Monday, December 19, 2011

Heads of State: 9 games about tyrants on th REVS' SHOW, TONITE @ 6 on

Please join us HTTP://WWW.KILLRADIO.ORG for the REV'S SHOW. Our special guest is the creator of Heads of State, nine games about dictators.

He's a super cool guy, a fellow gamer, cyclist and advocate for green city living. If you can, make a pledge and support the Kickstarter!

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Friday, December 16, 2011

Converting to DCC: Part 1, Enchanted Items

This is the first in a series converting old D&D modules to Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG.

Converting to DCC: Part 1, Enchanted Items

In my ongoing Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG beta campaign I’ve used primarily pre-made adventures made for older editions of D&D, some OSR adventures and the Free RPG Day DCC adventure, The Portal Under the Stars.  When running pre-made adventures you come across tons of magic items as treasures.  I ignored any mundane +1 items and potions and gave the gold-piece equivalent for most things. With the story specific items, I decided to convert them to be as dynamic and dangerous as spells are in the DCC game.

I stuck with the following principles:
  • Magic is dangerous. It throws off the natural balance of all existence. It’s fickle and unpredictable. The more powerful the magic, the more dangerous it is to wield it. There is  nothing mundane about magic, including magic items.
  • A 1-level Enchanted Item should be no more powerful than a 1-level spell.
  • Each time it is activated, there will be an activation check, typically a d20 roll modified by class level and/or appropriate ability modifier.
  • It should have at-least 3 levels of effects: A misfire (typically a natural 1), usually resulting in a corruption, disapproval or fumble. A failure (typically 10 or less), usually resulting in lesser or no effect. And a successful activation (usually 11 or more.) Modifiers to the activation roll and restrictions can depend on the nature of the item, and related to abilities, class and/or alignment.
  • Any spell-caster can identify a magic item on a successful Spell Check, modified by caster level. DC = 15+Item Level.
  • A standardized format.
These are a couple that I came up with. They’re both items found in pre-made adventures as noted at the end.

The Shadowgem, 3-level arcane enchanted item.

DC 18 to identify: The shadowgem is a large black jewel the size of a small child’s fist. It can only be used by Chaotic elf or wizards.  When activated a shadow emerges from the gem to the wielder’s bidding.

Shadow: Init +4; Atk +2 melee (dmg 1d4+special); AC 13; HD 2D8+2; SP incorporeal (non magical damage inflicts only 1 hp damage); SV Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +0; AL C; XP 35.

Activation: Chaotic Elf & Wizards only, d20+caster level.
3 or lessUh oh, misfire! Roll 1d6 modified by luck: (1 or less) Shadow is angry and attacks the wielder and their allies until destroyed.  (2-3) Shadow is angry and attacks the wielder and their allies for 1d4 rounds before returning to gem.  (4-5) Shadow is annoyed and attacks the wielder once before returning to the gem.  (6 or more) Shadow is busy and can't be summoned for another turn.
4-14 You’re doing it wrong. No effect.
15-23“Who do I need to kill?”  Summon one shadow for 1 turn. The shadow attacks the wielder’s opponents to the best of its abilities until commanded, the gem is destroyed or shadow is slain.
24+“I brought some friends.”  Summons 1d3 shadows for 1 turn.

Scrying Ball, 3-level arcane enchanted item.

DC 18 to identify: This crystal globe emits an ongoing light. When activated, a wizard or elf can view the location he has seen or has reference to (e.g., can view a creature whose lock of hair he possesses).

Activation: Elf & wizards, d20+caster level. Other classes, d16+Intelligence modifier. All, -2 penalty for each consecutive use in a day.
3 or lessOutlook not so good. Roll 1d6 modified by luck: (1 or less) The wielder and their surroundings are visible before the subject or in the location being viewed. Spell check, DC 15, to turn it off.  (2-3) An alien countenance looks back at the wielder! The extraplanar being casts a geas or minor curse upon the wielder. (4-5) The extraplanar being says and does nothing. (6 or more) Subject, or subjects at a location, has feeling that they’re being watch.
4-14Reply hazy, try again.
15-23You may rely on it. Viewing effect lasts for 1d6 rounds.
24+It is certain. Viewing effect lasts for 1d6 turns.


The Shadowgem is from Out of the Shadows by Jesse Walker from Encounter Magazine No.2.

The Scrying Ball is from The Portal Under the Stars by Joseph Goodman from Dungeon Crawl Classic RPG Free RPG Day 2011 Adventure Starter.

I’m open for suggestions, comments and ideas. Let me know what you think. I’ve also attached a PDF version of the items somewhere in this entry.

EnchantedItems.pdf Download this file