The Gaming Den Forum Index The Gaming Den
Welcome to the Gaming Den.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google
 Search WWW   Search tgdmb.com 
OSSR: Tournaments, Fairs & Taverns

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: OSSR: Tournaments, Fairs & Taverns Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Natural 20 Press/Mystic Eye Games:

Tournaments, Fairs & Taverns The Special Edition: Episode One: Let the Games Begin

That really is the full title on the inside cover. On the outside cover it includes the following warning:

Warning: This product contains supernatural themes and graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

The book promises 'over 20' games PCs can play including Archery Contests, Arm Wrestling, and fantasy jousts. It also promises games of chance with dice and cards. And since this is 3rd edition, FEATS to gamble more successfully. But don't worry - nobody ever took them.

The MSRP on this book is $19.99 - I picked up a used copy for $6.99. Before I talk about the author(s), it's important to note the acknowledgement on page 2: Natural 20 Press and the writers of Tournaments, Fairs & Taverns would like to thank the EN World community for contributing much of the material in this book, and for being willing to give advice and critiques to make this as good a book as possible.. If you take that to mean that they gathered up a bunch of discussion posts and put it into a book, well, you're probably not wrong.

The credited authors are: Peter M Bali, Ryan Z Nock & Russell Morrissey (and a few fine folks from the ENWorld community). Aside from the art credits, they list credits for 14 'games' included in the book, as well as 'alternate rules' provided by others.

The book is broken down into an Introduction and 8 Chapters:

Chapter 1: Rules of the Game
Chapter 2: Classic Games
Chapter 3: Martial Tournaments
Chapter 4: Tavern Games
Chapter 5: Magical Competitions
Chapter 6: Festival Games
Chapter 7: Running Games and Festival Encounters
Chapter 8: A Tourney, Two Fairs, and a Tavern

I'll plan on hitting each chapter in order, but if you want me to skip ahead, let me know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 1: Rules of the Game

This is a collection of mechanics that are going to be used in other chapters. The first is optional 'Degrees of Success'.

Let's say you have two characters who are arm wrestling. You could have them both make a Strength check and decide who wins that way - but to make it DRAMATIC they presented an early version of skill challenges. Instead of a simple opposed roll, you set a required Advantage (20). If the first round you have a 15 and your opponent has a 10 in the opposed roll, you are at +5. If you roll again and you get a 10 and your opponent gets a 15, you're back at +0. You roll several checks until the cumulative advantage hits 20. This allows some 'back and forth' and generally helps ensure that 'better' characters win more often.

That's relatively straight forward for two opposed competitors. It offers a variation for 3 or more players. Instead of subtracting, you add the difference between the best roll and second best roll (ie, if there is a 15, 10, and 5 the player with a 15 adds +5 to his score). You continue rolling until one player is ahead of the second place player by the required Advantage (say, 20).

The next section of new rules includes drinking and drunkenness. Every drink gets an 'Alcohol Units' score (AU). This is a combination of the volume of the drink multiplied by the strength of the beverage. A shot of 'dwarven spirits' is 14 AU (1 x 14) while a mug of dwarven spirits is 56 (4 x 14). Sample drinks appear in the appendix.

Drunkenness is on a track. If you're a medium sized creature with no other special bonuses, your Alcohol Threshold is equal to your Constitution. If you have a 15, you could drink 1 shot of Dwarven Spirits and you'd suffer no ill effects. If you drink a second one, you'll have consumed 28 AU (exceeding your limit of 15). That puts you to 'tipsy'. If you exceed 30 AU you move to the next category. There are five levels of drunkenness beginning with tipsy and ending with plastered (well, technically unconscious is the last level). The more drunk you are, the more penalties you suffer. Each condition has its own special rules like 'take a partial action each round - if you want to take a full action you must succeed on a balance check; failure means you fall down, success means you can take a full action).

This also includes rules for drinking faster and recovering.

They provide a feat 'hard drinking' and then optional rules for being drunk making you more social (bonus instead of penalty on social skill checks), more brave (bonus instead of penalty on Will Saves against fear effects) and applying these rules to other drugs (or just other substances). If you want to have a pie-eating contest, you can have a 'pie threshold' and 'pie units'.

I should note that these rules for drunkenness do not include any die rolling - there are no Endurance checks to reduce the effect of alcohol. It is entirely deterministic.

It then has a section on gambling. "Guidelines for running a gambling house are beyond the scope of this book, which primarily is concerned with using games for the sake of adventure". The book suggests that 'knowledge (gaming and gambling)' be used with suggestions for how bluff, concentration, gather information, and pick pocket might help. I'm going to look at some of the games later, but in this chapter it really looks like you can win a game of pure chance (like Roulette) by being a smart guy who learns to gamble. You can also take a Feat to +4 to a type of game (like cards) or a second feat for a +6 bonus.

It then has rules for team sports. The idea here is that players should be taking nearly simultaneous actions, which combat doesn't do really well. They offer 'marking' which lets you pick someone and it's like you have a readied action, but you can choose it at any time (ie, you don't have to declare your readied action ahead of time). There's a short list of actions you can take. They make it all a lot more complicated than I did, because each option has different rules for how it times. Then it talks about moving a ball up and down a field.

It then describes tournament types (elimination/round robin/endurance) and how to determine entrant 'ratings'.

Finally it presents new spells that help make competition work in a magical world (by not letting magic get in the way). There's a casting time 10 minute spell that makes all magical spells in the area non-lethal (ie, you can cast a fireball in the tournament field and it won't kill anyone). They offer Greater Magic Circle which helps facilitate Pokemon style summoned combat and polymorphic aura which lets you change shape once each round for the duration (10 minutes/level).

Next up: Chapter 2: Classic Games.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 2: Classic Games

Sidebar: Layout of Games in the following Chapter
This is a how-to for reading the description of the game. It kinda blocks them out like a spell, but ultimately it doesn't save any space because each game is roughly a full page and you need to read all the text for it to make sense. In any case, they try to make the 'Target Number/Degrees of Success' easily found. This particular page is laid out atrociously. The 'sidebar' is in the middle of the page and just below it is a picture (also aligned in the middle) of the page so the two columns of text are squeezed making it unpleasant to read. BY and large they mostly were okay with the formatting. Most pages have text only and most of the artwork that is present is passable quality and arranged in a way that doesn't get in the way of the text - this page is noticeable for the exception. Moving on!

Arm Wrestling
This is an opposed roll using Degrees of Success (you beat your opponent by 20). You'd think it'd be as simple as rolling Strength checks until one person wins (with a fair amount of back and forth if they're evenly matched), but you'd be wrong. You can only arm wrestle for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier before you have to make checks to continue. If you fail a check, you automatically lose. It doesn't say what happens if you and your opponent both fail the Constitution check in the same round and it doesn't just give you a penalty to your Strength checks - it's just auto lose. Because this is 3.0, you have an off-hand that gets a -2 but Ambidexterity negates this penalty. If you play over fire or spikes or scorpions, you can get hurt if you lose. They don't mention scorpions, but I saw it in a movie once. If you're a wizard and you want to arm wrestle another wizard with a mage hand you make CL checks.

Card or Dice Games
The section presents general rules and then a few examples. 'The single mechanic that unifies all card and dice games is that they all rely on Knowledge (gaming and gambling) checks. It then describes actual games and instead of playing them you just make your Knowledge check (except Craps) which you just randomly determine a winner. In poker you roll a check but keep it secret. After you get tired of betting everyone reveals their check result. Since that could have been 10 minutes ago, there's a lot of potential for cheating. You don't even bluff (or gain a bonus from bluffing) - the single roll represents all the card deals and such. To play Solitaire you make a check 3 times. If you beat TN 40 you win, if you don't, you lose. Spades requires you to make 4 checks and the highest total Knowledge (Gaming) wins. If you like, you can make a natural 1 count as a zero, so someone with a +20 bonus versus someone with a +1 bonus might lose.

Drinking
They already presented the rules for this in Chapter 1, but they add that after you take a drink you need to make a TN 0 Dex check. If you have a penalty (from drinking) you might fail, but the check never gets any more difficult. They also offer an Optional Rule where a DC 20 Con check (not Endurance save) allows you to reduce the AU of a drink by 1.

Long Throw
This is throwing big rocks. If you can't lift the rock, you can't throw it. If it's a medium load you're at -3; heavy load you're at -6. Degrees of success determine a winner, but if you care how far it went a STR roll of 10 sends it to it's range increment with every 4 points sends it another range increment. It doesn't say what happens if you have a 20 and your competition has an 18. Both are 2 extra range increments. It lists things that can be thrown for this competition. You might want to require precision (so attack rolls).

Races
Not only does this cover races, this covers chases. You derive a bonus based on your running speed. If you run at 120 (4 x 30 ft) it's +2; if you have the run feat (5 x 30 ft) it's +5. Make a check that covers each 'increment'. This bonus is added to an attribute check depending on the type of race (Strength for running, climbing, swimming and jumping and rowing and you're apparently supposed to use fatigue rules). Maybe there are obstacles that require a check.

If you're chasing someone, the person starts with extra degrees of success based on the distance and you either close or fall further behind. Close enough and you catch up. If you do anything beyond just moving (like throwing a bola) you take a -10 on your chase check. As far as chases go, that's not bad.

Designing Races
They suggest breaking a race into 5-20 checks. They give an example of a race. Then they have an example of being chased by lava. You could use bulls if you like.

Strategy
So to play chess, you make a Knowledge (gaming and gambling) check, just like you would to play Poker. Turns out if you're a chess master, you're also great at games of chance. They offer a couple of sample games and at least one of them would be easier to roll for then play out.

I'll pick up Chapter 3: Martial Tournaments later, but I figured I'd provide a quick recap on the games so far. Basically the goal is to make a game abstract and make it a small series of opposed rolls (except drinking which is basically predetermined). If there wasn't already a value they could use, they suggest creating one or using a skill that they introduced to the game and covers EVERYTHING. Obviously you're playing D&D so you're going to have dice, and you are going to want to ensure that CHARACTERS that are good at the game do better than if you just had the PLAYERS play it, but especially for the card games, it seems like it'd be better to just play a hand. To represent more skilled players they can roll a die and get extra cards.

If you're making the best poker hand you can out of 7 cards (discard up to 3) versus someone with 5 cards (discard up to 3) I think you can actually use cards as props and distinguish Poker from throwing hand-axes or darts. If you didn't feel like finding a way to play it out, sure, use dice instead.


Last edited by deaddmwalking on Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:35 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JonSetanta
King


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 5081
Location: interbutts

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It took this long for someone to come up with decent drinking rules?
_________________
My fiction blog and novelette

FrankTrollman wrote:
Scaling feats were just a bad idea. I'm sorry I wrote them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4640
Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm surprised that the drinking rules are somewhat how how blood alcohol levels accumulate. I'm not surprised that the mechanics for intoxication don't correlate well with servings size however. I'd like to know more about how recovery from intoxication works though; is it anything close to the rough rule of "one hour to process one serving* of alcohol". Does being a male human dilute blood alcohol due to higher water-to-mass ratio? Does drinking a cup of water w/ every serving of alcohol also take the edge off of consumed alcohol?

*: (i.e. pint of beer, glass of wine, glass of mixed drink/1 ounce of spirits, 1/2 ounce of highly concentrated spirits)

The "advantage" mechanic reminds me an awful lot of a primitive version of the "Chase" mechanics that Frank came up with for After Sundown. Although in AS it's about establishing a sufficient lead, or closing the distance, not about reaching a specific total.

Not overly terrible; might have some good ideas in there.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Judging__Eagle on Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Recovery & Hangovers

You naturally clear 8 AU per hour. So if you drink a small glass (2) of wine (4) each hour, you'll never get drunk (adjusted based on size). No matter how drunk you are, you can clear all the AU with 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

If you reached the level of 'Drunk' (and the levels are Tipsy/Merry/Drunk/Hammered/Plastered/Unconscious) you automatically have a Hangover the following day. If you were drunk you had a -4 to Attack Rolls, skill checks, ability checks and Reflex saves. While you're hungover you apply that penalty to Initiative, checks that require Concentration. After two hours you drop a category (Merry) so you have a -2 for two more hours; then a -1 for two hours. After 6 hours you're fully recovered.

They also offer some 'folk remedies'.

There is nothing about magical healing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter Three: Martial Tournaments

All of these contests use combat rules.

Archery
This is an attack roll, but the better your roll the more points you get (closer to the bullseye). A 13+ is enough to split another arrow and score the maximum number of points, so with 3 shots you're likely to have a lot of ties with the maximum number of points, even with adjusting the range for each shot. Variants exist with different weapons, punching through targets and having to hit multiple targets in a short amount of time as possible.

Drinksmash
Drink a mug of beer, punch each other. Usually the beer takes you out before the damage. Variant - put a flat stone on your head and make a balance check after being hit (DC based on damage).

Dueling
This has a lot of background but it makes the point that a judge might miss who struck first. After a touch is scored, roll through 5 initiative counts (ie, Initiative 24 touches, allow any actions on Initiative count 23-19. If the opponent scores a touch on 19, the judge might not be able to tell who hit first. It's a spot with a bonus based on the number of initiative counts (ie, +5). Variant: fight in a circle; tie your hands together; line fencing; quickdraw duels; Orcish ritual brawling (grapple duel); Elven bladesong (sing while fighting) Red Herring (opposed Spellcraft checks for illusions to fight), Mountain Under a Gale (dwarven duel where you don't move giving you a -5 AC and make a Balance check to avoid being moved).

Field List
Put everyone in a big fight and see who comes out alive.

Jousting
Normal combat, but unhorsing someone is much easier. Instead of a DC 5 Ride check to stay in the saddle, it is 5 + damage dealt (but only when jousting). It also includes other things you might do while jousting such as capturing rings; throwing javelins; windmill tilt (the more damage you deal the more it spins and the more points you get); race; obstacle course.
Variations: maybe fight on a bridge and horses can fall off; if you are aiming for a shield damage is subdual.

The Tree Game
An archery game that started by using arrows to shoot down arrows that were stuck in a tree. Targets have a base DC with a miss chance and higher AC the higher in the tree they are as the result of intervening branches. If you hit, you knock a target from the tree.
Variant: You can score points by getting your arrows stuck in the tree and removing your opponent's arrows. Apparently this is inspired by a Native American game.

This chapter has a sidebar about specialty drinks. It seems out of place.

House Wine (Str 3, small glass 2, 6 AU)
Ginglebarney Walnut Stout (Str 4, mug 4, 16 AU)
Faerie Dark (Str 5, small glass 2, 10 AU)
Elven Wine (Str 6, small glass 2, 12 AU)
Gelifein Pale (Str 6, small glass 2, 12 AU)
Serpent's Tongue (Str 7, small glass 2, 14 AU)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 4: Tavern Games

Drunken Daggers
Someone piles up money until two people agree to risk killing each other for what's on the table. They take a shot and throw a dagger at a target BEHIND their opponent. If they hit their opponent or miss the target, they lose (but they might accidentally kill the winner). The base AC is 4 (it may be several range increments away) and gets a cover bonus for the opponent (+7). Note: sometimes this game is used to 'accidentally' kill someone on purpose.
Variant: Blindfold the competitors.

Edit
The Everyman's Fireball
You spit alcohol through a torch or candle onto a target to burn it. If you fail a DC 0 Reflex save (possible if you're drunk) you catch on fire. Any alcohol does 1d6 damage, but the damage is capped by the Strength (ie, if you roll 6 with a STR 4 alcohol, treat it as 4 damage).
/Edit

Gin and Rabbits
This is a card game about getting the right hand (2 shots of gin and 3 rabbits). If you get a shot of gin, you must drink it. When you get a rabbit, you must tell it and if anyone asks to kiss you in the next minute you have to say yes or you lose your card. You make a Knowledge (gaming) check DC 10. If you succeed you can gain a rabbit or a glass of gin, or make another player lose one (or give them a -5 on their next check). For every 10 you beat the DC, you get to do it gain (ie, if you get a 30 you can gain 3 rabbits).

Stageless Play
This is a little bit like an RPG. The 'Playwright' controls everything except the 'Players'. They try to make a fun story. Each round the playwright makes a Perform check. Players can assist

Trollbridge
Three tables, in line, with five players. The one in the middle (troll) gets a club (like a sack of potatoes) and the other four try to cross. Each time they cross they score a point - if they're knocked off they're out for the round. Play continues until the players are all knocked off or until they score 24 points. Mechanics: Jump check DC 10 to keep your feet when moving between tables. If you are hit you make a Balance check (10 + damage dealt). Fail and fall down; fail by 5 and get knocked off the table. You can trip or bullrush.

Young Wits
This is epic rap battles. It's a Degree of Success Game (beat your opponent by 30 points). Use Perform and Diplomacy. If you're doing this before a duel, the loser has a -1 morale penalty to attack rolls during the ensuing fight.


Last edited by deaddmwalking on Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:41 pm; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 5: Magical Competitions

In this chapter in addition to the games, it includes some stat blocks for sample players. Since characters with spells are harder than 'random drunk', that's probably a good thing.

Baal'Meral'Ruun
Apparently Draconic for ball-magic-run'. This is a little like Qiddich without broomsticks. And apparently that's not just my impression. The 'variant' says: "not wanting to get sued, we did not present the rules for the version which involves four balls flying around, and has contestants flying around on broomsticks." There are three goals on each end of the field and each team has defined positions. Attack Caster (can cast spells on the other team or their goals), Heal Caster (cast spells on their own team and their own goal), Mute Runners [x2] who can make physical contact with other players and a ball-giver (who can cast spells on his own goal). Players can switch roles during the game. The team game allows substitutions between halves so players can cast all their spells in their half. The sidelined teammates can also cast spells on their companions during a time out (each time has one per half). There are a lot of rules about how the game is played. Mechanically, everyone rolls initiative and the person who wins gets the ball. Then everyone takes their turn in order. There's a follow-up description telling the GM how to run the game. A lot of it involves suggestions for how to put such a big field on a battle-map. Other suggestions talk about how running a 100 round game might get boring. They have novice/typical/skilled/and master. The master is a Wizard 10, but due to copy/paste issues a bunch of the Level 6 information is repeated (ie, CR 6, HD 6d4. Since the hit point totals are different, maybe they got everything that matters right, but I'm not sure.

After presenting 'generic' characters above, it has another section with a specific team: The Laughing Stones. This is five NPCs (representing a team) and there's probably enough here for a GM to work with to characterize them.

Conjuration Combat
Instead of casting spells on each other, prove you're the better wizard by summoning something to fight for you. Sometimes they can buff their summons. Variant: One wizard summons a creature and the other wizard tries to kill it. The summoner can buff his summon, but neither wizard can target each other.

The Game of Forms
Use some type of transformation magic (or illusion) to change form. Your opponent then changes into a form that can defeat it. Then you transform into something that defeats that (or avoids it).
Variant: One person tries to make himself repulsive and the other explains why he loves him/her more. If you don't know what to say make a Poetry check.

Next up: Chapter 6: Festival Games
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 4640
Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
Elven bladesong (sing while fighting)


Damn, that reminds me of one of the most annoying, yet powerful, magic items I've ever got to use in a larp.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Conjuration Combat

I believe that there's a similar idea for "Wizard Duels" presented in an issue of Dragon magazine. Except that both wizards can summon a creature every round, the creatures can't move more than 5 feet per round, and the one whose creatures are left standing at the end are the winner; or something along those lines.

A lot of the other ideas really do look like "something someone on a forum thought could be a D&D party game"; instead of looking at historical dark ages party games.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Last edited by Judging__Eagle on Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:25 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:


Conjuration Combat

I believe that there's a similar idea for "Wizard Duels" presented in an issue of Dragon magazine. Except that both wizards can summon a creature every round, the creatures can't move more than 5 feet per round, and the one whose creatures are left standing at the end are the winner; or something along those lines.


On the one hand, it sure would be cool if wizards could do things like that, but on the other, if they could, why wouldn't they do it in combat? And if you like the idea of mid-level wizards doing these kinds of duels, then the magic has to be very accessible. This makes the point that wizards below third level are not encouraged to fight with summoned monsters because of the short duration (1 round/level). This is definitely one of those situations where the fluff you want isn't easily supported by the mechanics you need.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 6: Festival Games

I get the sense that this is the chapter for games that didn't clearly fit into any other category

A Dragon's Gold
So a bunch of people costume themselves as a dragon (as you've seen in Chinese New Year festivals) and they guard a 'hoard' of baubles strewn over bales of hay. Groups of up to 8 people run in simultaneously while the operators use their bite/claws/tail to try to hit people. People that are struck are out - if you avoid getting hit you can grab a bauble and make off with it.

Board Tumbling Game
You lay a board down flat and put some coins on it. Then you throw stones and try to knock the board over, spilling the coins. This is similar to milk can tosses at carnivals. To represent the difficulty of knocking the board over (relative to just hitting it) throws are at -2. I think that's a little light, but maybe these carnies aren't like those in real life. This is noted as having been derived from a real-world game common in Spain.

Catch the Greased Pig
There are two versions, one where you catch and pin the pig and one where you have to physically move the resisting pig to it's pen. The description makes it clear that this should be impossible because it has never been successfully done before. Pigs are greased, giving them a +10 bonus to resist grapple checks and to escape artist (but provides no bonus if they decide to pin you). Because of the mud, you also have to succeed on a balance check. If you fail your grapple check, the balance check gets harder. It does offer the ability to move the pig with a successful grapple check, even if you are prone. If you put the pig in the pen you have to succeed on an opposed Initiative check to get out and close the gate; if you fail you have to make Strength checks to push the gate closed and latch it. There is a chart for average pig weights so you can determine if you are capable of carrying one. Dire boars can weigh up to 3,000 lbs.

Crazy Ernie's Bear Wrasslin' For Crazy Folk
Crazy Ernie is a fun NPC. I think I've used him in a game before. He had to train his bears to wrestle, and he isn't quite right as a result. Ernie has four bears; a young black bear named Sonny; an average black bear named Boozer; a 'big' black bear that's still just Medium sized but advanced to 5 HD; and Grinder, a brown bear advanced to 10 HD. Stat blocks for the bears are provided. If a druid or other shapeshifter takes bear form, Ernie will offer you 1gp to wrestle against him.

Elemental Ladder
So there's a ladder stuck in the ground so you can climb to the top but not go anywhere. The ladder can be activated to chill metal and heat metal. You try to climb to the top. If you take damage, you make a new climb check. Since the DC to climb a ladder is ridiculously easy, add half the damage to the climb check. As long as you're willing to take damage, the game isn't hard to win. Variant: Halflings like to coat their hands in oil before climbing, which gives them a penalty on the climb checks and increases the damage they take.

Squashgoblin
This is apparently a dwarven variant of whack-a-mole involving two teams of dwarves rolling boulders through a tunnel with effigies of goblins. The game is a form of defense practice. Although the stones are too heavy to push normally, the playing field and the stones themselves are designed to make it possible. A stone at rest will stay at rest. A stone in motion will stop unless someone keeps it moving. The team of Dwarves can take a move action to start it moving, accelerate it, keep it moving at the same pace, or slow it down. A stone never moves faster than the people pushing it. Usually turning is only possible if you stop the stone first. The tunnels are wider than the stone, so if you angle it properly, you can use the rebound from hitting a wall to move it without stopping. If the stone runs over a person, they take 20d6 points of damage (easily enough to kill a goblin effigy). Variant: Maybe Duergar use real goblins.

Tower of Castilo
Apparently played to commemorate a wizard fighting an army of gnolls to his death (but he took out enough of them to keep them from invading the surrounding lands) someone stands on a keg (called the tower). Twenty to thirty opponents hurl balls or beanbags at the tower. The sorcerer can block or catch the thrown projectiles. If he hits a gnoll, they're out. The sorcerer can stand next to the tower. If the tower takes enough damage, it starts to teeter. Mechanics, it works if you exclude Str bonus to thrown weapons (probably the intent). The gnolls start with 2 balls each, the sorcerer with five. Each time a ball is thrown there is a 25% chance it ends up outside of the play area and it cannot be retrieved. The sorcerer can throw anything he can get his hands on, including his own clothing. Variants: Maybe the story about the sorcerer and the gnolls is bullshit and it's really about stoning a woman to death who was later declared a saint. What's wrong with you, having fun like that.

Tripstep's Ladder
So this is only a 15' ladder and some number of rungs are bad. If you step on one, all the rungs disappear and you fall. If you guess correctly (avoid the bad rungs) you can get up high enough to grab a prize from a greased pole. Zero of the first two rungs are bad; one of the next three is bad; two of the next four are bad; and three of the last five are bad. The more runs you skip the harder the climb check is. You could avoid the rungs completely with a DC 25 climb check, but that's probably cheating. Variant: if you know what rungs are bad you can put this in your hideout and watch people fall to their deaths (or at least reveal people who don't belong).

Sidebar
More drinks. Why aren't they all in one place? I don't know. Maybe they just didn't like a whole column of white space at the end of chapters. That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

Goblin Ichor Wine (Str 8, small glass 2, 16 AU)
Dwarven Peat Beer (Str 9, small glass 2, 18 AU)
Ursahk's Dark Wine (Str 10, wineskin 4, 40 AU)
Whiskey (Str 12, shot glass 1, 12 AU)
Dwarf Spirits (Str 14, mug 4, 56 AU)
Pitcher of Dwarf Spirits (Str 14, pitcher 32, 448 AU)

Next up: Chapter 7: Running Games & Festive Encounters
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 7: Running Games & Festive Encounters

This is a Mister Cavern chapter about creating the titular Tournaments, Fairs and/or Taverns and how to use them in an adventure. This section is six pages with one half-page of artwork (depicting a party finding a help wanted sign on a tavern post probably), so it's dense. There are no stat blocks or sidebars about new drinks.

It starts by laying out reasons why you'd want to use these and they include:
1) Place to relax
2) Backdrop to display culture or politics
3) Intrigue and plot hooks - maybe even a full setting

It also recognizes that making these interesting involves choices and/or skills that the GM may not have.

"Running Games & Festive Encounters wrote:

As an example, if an adventure revolves around an assassin trying [to] kill a noble at a tournament, not only do you need to know the details of the assassin's plan and the statistics for both the characters in question, but you'll need to know what the tournament grounds look like, what other nobles and knights will be attending, what precautions the host of the tourney has taken, when the events are on, where the assassin and noble will be during much of the tournament, and what the PCs might be doing while all this is happening


I can buy that this is something that you might want to do in a game. I'm leery about having dozens or hundreds of NPCs - it can become a real GM wank fest, but done right, this could be a good thing. So, does the book help you run it right? We'll find out! After laying out the need, they punt to better explain the role of each of the three locations, starting with Taverns. Clearly they didn't follow the title pattern or alphabetical, but taverns are probably the most familiar so it seems like a reasonable choice.

Taverns
Taverns are featured in lots of fiction and are often memorable locations. Since most taverns are fixed to a single spot, it is frequently a recurring location in a campaign. PCs may have established 'roots' in the campaign world through a tavern. Since you may visit the same tavern again and again, you can expand it over time, so there's more payoff for MC's work.

Fairs
There are traveling fairs where a group of merchants moves from town to town or the more common annual monthly or annual gathering in a particular place. Without throwing out any rules to supersede what's in the DMG, the book suggests that during a fair you can buy and sell more than a town's normal GP value. Since it involves people from all over, you can introduce things like new player races.

Tournament
Unless there's a professional joust circuit, they suggest that most tournaments are held by nobles for their own amusement and they may prohibit participation by commoners. One reason to choose a tournament is that it uses combat rules, which are relatively robust and most players have an interest in it. You can also introduce a villain (and establish a grudge) in a non-lethal way. The book also points out that tournaments can be as different as you like - there's no reason a tournament can't involve samurai using martial and poetic skill, or a group of tribes could have a wrasslin' contest to decide who gets to be chief for the year.

Creating a Tavern, Fair or Tournament
Now that we know why we want one, this lays out an outline for how to get started. It suggests beginning with a 'hook'. Later in the chapter it offers three Sample Locations and here it explains what makes them 'special'. The Market of Shadows is overrun by magic and alien creatures; the House of the Badger is a huge sprawling casino instead of a typical tavern, and the Black Eagle Pennant is a nobles' sporting competition that has been opened to commoners, drawing a larger than normal crowd. If you don't have an idea for a hook, move on to the next step and maybe something will develop that you can refine.

Following a hook, make general notes. There's a list of short who/what/where questions. Since the PCs aren't going to want to listen to a recitation of War and Peace, it's okay to hit the highlights. Four or five paragraphs is more than sufficient.

Descriptive Notes: Compared to a dungeon which features similar architecture and dressings, festivals have no walls and can change radically in just a few steps. There's too much detail to fully detail everything. Having a handy reference list of common sights is useful - if the PCs bite you can expand it later.

Sites of Interest and the Guide NPC: be prepared with at least one market stall of interest to adventurers, one show or performer and one site of interest related to an event. These are the 'set piece' encounters. If you're having trouble with the descriptions, giving them a reason to hit one of these will get you back in your comfort zone. To help with this you can create a guide. The book specifically advises to keep them low-level and avoid becoming big-dick extension NPCs. So that's nice.

Encounters: Compared to dungeons, these places allow a more proactive approach. PCs can largely choose what they do, when they do it, and in what order. If things bog down you can present chance meetings with NPCs or an event with consequences if the PCs choose not to act. This forces PCs to react and can help with pacing.

Advice: Each of these come with one or two paragraphs of detail, but it includes:
1) You can't control everything
2) PCs will expect access to goods and services
3) Remember you know more than the players (ie, don't expect them to read your mind).

Next up, the final chapter: A Tournament, Two Fairs and a Tavern (Sample Places).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RobbyPants
Prince


Joined: 06 Aug 2008
Posts: 4589

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:

Advice: Each of these come with one or two paragraphs of detail, but it includes:
1) You can't control everything
2) PCs will expect access to goods and services
3) Remember you know more than the players (ie, don't expect them to read your mind).

Stealth edit to DMG!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1727

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm going to take take the final chapter in pieces. First off, it provides four places and things that you can do there pulled from the book, but it also recognizes that these are best when combined with an existing adventure.

Quote:
Any one of the locations below could serve as a somewhat safe adventure by itself, but game masters are encouraged to add their own adventures and plots, using these locations as backdrops. While it may be entertaining to visit the Hose of the Badger and compete in a world championship poker tournament, most players will be far more entertained if they have a heroic reason to be there. Perhaps they pursue a lich medusa to the gambling house, and they find clues that she is trying to unlock a secret chamber of treasure under the Squashgoblin arena. Trying to stop her minions' attempts to cause a distraction during the poker game will likely prove far more interesting than just rolling dice to see how well their own luck holds."


So you're getting a place where things CAN happen, but you have to decide what WILL happen. So this involves a certain amount of work.

The Black Eagle Pennant
This is a tournament, and uses the 'anyone can enter, not just nobility' as a hook. It takes place over four days, with each day featuring a particular event. In addition, the conclusion of the tourney will include a ball with the nobility invited along with winners and notables from the competitions (ie, an opportunity for PCs to attend). After a call back to the relevant rules it presents the tourney by day.

The first day includes wrestling and archery. The wrestling group includes a description of the competitors as well as the ultimate winner if the PCs don't participate. The description is limited to a one line: 'a lithe, brown-skinned monk named Tengian (monk 9)'. It also includes a description of prizes. The archery contest includes a much richer pride, but the guards in this region focus on crossbows, meaning there are fewer people who believe they have a chance. There are also three skilled Elven rangers - one of whom will win unless a PC steps up to defeat them.

The second day is a field list and many of the knights and most skilled warriors are not participating to focus on the much richer purse offered for the joust. The competition is pretty average - even low-level PCs will have a chance to win.

The final day is devoted to the joust. Of fourteen competitors, eight are noble knights, the rest are adventurers and mercenaries. The average challenge is double the field list.

After the events, the chapter details a number of locations. The lists is the place the events take place; the noble's stands overlook it and is the best place to find the nobles during events. One of the taverns in town has a beer tent which includes an axe throwing competition on the last day of the tournament. It doesn't include specific ratings for the competitors, but if I looked back in chapter one I'd probably find guidelines for it. There's a mercenary village - the inns in town are all full so a bunch of drunkards are camping out here. It's a rough and tumble place. There's a circus (probably a little like Cirque du Soleil - acrobatic magicians). They can also set up games of elemental ladders of quick step. There's a bunch of blacksmiths where you can buy armor and weapons (or get them repaired). There's a menagerie that appears to have been pulled right of The Last Unicorn. "It is run by Turg Tinwhistle, a Gnomish animal trainer and illusionist who uses his magic to create creatures that never truly existed in nature." His only dangerous animal is a displacer beast that could cause trouble if it gets out.

Following these places there is a description of notable a potential guide.
Baron Lenarky is a noble who enjoys a friendly rivalry with the Duke. He may take an interest in the PCs and may bet on them. If he bets on them, he'll have an incentive to ensure they are aware of what's going on, including sharing tactics of some of their opponents.

Next up are some encounter seeds. A racist member of the Duke's guard starts trouble with a half-orc mercenary. If the PCs don't intercede, after the fight is broken up the half-orc will be punished. While one of the circus performers is working the crowd, a pickpocket takes the opportunity to do the same. It might look like they're in cahoots, but they're not. The PCs might notice and get involved. The point of the tournament is to honor the Duke's youngest son and they might run into him as he is about to get into a brawl. Outnumbered, he'll get beaten without help and it might make the tournament a much less celebratory experience. A dire badger escapes from the menagerie (made up to look much scarier). There's also the herald (announcer) that might snap at the PCs for making his job harder and he has an interesting backstory they might care about. One of the nobles has placed a large wager and hires some mercenaries to 'thin out' the competition before the event. Maybe they're coming after the PCs.

Next up, Market of Shadows.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
virgil
King


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 6061

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On the one hand, I like this system's deterministic and multi-stage treatment of intoxication. But on the other hand, I think the intoxication conditions are too wordy - and arguably too extreme at the upper end (-16!).

Alternate systems out there
  • Pathfinder: You can drink [2+double Con modifier] drinks without a problem. You are sickened if you have drunk more than that. Your accumulated drink total goes down by 1 per hour. Before you think that's it, extreme drinks do ability damage, such as dwarven fire ale or absinthe.
  • 5E Pubcrawl Homebrew: You have (Con score * 10) sobriety points, drinks do various amounts of damage to your sobriety points, frequently with cartoonish side-effects for a light-hearted experience
    _________________
    Come see Sprockets & Serials
    How do you confuse a barbarian?
    Put a greatsword a maul and a greataxe in a room and ask them to take their pick
    Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


    Last edited by virgil on Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
  • Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    RobbyPants
    Prince


    Joined: 06 Aug 2008
    Posts: 4589

    PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I saw one system in an early 3E book where each drink would deal something like 1d3 Dex and Wis damage. I think you only took this damage if you had more than one drink per hour. The DC was based on the potency of the drink, and the damage recovered a point per hour rather than day. If you dropped down to 0, you passed out, and I think could somehow take Con damage based on something something, representing alcohol poisoning. It was possible to die, but I think that involved many failed Fort saves.

    Bonus points for fitting into existing mechanics with very little new stuff tacked on. Points lost for dealing with all the fiddliness of ability damage, on an even more fiddly level then most poisons or diseases will work.

    Weird side effects include clerics and druids getting worse at casting, but not arcane casters, and people getting scared more easily (unless there was a weird fear exemption on Will saves? I don't remember).


    Last edited by RobbyPants on Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    deaddmwalking
    Duke


    Joined: 21 May 2012
    Posts: 1727

    PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The Market of Shadows

    This isn't clear if it is on another plane or somewhere in the world, but it is a nexus of travel. This is one of the places where beings from any number of places can rub elbows. Effectively, there is no limit to how creative they could be in providing color. Highlights include an awakened bear selling magical items on behalf of a trio of dryads; a gnoll mercenary that opens an ale tent during the market to sell off the various liquors he has captured over the year, and a Pit Fiend that will hire PCs as mercenaries for good wages. Several stalls are listed as selling equipment at above market price, which seems silly. Not every stall or event is easily interacted with. For instance, there is a chorus that includes a quintet of elves, a pair of harpies, a silver dragon, a half-fiend and a few other oddities. You can listen to a concert for 5gp, but what else? Other than describing the singing as unearthly and beautiful, there nothing provided to build anything upon it. There are several reasons that the PCs might want to go to the market other than buying equipment. The market (held annually) has a tradition of a scholar answering questions. While the original scholar is dead, a bunch of learned men gather at the tree that marks one end of the market and answer questions.

    The market is protected by BS outsiders that nobody knows where they come from and never meaningfully interact with anyone. They just throw people out of the market if they get violent. You could probably kill them, but they will spawn ceaselessly, so it'll get boring eventually.

    The House of the Badger
    It looks like a fest-hall but is actually a bustling casino. It's run by a dwarf, which is an excuse to put a squash-goblin court in the basement. With a high-stakes tournament every full-moon, there could be a reason to travel here if PCs want the opportunity to make some money without killing anybody. The entry makes a point several times that thieves are uncommon (and likely to get caught). Only the 'platinum tables' include magical wards, where the highest stakes games are held. There are several games that PCs might find fun or interesting, and reasons why they would be offered the chance to play are included.

    The Festival of the Dawn-Blessed
    This is a little like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano if the swallows were magical birds that had an association with the sun - making them glow at night. Oh, and the festivities are led by a local idiot who is treated like the ruler for the three days. All of the temporary ruler's edicts are burned after three days, never to be remembered. That's spread, 'what happens at the Festival of the Dawn-Blessed stays at the Festival of the Dawn-Blessed'.

    Random Stalls
    This is a roll twice table, once for quality and the other for product type. Stall types include fruit & vegetable/dairy & baked goods/meat/Prepared Food and Drink/Leather or cloth goods/Metal Goods/Weapons or Armor/Specialty Store/Magic supplies or items.

    Following there is a description of six performers you could slot in in a pinch. Lastly there are 20 tavern meals. If you don't know if you want to serve veal with mushroom sauce or sole in red wine sauce you can roll here and you're god to go.

    Final Thoughts
    Ultimately, the book does what it says it is going to do. It gives you things to think about when you want to include these types of events/places and enough rules to get you started. Actually making them WORK in the game is still a lot of work. If the GM were going to put the work in, they probably don't NEED these suggestions, but there's enough here that it isn't a complete waste of time. Even snagging an encounter or two from here might be memorable, even if you have to actually develop the stats.


    Last edited by deaddmwalking on Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Display posts from previous:   
    Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion... All times are GMT
    Page 1 of 1

     
    Jump to:  
    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group