Spell Variations: Wizards’ Panache

By Angelo on July 30, 2002

The Color of Magic was an excellent article from Dragon Magazine issue no. 200 by Dan Joyce. I particularly liked it because it showed how the real game isn’t about rules and dice rolling–it’s about story and wonder. It explained how the mechanics of various spells (do damage, heal, improve AC, etc.) are really all the same, it’s how the spells are perceived that make the real difference. Additionally, I have found it a useful technique to tweak certain spells that seem “broken” for a particular campaign.

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Topics: Celestial & Arcane | No Comments »

Chi Powers

By Angelo on July 30, 2001

First of all, this system may seem a little complex at first, but try to read it and see where it’s going. If it’s too much, simplify to suit your needs, but try to keep game balance (either through the rules, or through who obtains chi powers).

Chi (Ki) Powers

Chi powers increase by (level – level_you_learned_power)/2

Chi powers is an ability added for OD&D, providing much of the same kinds of ideas that psionics/sorcerors do. As psionics in D&D3, chi powers are considered to be equivalent of magic and are subject to similar restrictions (dispelled by dispel magic, cancelled by anti-magic, blocked by anti-magic shell, etc).

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Topics: Celestial & Arcane | 2 Comments »

Ranger

By Michael Wallace on June 26, 2001

Upon reaching 9th level, a Neutral traveling fighter may elect to become a Ranger. The following requirements must be met:

  1. The character must live in a wild location. Rangers do not live in cities and they rarely visit them. Rangers will occasionally pay visits to the nearby village for supplies and to sell furs, or whatever necessary to maintain contact with rural humans. Rangers must do whatever they can to protect their chosen homeland and the people that live there.
  2. If the ranger’s Wisdom score is 13, or greater, the character can cast druid spells as if he were a druid of one-third his actual experience level (round any fractions down); if a fighter becomes a ranger right at 9th level, he’ll immediately gain the spells of a 3rd level druid. A 17th level ranger can cast spells as if he were a 5th level druid.
  3. A ranger may only travel with a number of hirelings equal to, or less than, his druid level. In other words, if he can cast spells as a 5th level druid, he can have five hirelings accompany him.
  4. Rangers can Move Silently and Hide in Shadows as a thief of one-third his actual experience level (round any fractions down.) Rangers can also Find and Remove Traps as a thief of one-third his actual experience level, but only in a woodland environment.

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The Isle of Dread

By Jeff Q on May 30, 2001

by BAHUMUTH

Duch Year: 982

The huge saber crashed against the center of the iron sword, throwing its holder back a few steps, and then again in an overhand strike. The tall, plate-mailed knight brought down his steel broadsword down with all his might. The muscular, dark-skinned island-man threw his crude sword to parry, catching the broadsword at its hilt.

The Kikapa island-man, although naked, was very seasoned with his hilt less sword. Comparatively, the knight, mailed in white satin-draped field plate, definitely held the advantage. The Kikapa allowed the knight to come in at him and then fell back against the weight of the knight, causing the knight to lose his balance. He then used this advantage by stopping the collapse of the armor on himself with his leg and then swiped his sword hard against the knight’s head.

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Handling Poison

By Angelo on May 3, 2001

The purpose of this document is to provide the DM with a system for handling poisons that can be as complicated or as simple as desired. Different ways of handling poisons range from instant death (as found in the Dungeons and Dragons game) and the simple 1 point of damage per round (as found in video games like the Ultima series). These are both very simple, but not realistic ways of handling ALL poisons. Some games have cumbersome charts that still have their limitations. And even with a chart, poisons shouldn’t be completely random. So hopefully this document will help the DM come up with a satisfactory method of handling poisons. This is by no means a scientific analysis of poison or any attempt for reality. This is merely for game play. See the rest of this entry…

Topics: Rules Hints & Tips | 1 Comment »

The Priest’s Codex

By Angelo on March 20, 2001

Originally published by March 2001, the Priest’s Codex contains a collection of custom spells created by authors at Heroes Only. All of these spells have been used and tested within the gaming environment, but of course you should consider their effects on your own campaign before adopting them.

This list of spells is updated from time to time, with the “last modified” timestamp appearing at the end of the article. See the rest of this entry…

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The Wizard’s Codex

By Angelo on February 17, 2001

Originally published by February 2001, the Wizard’s Codex contains a collection of custom spells created by authors at Heroes Only. All of these spells have been used and tested within the gaming environment, but of course you should consider their effects on your own campaign before adopting them.

This list of spells is updated from time to time, with the “last modified” timestamp appearing at the end of the article. See the rest of this entry…

Topics: Celestial & Arcane | No Comments »

Character Class Variations

By Angelo on June 8, 2000

This is based on the idea that players and the DM will build characters for a story line, not just to suit their gaming needs. In other words, characters should have some panache or style of their own. This means the items below are not rules but rather suggestions on how one might play his own character. The player should be able to freely choose to do this, these are not rule changes. The DM may want to offer “rewards” (some are described below, if you look closely). These rewards are not experience rewards, etc. but instead take the form of some sort of reward in the story, or “good luck.” For example, one reward for being an elf and not using your power to the fullest potential (as a ranger) is that you always seem to find food in the wilderness, you are able to befriend animals more easily (not attacked by bears), and you have a faithful pet (such as a dire wolf). And such rewards can increase as you go up level, because it’s one thing to start out as a “ranger” and then not keep up with it, but someone who has been a ranger for 9 levels should at least have a dire wolf to help him. Again, this is not a rule change.

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Magic Item Tables

By Angelo on September 9, 1999

Swords

1d100 Sword
01-13 sword+1, +3 vs dragons
14-26 sword+1, +3 vs lycantheropes
27-39 sword+1, +3 vs undead
40-49 sword+1, +3 vs spellcasters
50-59 sword+1, +3 vs regeneration
60-65 sword+1, cure lt wounds 1/day
66-71 sword+1, light 1/day
72-77 sword+1, darkness 1/day
78-82 sword+1, locate object 1/day
83-86 sword+2, flames on command
87-90 sword+2, charm person on hit
95-97 sword+1, haste user 1/day
98-99 sword+1, drain life energy (1d4+4)
100 sword+1, wishes (1d4)

For type, roll 1d20:
1-3 two-handed
4-6 short
7-10 bastard
11-20 normal

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Optional Rules for Classic Games

By Angelo on September 6, 1999

Written by Angelo and Jeff

Here are some optional rules that you may want to adopt in a more basic type campaign (which I find more fun). When deciding on a rule, go for whatever is more fun or will make a better story-line in the game.

Attributes

Even though it may not be fair to my old players, I think I might adopt this system also. Just roll 9d6 for each phsyical (STR, DEX, CON) and mental (INT, WIS, CHA) attributes and then let the players choose where they want to put them. Allow players to trade 2 for 1 between the 2 categories. If you want, you might consider just rolling 10d6 for each category to give a better chance of getting good scores. Also, don’t roll ability checks much, if at all. Too much rolling dice makes the game too random and not enough story. If you can’t base it on a saving throw, you probably shouldn’t roll it. How creatures react to players should be based on how the players have acted, not on a charisma check. See the rest of this entry…

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Topics: Rules Hints & Tips | 1 Comment »