26 April 2018

Minor Adjustment for Minor Physical Differences

(Lovely drawings by Evlyn M)

Your player wants their character to be short. What do you do? Do you force them to be a halfling? Do you make some special adjustments to another class to allow for short people? Nah.
One of the best things about the OSR is the lack of a need for rules minutia.
I recently noticed a discussion about how to make adjustments to a class based on height. Changing rules and making a class to describe a minor physical difference is a waste of time and effort, so I thought I'd describe a simpler approach.
Additionally, it's a waste of brainpower mid-game. If your players are doing math about the effects of being short on their character sheets, they're not as engaged in thinking about how best to dismantle the thingamajig that is preventing time from affecting the inside of the ancient tower.

Effects of being short:

  1. You can fit in a cabinet unless you're obese.
  2. You cannot do things that require being able to reach the head of an enemy of average height without first climbing halfway up the enemy's torso or without first gaining higher ground.
  3. You can run between the legs of enemies when you successfully perform a combat maneuver. (In my rules, a combat maneuver occurs on a critical hit or when sacrificing an attack in order to make a stat check.
  4. Some people might be bigoted about your height.
  5. You might get a bonus to stealth rolls in certain situations.
  6. If you're VERY short, you might not be able to carry as much as others.
  7. Climbing might take longer for you.
  8. Your enemies get -1 to hit if they're dumb or really tall.
  9. Etc.

24 April 2018


Aureks are good "attack-the-sheet" creatures. They don't want to hurt players. They just want to eat their clothing, especially leather.

Aureks are shy, rotund, eyeless, golden moles who swim through the earth with paddle-like paws as if the dirt was made of thick water. They move at a speed faster than an average human walks but slower than a run. The largest is the size of a large man's hand. Their triangular teeth cut like sawtooth scissors.
Their thin coat of hair glisters, catching the eyes of those who lust after gold and helping them to blend into treasure hoards, which they sometimes use as homes, building structures made of clay or a combination of mud and a lattice of sticks (called wattle and daub.)
Aureks are blind. When an Aurek puts its head to the ground, it can hear the words you speak and detect the rate at which you're breathing if other noises aren't too distracting. It can detect your general direction if it has its feet touching the same ground that you cause to vibrate when you move. It can sense the shape of you if it has its head to the ground and you move within 100 feet of it, if other vibrations and sounds aren't creating too much noise.
Aureks consider leather a delicacy but will eat nearly any fabric. They stalk any who possess such "food" except when they await their prey in hiding.
They have no particular interest in hurting any living creature except the worms and small insects they have to eat whenever fabric and leather aren't available. They prefer to mind their own business but are always ready to trade services, goods, and information once a conversation is started. They only ever speak in a nearly silent whisper and will gesture a request for those they wish to speak with to move close enough to hear them.
Its fur coat may be used as an ingredient in items that employ vibratory amplification.

Summary, Stats and Miscellany

Attacks: 1 × grapple (save or leather armor is broken. Clothing instead if no leather armor is present), 1 × bite (1d4 DMG) Automatic hit if inside player's clothing/grappling.
(Ascending) AC: 12 (15 in dirt, 16 in player's own clothing) HD: 0 (2hp)
Move:140’ Morale: 5
Gilded: shiny golden fur creates appearance of gold.
Vibration sense: "see" via ground touch. Blind eyes.
Swim on/just beneath surface of dirt: Move at full speed if ground isn't too hard.
A la Mode Diet: eats clothing, especially leather.
Whisperer: nearly inaudible.
"Wants: to eat "good food,"" to avoid detection, to store "food."
Doesn't want: violence, to miss out on deliciousness
Flavor: stringy, tough, hint of leather.Effect of consuming: roll 1d6. 1-2: you can sense the location of things by vibration as if you were an aurek. 3-6: when in the presence of extraneous, unused leather, you must save or eat it. One full set of leather armor counts as a ration, but you move at half speed the rest of the day and fail all saves that depend on quick movement due to a very full gut. (Or apply fatigue/exhaustion if appropriate in your system.) Any article of soft clothing also counts as 1/4th it's mass in food.

19 April 2018

Rules for Effects Unknown to Players: Curses, Disease, Et Cetera

A player character is carrying around a mask that grants the ability to become invisible at will, so long as it is worn. Unfortunately, the mask also gradually causes her to believe she is a member of an ancient humanoid bird race. How do you reveal this information to the player without spoiling the suspense, reducing the fun, and removing her ability to cleverly solve the problem? (This example is from the the Maze of the Blue Medusa campaign I'm running.)

Rules for Curses, Disease, and Other Effects Unknown to Players


Every turn, roll 1d6.
On a 6, a new symptom of the curse manifests.
On a 1, the player character gains a clue about what has happened, if it is reasonable that they would be able to do so. A magic user will always learn something when a 1 is rolled. When the player understands the curse, rolling a 1 has no effect.

Preparing the effect

Decide how many stages the curse/disease/whatever will go through before reaching it's full potential. It might be at full potential the first time a 6 is rolled and simply repeat with each 6 result, or it might be very minor and become worse in stages.

It's a TABLE!

1 D6 every turnResult
1Sense clue
6New symptom/Effect fully manifests

You don't really need the table.

Actual Play Example

This contains spoilers from Maze of the Blue Medusa. BEWARE.
Enrel the Caster cast Grease on a thief named Hell Borine who she believed to be an Oku. He fell to the ground and she yanked the bird mask from his face, ran away, put it on, and discovered that she could become invisible at will when she was wearing it.
Since then, I've been rolling 1d6 every turn. Whenever I roll a 6, I narrate something like the following:You have an uncontrollable urge to sing a song without lyrics.You imitate the sounds of a bird.You hear a sparrow singing "Seeds, seeds, seeds, seeds. I love seeeeeeeeeeeds. I'm going to eat seeds." If she decided to speak to it, I would have allowed it. (However, none of this was really happening. The sparrow was making normal sparrow sounds and she only imagined she could understand it.)You flap your wings and float slightly off the ground. (Anyone who was looking at her would know that she had no wings and that she actually hopped off of the ground.)
She rolled her first 1 after this, and I told her that her mask seemed as if it wanted something.
If she rolls a 6 twice more, she will believe she is a bird-person. I'll simply tell her that she IS a bird-person and that everyone else thinks she's simply a human wearing a bird mask. I'll also tell her that if she removes the mask, an illusion is cast over her to make her look like a human.

10 April 2018

Dwarf GLOG Class

Dwarves are incredibly rare, at least to anyone else's knowledge. They're hidden away in the privacy of their mountain, digging deeper, expanding in any direction they can. They're learning what's below, negotiating with it, killing it, defending against it, walling it off.
Dwarves are not warlike, but little appeals to them more than a well-crafted weapon infused with purpose and capability - except a machine of great utility. Utility to whom? It doesn't matter. If the craftsmanship is good, it will work to great efficiency and purpose. If it works, it's good. If it's good, it's worth keeping. Things that are worth keeping are best kept hidden away, behind a trapped lock in a warded room guarded by an army, if they're not being used.
For context, see how classes and leveling work in this earlier post. Terse summary: Gain 1 template per level until level 4.I wrote this class after reading this G+ thread and took several ideas from comments in it.

Class: Dwarf

Dwarves yearn for perfect craftsmanship and lust for precious metals and gems. They've adapted to life underground, but only to a civilized, well-lit sort of underground, full of productivity and digging.
Starting Equipment: leather armor, axe, rough iron shield.
Starting Skill: Craftsmanship. See Professions for a second skill.


A: Innate sense, Stony recovery, Obsession
B: Greed
C: Heart of the Mountain
D: Liver of the Delver
You gain +1 HP for each Dwarf template you possess. An adventurer's first template must be a Dwarf template or none will ever be a dwarf template.
Innate sense
Can smell/taste craftsmanship within 10'. This may be hampered by other overwhelming odors.
Stony recovery
When a dwarf dies from poison or disease, it turns into stone for 1d6+7 days, then returns to life at 1 HP, purified of the malady.
Every time you rest in a civilized location, roll 1d20. On a 1, spend 1d20 days obsessed with making an object of power. Then roll 1d4 to see how great it is. A 1 means it is wonderful and 4 means its utility is questionable. Describe what you'd like it to be and the referee will describe what it actually is.
Gain a bonus to saves for each slot of treasure carried beyond 5 slots.
Heart of the Mountain
Always knows when all the secret doors and passages on a floor have been discovered.
Liver of the Delver
Can sense the general direction of exits and stairs to other levels.


D8SkillStarting items
1ArchitectBlank book, ink, quill
2SmithHammer, tongs
3JewelerReading glasses, miniature chisel, mallet
4ChefCooking pot, salt, pepper, spoon
5BrewerBeer, hops
6MinerPickaxe, lantern, oil
7CarpenterHandsaw, hammer, nails
8StoneworkerChisels, hammer

06 April 2018

Classes and Levels

by Evlyn M

This post mostly exists so I can link to it every time I make a new class. It's essentially just the GLOG's rules for classes after some minor edits, but I'm placing my own version here because:
  1. It's easy to reference instead of buried in a PDF.
  2. It's concise and clear. (Tell me if I'm wrong.)
  3. I'm planning to continuously edit this for my own needs.


The GM will choose some classes to offer. This list should probably be short and grow over a campaign to reward exploration of the world, only presenting classes that have been encountered. This might mean beginning a campaign by only offering classes that are skilled in armed combat or it might mean only offering the most basic archetypes (Fighter, Thief, and Spellcaster.)
There are four templates for each class, labeled A through D. A character begins with template A and gains one template per level for the first four levels. (This means that no character can have more than four templates.)
Templates can only be gained in order: you cannot gain Fighter B unless you have Fighter A.
To multiclass, choose a template from a different class (so a Level 4 PC could have Thief A, Thief B, Fighter A, and Spellcaster A.)


1GP = 1XP.
Whenever a PC gains a Level, they gain a new Class Template (up to a max of 4.) Their Attack, HP, and Save also increase as shown in the Level Chart.
They can also attempt to improve one Stat of their choice by rolling 3D6. If the sum is greater than the Stat, the Stat is permanently raised by +1.

Level Chart

LevelHP (20 Max)Class TemplatesAttackBase SaveXP (1GP = 1XP)
1Con - 41116-
2Con - 22127200
4Con + 24137700
5Con +4-1381000
6Con + 6-1481,400
7Con +7-1481,800
8Con + 8-1592,200
9Con + 9-1592,600
10Con + 10-15103,000