Just Like 1977

Last Saturday I visited the "near future" from the perspective of 1977. You can hear about my experiences and get a bit of a dramatic reading from the Ogre rulebook on episode 20 of my podcast.

This weekend I'm going to test my mettle in the dungeon with Death Test 1.


Wish me luck?

Adding Profession/Background to Simple Skills

In my last post I talked about a simple skill system.

The GM sets difficulty at 4, 5, or 6, then indicates the related ability. Players roll some number of dice based on their bonus:

-1 or worse: roll 2d6 and take worst
0: roll d6
+1: roll 2d6 and take best
+2: roll 3d6 and take best

Basically you roll d6 equal to your mod+1, unless it's negative.

But what if you want a profession or "background" to play into it? Then I would ratchet it all down 1 step. You roll dice equal to your bonus. If you don't have a positive bonus, you roll 2d6 and take the worst. However, if you have an applicable background, add 1d6. So, the new rules set looks like this:

Simplified Skills (w/B)

  • If you have an applicable background, you get one die (d6). You also get one die for each positive point of related ability bonus.
  • If this gives you more than one die, roll them and take the best one.
  • If you have no dice (no applicable p/b and no positive modifier), you roll 2d6 and take worst.
  • If you match or beat the target difficulty set by the GM (4, 5, or 6), you succeed.

The odds are the same:


021 Many Voices Make Podcasting Better

It's an all call-in show with Ivy "The Happy Whisk," Colin "Spikepit," Darren "RFED," and Carl from the Megadungeon podcast. Topics include anxiety at the table, dealing with creative struggles (follow up), a new type of table, "telling it to the page," and much more.

020 Cybernetic Tanks, 1977

• Steve Jackson's Ogre -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogre_(game)
• Newer Versions -> www.sjgames.com/ogre/
• Winchell's Story ver 1 -> www.projectrho.com/ogre.html
• Winchell's Story ver 2 -> www.sjgames.com/ogre/products/ogrezine/forgingfirstogre.html
• Music behind reading is "Boss Battle" (altered) by Mystery Mammal
• Intro/Outro Music is "You Can Use" by Captive Portal


Simple Skills System

This is just an idea I had for skills in B/X, 0e, or AD&D. 

Of course, the GM has to agree to let you try. If you want to try playing a song on a lute with zero experience, the GM can just say you fail. 

When the GM decides to call for a skill roll, they set the difficulty at 4 (easy), 5 (average), or 6 (difficult). The player must roll that number or higher to succeed on one or more dice. The number of dice rolled is based on the related skill and its modifier as follows:
  • Ability -1 or worse, roll 2d6 and take the lowest
  • Ability +0, roll 1d6
  • Ability +1, roll 2d6 and take the best
  • Ability +2 or more, roll 3d6 and take the best
The odds work out like this:

Why is this better than simply trying to roll under you raw ability with a d20? For one thing it's roll high = good, which seems to be more intuitive. It also lets you set a difficulty level, where you would have to use modifiers to do that with the d20. 


Road Wars

I had totally forgotten about this game design until someone brought up playing with Matchbox tanks on the floor with their son. This is a race game I designed to be played on the floor with any kind of vehicle toy, but especially with ones you make out of plastic building blocks.

One of these days I may dust this off and try to improve it. For now, here's the download.