range firearms - compact for easy handling in close quarters, but still capable of automatic fire.

(*To be fair, the M4 and other assault carbines are arguably better, but I'll talk about those later).

This is a followup to an earlier post describing handguns. The idea is to break down firearms into categories that are still fairly general, but offer more variety than the barebones groups you might find in nWOD or d6 lite. Below the cut you'll find a statted handout (based on these nWOD houserules) and my ramblings about submachineguns.


Opening sessions: Getting the party started

Sure, you could just open with a mysterious old man who calls for all the PCs to meet him in a tavern, where he explains that he wants to hire them to recover the McGuffin from Adversary Corp or the Dungeon of Generic Goblinoids.

But how much fun is that?

Tips for an awesome first session:
1) Give the PCs an immediate and compelling reason to work together.
2) Show the players how much fun this campaign is going to be.

Thoughts and advice below the cut.