Wednesday, 18 January 2012

ConstantCon & Google+, GMT?

So I have a web cam, and have added OSR and RPG types to my circles. Not sure what else I have to do, prolly email folk and ask 'em to add me. I'll get around to that. So now I can, in theory, game via the magic of ConstantCon and Google+ hang outs. Although the skype call I just made was full of feedback, echo, sound loss and visual hang up, so not sure how a game will worrk out.

Normally I prefer to GM, but I'm a tad rusty at the moment and don't have a handle on the tech yet so a slot as player would be better to start off. So the question are their many GMT/London timezone games going on in the OSR? Or will I be playing at Stupid AM with a few friendly  American types? I know Jeff Reints runs his game at CMT 4.Am which I think is a relatively reasonable 10 Am UK time. Well reasonable depending on which day.

Anyway, if  there aren't many GMT games why not? We Brits should do something about that. Possibly, after a cup tea, if no one minds, and it's not too much trouble.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Random Blog post about 5th Edition . . .

. . . so 5th edition Tunnels & Trolls has long been a favourite of mine.

Sorry couldn’t resist.

Right. 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. I like what I’m hearing. Mind you I liked what I was hearing about 4th edition before that was released, liked what I read when I got my PHB and DMG, loved it as I made a ton of characters, and goofed around doing test combats. Ran it. Didn’t like it. Never ran it again. Went back to Basic and had a ton of fun learning about 0e. Which I missed back in the day, what with me only being 4 years old when it was released. Never felt the need to tell folks that love 4e they were on the internet being wrong. After all, it’s the 3.5 and Pathfinder folks that are wrong . . . 

. . . I kid. 

Well kinda. I’m not keen on anything I’ve heard or seen about 3.5, but I still don’t feel the need to tell 3.5/Pathfinder fans to stop being on the internet being wrong about D&D.

As is expected there are more than a few folks who are cynical about the design team’s stated aim, to unite all D&D players, of all edition, under a happy-clappy-touchy-feely-hippy-dippy universal umbrella of D&D love. Perhaps they’re fearful it’ll be ‘one edition to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them’ evil D&D. 

There are also of course a few 4e fans in a panic – ohh noes what will become of the DDI – Can’t say I blame them. Despite WotC statement that they’ll keep DDI and Companion and support 4e. It obviously won’t get as much support from here on in, and less when 5e launches.

If anyone should be worrying about 5e; it should be Paizo. I’m pretty sure top of WotC agenda for 5e has to be regain the players (or market share if you’re cynically inclined) they lost to Paizo and Pathfinder. Personally I think if there’s anything WotC need to learn from Paizo it’s: sell good modules, Adventure Path type campaigns, and settings. That and be nice. Whenever I hear good stuff about Pathfinder, it’s not the rules people are buzzing about; it’s how great Paizo are to deal with, and positives about the setting and adventures.

An edition of D&D that will please all  fans is a big ask, a near impossible task perhaps, and the cynical gamers amongst have every right to say it’s nothing more than ‘empty marketing speak’ from Wizards, but I hope they pull it off. I’d love an edition that allowed you to play a stripped down 0e style game, an elegant Basic style game, add a ton of options to recreate the AD&D feel, add more to play 3.5, different options to get 4e, and  random grab bag of ‘shit you think might be fun’ and play 5e style, and still be able to house rule and DIY it to Planescape and back.

A ‘Rosetta Clone’ that is also ‘The New Shiny’ would be cool. It would be great if everyone who liked D&D was playing D&D. Besides, my Modlvay Basic is looking a bit dog eared.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Using Warband rules for Sieges

Siege Warfare
In Redwald’s Dark Ages setting siege warfare is a very basic affair. Hillforts are the only defensive structure, and ladders and basic battering rams are the only offensive siege weapons. 

There are three main ways to take a hillfort: starvation, treachery, assault. Starving out the defenders, or gaining access by treachery can be resolved by roleplaying, but assaulting a hillfort can be played out using this additions to the Warband rules for abstract skirmishing.

For each defensive element they have to overcome attackers suffer -1 to morale. The defence elements are . . .

Hill – The hill itself, whether natural or manmade, is a defensive element and depending on how large and steep it is the attackers will suffer a penalty of -1 to -3 to their move score.

Ditch & Dyke – Getting past a ditch and dyke takes 2 rounds to negotiate during which time the attackers suffer a +1 [-1] penalty to their AC from missile attacks.

Spiked Ditch & Dyke – As well as the normal penalties for crossing a ditch and dyke, if it has also been set with sharpened wooden stakes the warband takes 1d6 dam (half dam if they make their Saving Throw).

Wooden Palisade – Without ladders, or a battering ram, the hillfort’s palisade walls are impassable. Any attackers milling around the walls are at a +1 [-1] pen to their AC from missile attackers manning the wall. Palisade Walls have 24 HP and an AC: 8. A battering ram is required to attack them, or ladders to scale them. Missile attacks at the defenders are at -2 to hit.

Gates -  The weakest point of the defences. HP 12 AC: 9. A battering ram is required to smash them open. If the defenders are expecting an attack gates are normally soaked to avoid being burnt. If the attack takes them by surprise and the doors are dry they can be burnt. After 10 rounds of burning they will be weakened (HP 6).

Gate Towers – Crude  stone or wooden towers either side of the gate, don’t add directly to the strength of the gates, but make it much more dangerous for those attacking or storming the gates. Defenders in towers are attacked at -3 to hit and gain +1 to hit and damage with missile weapons.

Ladders – Crudely made assault ladders. Each ladder requires four men to carry. If unopposed the ladders can easily be put against the palisade and used to scale it. Unopposed  4 men around can scramble over the walls. If opposed the ladders can be pushed off the wall if there are enough defenders (four to push each ladder off). If the ladder isn’t pushed off before four warriors have started scaling it, it can’t be pushed off.  The first warrior on the ladder will have to fight his way off the ladder and over the wall. Fighting from the ladders incurs a -3 pen to-hit, -1 to dam, and +2[-2] to AC. Carrying the ladders incurs a -2 move penalty, and a +1[-1] AC penalty.

Ram – A plain tree trunk requires twenty men to use it who will suffer penalties of -5 to move, +4 [-4] to AC. A ram on cart wheels with a frame to swing it from is -3 move +2[-2] AC. The same ram with a hide canopy is -3 move +1[-1] AC.  A trunk does d3 damage to gates and walls per round, a ram swung on a frame 1d6 dam per round, a ram fitted with an iron tip, or spike 2d6 dam.