Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dino Riot! (v 1.1)

(Updated 5 March 2015)
A fully cooperative Sentinels: Tactics scenario for 3 to 5 players.
Requires Sentinels: Tactics - The Flame of Freedom and Sentinels: Tactics - Uprising.
CRASH!! CRACK!! KA-CHOOOOMM!  A sudden explosion rocks all of Megalopolis with a massive earthquake causing an entire section of the city to fall into the chasm. Where those city blocks stood is now a mountain ridge. Before anyone has time to react, ancient dinosaurs start pouring over the ridge. As if that wasn't enough, gangsters and thugs have taken the opportunity to riot within the city, taking anything they can and attacking anyone who gets too close. The citizens of Megalopolis are trying to find refuge within Freedom Tower or the hospital. But will they be able to survive the perilous journey across the broken city?

COMPONENTS
Typical gameplay components as well as:

8x Environment tiles (Megalopois / Insula Primilis)
10?(all) Human tokens (Civilian / Thug)
4x Velociraptor tokens
1x Tyrannosaurus Rex token
2x Scenario Markers

SET UP
Tiles 3 and 6 are Insula Primilis
Remaining tiles are Megalopolis

Get all of the human tokens (Civilian/Thug). Create a pile using all of the human tokens, alternating between Thug and Civilian, starting with Thug there should never be more Civilians in the pile than there are Thugs.

The Elevation 2 and Elevation 3 mountain hexes of Tiles 2 and 8 can never be hazard spaces from Hero abilities (Blazing Tornado, Turret Bot, etc). This includes the entire ridge of those tiles.

Hex Grid Diagram
Several mechanics in this scenario require being able to designate a specific hex on a tile. Spawning humans requires this. These rules will use a method like 4:3:4 to show which hex. The first number shows which tile is being referred to. The second number (Blue text) shows which column on the tile to use. The last number (Red text) shows how far down the column to go, coming back if need be.



Place Extraction Points
Place a marker on (8:4:4) and (2:4:2). These are the points the Civilians are attempting to get towards.

Placing Heroes
Heroes start on Tile 8, in the 2 rows on the lower right, from (8:3:4) to (8:6:3)

Spawning Dinosaurs
The Dinosaurs start on the Tiles 3 and 6.  The Velociraptors spawn on any of the Elevation 3 spots on those tiles.  That's (3:5:1)(6:3:1)(6:4:1)(6:4:2), and (6:5:1) .  The T-Rex starts spanning Tile 3 and Tile 6. Going on hexes (3:5:4) and (6:2:2).
Dinosaurs spawned do get to take a turn on the turn they are spawned.

Spawning Humans
Create a pile using all of the remaining human tokens, alternating between Thug and Civilian, starting with Thug (there should never be more Civilians being placed than Thugs). Take the top token, as it is, and use the following to determine its placement.

Roll 3 dice: 1 White, 1 Blue and 1 Red.

White die determines which tile the human appears:  1 > Tile 5
  2 > Tile 7
  3 > Tile 1
  4 > Tile 2
  5 > Tile 4
  6 > Tile 8

Blue determines which column the human appears on. Orienting the tile with the tile number at the top, count across the top row of hexes, starting with 2. 4 is the peak of the tile, with the tile number. 2 and 5 are the other corners and 3 and 5 are the spots between. Reroll a 1.

Red determines how far down in that column to place the human. Counting the first hex as 1, count down and and back, if needed. If that spot is occupied, place the human is the last available space that was counting during the Red roll. If need be, reroll Blue. If need be, reroll White as well.

If any Civilians would be placed on Tiles 2 or 8, flip the token to be a Thug instead.

Humans do not get a turn the turn they are spawned.

Gameplay
Phase Order: Respawn Dinosaurs, T-Rex, Velociraptors, Heroes, Thugs, Civilians, Respawn Humans

Respawn Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs respawn at the start of the round and each dinosaur killed will respawn.  There should always be 4 Raptors and 1 T-Rex on the board at the end of the Respawn Dinosaurs phase.

T-Rex
The T-Rex will attempt to move towards the target with the highest Health, even if there is a closer target.  However, if the T-Rex moves over or adjacent to a non-environment target at any point during its movement, the T-Rex attacks that target.  The T-Rex will only attack each target once per movement.  If a T-Rex approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent non-dinosaur targets at the end of its movement.

Velociraptors
Velociraptors which are not hunting will move towards the closest non-environment target they can see.
As soon a Hero damages a Raptor, that player takes the Raptor scenario card in front of them.  The Raptors are now hunting that player. Each turn all Raptors will move up to their Move Value as to get as close to that player as possible, moving past other targets to get closer to their pray.  If another player hurts any Raptor, that player takes the Raptor card and becomes the Raptor's pray. If the Raptor's pray becomes incapacitated, the Raptor card is returned to aside the board and the Raptors are not hunting any target.

Thugs can not become hunted by Raptors, but Raptors will still attack Thugs. Velociraptors will not attack the T-Rex nor other Velociraptors .

Any Raptor within range 2 of any other Raptor is in a pack with that Raptor and all Raptors within range 2 of that Raptor.  So two Raptors could be 4 hexes from each other and still in a pack with each other if there is another Raptor within range 2 of both of them.

Raptors not in a pack move first.  If Raptors can not see any non-environment targets and are not in a pack, they will move towards each other into a pack. 
If Raptors can not see any non-environment target and are in a pack with at least 1 other Raptor, all Raptors in the pack (even if one member has already moved this turn) will Sprint towards the closest scenario marker, even if they can't see it.  

Raptors generate hazard spaces, which work as normal for Sentinels: Tactics.  However, Raptors also trigger their hazard space attack if another target enters the Raptor's range as a result of the Raptor's movement.  So a Raptor will attack a target it approaches or a target it passes during its movement. If a Raptor approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent targets at the end of its movement.

If a Raptor kills any target, that Raptor and all Raptors within the same pack, if any, get another turn.

In any case without specific ruling, the players get to choose in which order the Velociraptors take their turns.

Heroes
The Heroes get to take their turns during this phase.

If the Heroes kill the T-Rex, each Hero gets to take either an Attack +1 or a Defense +1 token.

If a Hero is incapacitated, they move back to Freedom Tower and their movement roll becomes “Roll 2, take the lower” for their next turn.

Thugs
On their turn, Thugs will attempt to move towards the target with the lowest Health, even if there is a closer target. They will not avoid any hazard spaces. Thugs will attack any non-Thug target. 

If a Thug can not see any target, they will remain in their spot.

Thugs stop moving as soon as they can attack a target and will not move away if there is already a target within reach at the start of their turn.

Like Raptors, Thugs generate hazard spaces. However Thugs do not trigger their hazard space attack if they move past a target.  They only use their attack at the end of their own movement and when a hazard attack would normally trigger. If a Thug approaches a group of targets, it will attack all adjacent targets at the end of its movement.

If the Thugs kill the T-Rex or a Hero, after the current turn, Spawn all available human tokens as Thugs then the Thugs all get an additional turn.

The players get to choose in which order the Thugs take their turns.

Civilians
Civilians will move towards the closer extraction marker, regardless of line of sight. They will move in such a way that they are numerically the closest they can get to that marker, taking the path of least resistance. In case of ties, the players get to choose. They will not avoid any hazard spaces.

Heroes can use an action to move an adjacent Civilian up to that Civilian’s Move Value in any way that Hero chooses.

Civilians can not enter an extraction point if it is occupied by a Villain token. Civilians can enter an extraction point if occupied by a Hero or Civilian.

Respawn Human
Humans respawn at the end of the round and each human token removed from the board for any reason will respawn.  There should always be every human token on the board at the end of the Respawn Humans phase.

Scoring
Every time a Civilian is killed, the Villain team gets a point.  Remove the Civilian from the board and place it in the pile to be repawned at the end of the round.

Every time a Civilian ends its turn on an extraction marker, after resolving any attacks made on it and surviving, the Hero team gets a point.  Remove the Civilian from the board and place it in the pile to be repawned at the end of the round.

Play continues to the first team to reach 12 points.

For Added Challenge
Add one or more of these small changes to ramp up the difficulty if you are finding this scenario too easy.  The following rules are roughly ordered least game changing to most.

- T-rex increases hex elevation (like Omnitron-V does)
- When a Hero becomes incapacitated, all Civilians on the board flip to Thugs.
- T-rex's Move Value increases to 5.
- Thugs have 2 Health.
- A Thug that kills any target gets +1 Attack and +1 Defense permanently and cumulatively.
- The Villains only need 8 points to win.
- Raptors gain Mobility and 4 Move Value.
- Civilians can not enter a scenario marker if there is a Hero or another Civilian on that marker.
- Remove the scenario marker from the hospital.

Designer Notes
Until there is enough playtesting to find a good balance for scaling the scenario based on number of Heroes, having more Heroes only makes the scenario easier.

I had success with using 20 sided dice to keep score.  Placing one such die on the Thug scenario card to track the Villain score and another die on the Civilian scenario card to track Hero score.

Suggested Tactics
The Heroes need to divide their attention between keeping the dinosaurs contained, killing thugs and helping move civilians along. If the dinosaurs get into the city, they can cause massive casualties. Keeping them within their area is extremely important.  At worst, keep a hero hunted by the Raptors to keep them away from the Civilians.

Thugs and Civilians can appear anywhere, so it’s important the Heroes spread out to maintain a presence everywhere. Because Thugs go before the Civilians, it is important the Heroes do their best to be the closest targets for the Thugs.

Because of the elevation of Freedom Tower and that Civilians only have 3 move value, they can not enter Freedom Tower from the top and they must walk all the way around from the base of the tower, which causes a bottle necking. Heroes should consider using their actions to help move the Civilians along. Also, when using this action, the Hero gets to choose how the Civilian moves, the Hero can move the Civilian closer to the Hospital, which is easier to enter and can help maintain a better flow towards their safety.

A Thug which appears near an extraction point needs to be dealt with immediately. Civilians will continue running to their death at the hands of the Thug until he is killed.

Change Log (v 1.1)
- Modified villain movement to give each a unique 'flavor'.
- Added Component section
- Added For Additional Challenge section
- Fixed formatting and sectioning of the rules
- Clarified some rules

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Drunkards of Catan

Settlers of Catan Drinking Game

I wanted a drinking game for Catan that was more than just "drink when you build a road!".
Something a little more involved and integrated while staying simple.  Too many things to remember bog down the drinking!

Enjoy!
Created in image form for easy printing and sharing!

General

  • Build 1 Barrel of Alcohol with 1 Wheat & 1 Wood.
  • Use catan chits or coins to represent each barrel of alcohol.
  • Alcohol can be traded like any other resource.
  • Every 2 barrels of alcohol is 1 VP.

Drinking

  • At any time, any player may spend an alcohol token (return the token to the bank and take a drink) to take a resource card from the bank.
  • At any time, players may gift barrels of alcohol to other players, giving them an alcohol token and forcing them to drink.

Festivals

  • On a production roll showing doubles, all players have a festival and drink half of their alcohol.  All players return half (rounded up) of their alcohol tokens to the bank, taking a drink for each one returned.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Munchkin RPG (v 0.1)

Rules Variant from Munchkin

In the world of Munchkin RPG, you play the role of a haphazard adventurer who doesn't know much about much.  Somehow you got hired by the king to empty out a nearby dungeon of the great evil that lies within.  Your reward?  As much treasure as you can carry out of the dungeon and equal its weight from the royal treasure room.  Maybe also the princess if you're lucky.  Or a prince if you like that instead. You're handed a backpack full of random weapons, armors, potions, spells, traps, monster eggs, and race-altering mixtures and shoved out the door.  Luckily there is a merchant who has made camp right outside the dungeon entrance.  He'll gladly trade with you and your friends.  Wait... friends?  You didn't think you were the only one hired did you?  The king doesn't care who emerges victorious, so long as the dungeon is empty by the time one of you leaves it.  Venture forth, young Munchkin and claim victory and treasure as your own!


GOAL

The goal of Munchkin RPG is simple.  Defeat the horrible dungeon boss.

SET UP

Give yourself stats.  Choose a High stat and a Medium stat and a Low stat.
A player's High stat grants them the High bonus and the Medium bonus.  A player's Medium Stat grants the Medium bonus and a players Low stat incurs the Low penalty.  Each player's High stat also gives them a special ability usable once per life.  If the player dies, they are allowed to use their special ability again.
Additionally, players are allowed to sort through the deck to pick a Race before the game begins.  Players may not pick a Class in this manner.  They will have to find one as normal.


HIGHMEDIUMLOW
Strength+1 For Each Hand Slot Used
Extra Hand Slot
Special: MUNCHKIN RAGE!!!
+1 Minimum Level-1 Maximum Hand Size
Agility2x Grenade effect
2 Extra Belt Slots
Special: Bait n' Switch
Can equip grenades
face down
-1 to Run Away
Intellect+1 AP Per Round
2 Extra Spellbook Slots
Special: Hidden Agenda
Can spend 1000 gold
to go up a level
-1 AP Per Round
*Details for each stat effect are listed in Glossary/Help.

Players should use some sort of marker to indicate their stats, so they can not be forgotten mid-game.  however, players are allowed to change their stats in the middle of the game, so make sure it is something alterable.

Both decks (door and treasure) are shuffled separately.  Then players construct decks out of the available cards.  Decks must contain at least 12 cards minimum from either type of card (door or treasure) and must have exactly 40 cards.  The players do not get to look at the cards before choosing them.  The players choose how many of door and treasure cards they would like, then they receive that many of each at random.  Extra cards will make up the dungeon and the store inventory.  There is still a community door deck which players draw from, but there is no loot the room option.  Players use the door deck to fight monsters or become cursed.

Players each have a draw pile (backpack), a discard pile, equipment slots, a belt (for grenades) and a spellbook (for curses and traps) and a spot for their race and class, as shown below.

Example Player Layout

Take the remaining treasure cards and deal out 6 random treasure cards and place them all face up in a line in the middle of the play area.  This makes up what the store currently has on sale.  The rest of the treasure cards are placed next to the stock for the remainder of the store's inventory.

The top cards of the door deck are revealed until 6 monsters are revealed. These cards are shuffled together and one is placed face down at random. This is the dungeon boss. The 5 remaining monsters are shuffled into the dungeon.

The end result should look something like the image below.

Example Table Layout

Players then draw 6 cards from their backpack.

The first player is determined randomly.  That player's turn marks the start of the first round.  Play passes to the left.  Once each player has taken a turn, the round ends.  At the end of each round, several game effects take place, as listed later.

After setup, players discard down to having maximum 2 cards in their hand.

RULE CHANGES

Beyond the obvious changes made to the game, there are several less noticeable changes which should be pointed out.
  • No Looting the Room
  • No buying a level
  • No playing directly from your hand into combat.
  • Maximum hand size is 2.  
  • Cards discarded at the end of a player's turn are placed on the bottom of the store's inventory instead of given as charity.
  • Anytime a player shuffles their backpack, they should do so under the table to avoid knowing what type of card will be on top while they shuffle.
  • Players can gain levels to go above level 10.  This has no effect other than making the player stronger in combat.
GAMEPLAY

Players get 5 action points per round.  Action points are restored at the beginning of each round and can be used only during their own turn.  The only exception to this is Throwing an Item and Casting a Spell, which can both be done on an opponent's turn.

Players who have reached 4th level gain an extra AP per round.  Players who have reached 8th level gain another extra AP per round.  These Action Points are gain immediately and can be used the turn the player gains that milestone level.

If a player uses all of his action points before his turn, he can only take actions that use no AP.
Players are highly encouraged to use some sort of tokens to indicate how many action points they have in each round.

Available actions

No Action Points
  • Equipping - A player takes an item from his hand and places the card in the appropriate slot on his board (equipment, belt or spellbook).  Items placed as equipment or on the belt must be placed faceup.  Cards places in the spellbook have the option to be placed facedown, but may be placed faceup if the player chooses to have them so (for intimidation purposes, if nothing else).
  • Unequipping - Take an item in play from your equipped items, belt or spellbook and place the card in your hand.
  • Selling an Item - When selling an item players take a card from their hand, reveal it to all players and collect an amount of gold equal to half the card's cost.  This can be represented in any fashion (coins, paper and pencil, tokens, etc).  The sold card is placed on the bottom of the store's inventory. Any card without a cost can be sold for 200 gold. Cards can not be sold to gain a level.
  • Take a Peek - Look at the top card of your backpack. Then put it back.
  • Fighting a Revealed Dungeon Boss - It takes no action points to challenge the dungeon boss if it has already been revealed.
  • Using a Go Up A Level Card - The player reveals a Go Up A Level card, then shuffles it into the store inventory.
  • Stuff an Item - Take any number of cards from your hand and shuffle them into your backpack.
  • Place an Item - Place one card from your hand on top of your backpack.
1 Action Point
  • Throwing an Item/Casting a Spell - The player uses one of the items on his belt or in his spellbook, usually to affect combat one way or another.  The used card is placed in the player's discard pile.  Players can take this action during other player's turns, but only if they have the required action points.
  • Buying an Item - A player may spend his accumulated gold to buy an item from the store.  When an item is purchased, the player has the option to equip the item immediately (if he has a slot available to do so) or to place it on top of his backpack.  The store's empty slot remains empty until the end of the round, when it is replaced with a new card from the top of the store inventory.  Items without a gold cost can be purchased for 400 gold.
  • Frantic Searching - Shuffle your backpack and then draw 1 card from it.  
  • Gift Basket - Pay 300 gold to shuffle the store inventory, then place the top card on top of your backpack, without looking at it.
  • Trapping the Boss - Players may put curses or monster enhancers on an unrevealed dungeon boss. These cards may be placed face down on the boss at the time they are cast. Once the dungeon boss is revealed, these curses affect the one who revealed him, then are discarded as normal. The monster enhancers then attach to the dungeon boss. Once the dungeon boss is revealed, players can still trap it, but must do so by placing the spells face up on the boss. 
2 Action Points
  • Careful Searching - Draw 3 cards from your backpack.  Choose 1 and put it in your hand.  Shuffle the remaining two and the rest of your backpack together.
  • Looking For Trouble - A player can play a monster card from their hand and fight it as normal.
3 Action Points
  • Open a Door - The player draws a card from the dungeon face up, revealing it to all players.  If it is a monster, the player must fight it or run away.  If it is a curse, the player is affected by it.  
  • Reveal/Fight the Dungeon Boss - A level 10 player may reveal or fight the Dungeon Boss.  Details for revealing or fighting the Dungeon Boss are listed below.
4 Action Points
  • Recycle - Shuffle your discard pile into your backpack and draw a card.
6 Action Points
  • Retrain - Choose a new High stat, Medium stat and Low Stat.  The effects of these changes do not take place until the end of the round.
7 Action Points
  • Polymorph the Dungeon Boss - The Dungeon Boss can only by polymorph if it has been revealed.  The player takes the current Dungeon Boss, as well as any monster enhancers and permanent effects on it and shuffles them all into the Dungeon.  Then flips the top cards of the dungeon until a monster card is revealed.  This monster is the new dungeon boss and works as though it had just been revealed as normal, although the current player does not get to fight it when it is revealed.
END OF ROUND

At the end of each round, the store gets new items in stock.  Roll a die and from the side closes to the store inventory, count across, taking the card which is chosen, shuffling it into the inventory and replacing it with the top card. Because the old card is shuffled into the inventory before a new card is chosen, it is possible to pick the same card.  Do this twice at the end of each round.

When getting new inventory, if a card was purchased this turn, roll for new inventory first, rerolling on any sold cards (empty slots) then replace sold inventory after.

Each player goes back to having 5 action points, unless his Intellect or level would force him otherwise.

The player sitting to the left of the player who currently started the round now begins the next round.  Thus the player who went second in the previous round will go first in the upcoming round and the player who went first in the previous round will go last in the upcoming round.

COMBAT

When defeating a monster, players don't get treasure.  They get gold instead.  For each treasure a monster is worth, a player gains 200 gold.  Levels are gained as normal.

Players are able to use the Throw Item and Cast Spell actions during other player's combats.  Typically this is done to make the combat more difficult for the player, but not always.  Players are allowed to ask for help from other players.  This works just like it does in Munchkin proper.  However, with no treasures to pull, players will have to decide how to split the gold, rather than split the treasures.

PLAYER DEATH

Whenever a player dies, the player's 3 most expensive items are placed on top of the store inventory pile. The remaining items are dealt to the remaining, living players. Starting with the player to the dead player's left, each player picks a card from either the dead player's equipment, belt, or spellbook.  Each living player only loots one card from the dead player.

At the end of the round, the dead player shuffles his discard and backpack together then draws 4 new cards, playing whatever he wants to immediately, even if it's not his turn. His next turn is played normally.

Death functions otherwise the same as in normal Munchkin.

DUNGEON BOSS

Once a player reaches level 10, they are able to open the door to the dungeon boss.  The first player wishing to fight the Dungeon Boss is the one to reveal it.  When the Dungeon Boss is revealed, any traps or curses cast on it affect the player who revealed the Dungeon Boss and any monster enhancers affect the Dungeon Boss.  If one of the effects causes the player to no longer be level 10, they are still able to fight the Dungeon Boss, but will have to become level 10 again before they could make another attempt, if required.  The Dungeon boss functions exactly as stated on the card, however the monster becomes level 20 and its "Bad Stuff" becomes the player dies in addition to whatever other Bad Stuff it has.

Once a dungeon boss is revealed, it does not change unless a player polymorphs it.  A dungeon boss can not be persuaded to let players by, can not be poofed away, nor can it be plot deviced or made to go to lunch or anything else to be gotten rid of.  Once a dungeon boss is revealed, no game effect can get rid of it, short of killing it.  Additionally, each time the dungeon boss kills a player, the dungeon boss goes up 2 levels permanently.  If the players successfully run away, the Dungeon Boss does not gain levels.

While the dungeon boss is revealed, players can still fight other monsters by opening other rooms and dealing with the rooms as normal.  Any monster enhancers places on the dungeon boss are not removed after combat.  This has the potential to make the dungeon boss very difficult.  If the players decide the Dungeon Boss has gotten out of hand, they will have to resort to polymorphing it.  However, deciding who has to do the polymorphing can be just as difficult as killing an overpowered Dungeon Boss.

ENDING THE GAME

The game ends when the dungeon boss is defeated.  If a single player defeated the dungeon boss alone, that player wins.  If another player assisted in the combat, those players win.  The victory must be accompanied by a handshake.  Only upon completion of the handshake have both players won the game.  However, if either player shouts "Backstab!" before the handshake is completed, that player wins and the other player loses.  Double However, if both players shout "Backstab!" at the same time, they both stab each other at the same time.  Both players lose.

GLOSSARY / HELP

Action Point / AP - Each action a player wishes to take requires a certain amount of Action Points to be able to perform.  Typically, players have 5 Action Points each round.

Backpack - The pile of cards from which each player draws.  Each player has their own Backpack.

Dungeon Boss - The monster the players must defeat in order for someone to win.  The Dungeon Boss is always base level 20, even if the actual monster card states otherwise.  Any monster enhancers placed on the Dungeon Boss remain even after the combat is over.

Grenade - Any one-time use card which grants a numerical bonus to a die roll.

Monster Enhancer - Any card that modifies the level of the monster. i.e. Ancient, Intelligent, Baby, etc...

Round - A cycle of each player taking a one turn.  Some game effects happen at the end of each round.  The player who takes his turn first in each round moves left each round.

Spell - Any door card that has an effect, i.e. curse, trap, monster enhancer, etc...

Stat - A player's Strength, Agility or Intellect.

Stat Bonuses
High Strength - A player who has a High Strength stat is given bonuses when he uses weapons.  For each hand he uses in combat, he gets a +1 bonus.  For example, if he uses 1 weapon which uses 1 hand, he gets +1.  If he uses 1 weapon that uses 2 hands, he gets +2.  If he uses 2 weapons, each using 1 hand, he gets +2.  Additionally, he is granted an additional hand slot to use for whatever he'd like.  Similar to the Cheat card, he is allowed to use a 2 hand weapon and a 1 hand weapon together.  This would give him +3 from his High Strength.

Medium Strength - A player with Medium Strength begins the game with 1 level more than he would normally have.  Typically, this will start a player with Medium Strength at level 2.  However, for example, a player with Medium Strength who was also a Cyborg from Star Munchkin (whose minimum level is 2), would have a minimum level of 3.

Low Strength - A player with Low Strength has his maximum hand size (how many cards he can hold in his actual hands) reduces by 1.  This has no effect on how many weapons his character can use at any one time.

High Agility - Any grenade a player with High Agility uses has any bonuses granted by it doubled.  Therefore a grenade which grants +4 to either side, instead grants +8 when used by a player with High Agility.  If, for whatever reason, a player does not wish to have double the bonus from his grenades, he can have them function with their normal bonus.  Additionally, a player with High Agility has 2 extra belt slots, which can be used to hold more grenades.

Medium Agility - All players without Medium Agility must place their grenade cards face up when equipping them to their belt.  However, players who do have Medium Agility can equip them face down.  This allowed the player more secrecy in what they are able to throw into the combat.  Additionally, since there'd be no way to prevent it anyway, players with Medium Agility are allowed to place any item card they'd like on their belt, so long as they at least pretend it's a grenade.

Low Agility - A player with Low Agility has a -1 penalty to any attempt to Run Away.

High Intellect - A player with High Intellect is granted an additional Action Point each round, totaling 6 normally at low levels.  Additionally, they are granted 2 extra Spellbook slots to use for any curses, traps or monster enhancers.

Medium Intellect - A player with Medium Intellect can spend 1000 gold at any point when he would be able to buy from the store to go up a level.  He can not use this ability to go to level 10.

Low Intellect - A player with Low Intellect has 1 less Action Point per round, totaling 4 normally, at lower levels.

Special Abilities
MUNCHKIN RAGE!!! - This special ability is activated any time the High Strength Munchkin is in combat for whatever reason.  Activating this ability adds a +30 bonus to the Munchkin's combat score.  However, this tires the Munchkin.  In his next combat, that Munchkin's level is considered to be -5.  Any other modifiers (such as weapons, grenades, etc...) apply normally.

Bait n' Switch - This special ability can be used anytime a Munchkin with High Agility is in combat as the main combatant.  This ability can't be used if the Munchkin is helping another player.  The Munchkin (known here as The Jerk) leaves combat (as if he successfully run away) and another Munchkin of his choice (known here as The Sucker) takes his place in the combat.  The Sucker must deal with the monster as if the door had just been opened on him.  Combat continues as normal.  If The Sucker also has High Agility, he can also use Bait n' Switch on another player, but not The Jerk, nor any other player who has used this ability during this combat.  After this combat (but not if The Sucker uses Bait n' Switch to switch with someone else), The Sucker can spring open a door on The Jerk.  At any point during a combat where the Jerk is the main combatant, the Sucker may call revenge.  Combat pauses and the Sucker may flip over cards from the top of the Dungeon deck until he reveals a monster or play one from his hand.  The monster revealed immediately joins combat against the Jerk (as if Wandering Monster had been played).  The Sucker may only do this once.

Hidden Agenda - At any time, a Munchkin with High Intellect (known here as The Illusionist) may play a spell (monster enhancer, curse, trap, etc) face down on a player or monster (as appropriate).  He announces to the affected Munchkin (either the Munchkin being cursed or the Munchkin in combat with the monster being enhanced and known here as The Sap) what his spell's affect is.  The Illusionist is encouraged to lie when announcing his spell's effect.  The Illusionist is not required and is, in fact, not allowed to say the actual name of the spell on the card, only the effect is has.  The Munchkin being affected can either accept his fate and have the spell effect him has The Illusionist claims it does, or The Sap can challenge The Illusionist and flip the card over and takes that effect instead, better or worse.  If The Sap accepts the spell as it was claimed, The Illusionist takes the card cast face down and shuffles it into his discard pile.  The Illusionist can use this ability to cast a spell on himself or any monster with which he is in combat, however any player may challenge the spell being cast.  This ability can not be used while Trapping the Dungeon Boss.

ALTERNATE RULES

Packing Your Bag - For a more intense game, The players are to choose which cards are in their backpacks at the start of the game.  Choose one player randomly to choose first, then go in order, each player choosing 4 cards of either door or treasure or any combination of the two, until each player has 40 cards.

The Real Golden Rule - Once a player has defeated the dungeon boss, all players count their gold and total cost of equipped items, items on their belt and in their hand and counts each spell as 200 gold.  Whoever has the highest total cost wins.  He might not be the one who defeated the dungeon boss, but he's richer than everyone else.  And isn't that what REALLY matters?  In the event of a tie, whoever declares being the winner first, wins the game.

Bigger and Scarier (Probably) - Players begin the set up by specifically choosing the dungeon boss.  This should be agreed upon by all players prior to game start.

Last Man Standing - Once the dungeon boss is defeated, the real victor is the one who tells the king of the great victory.  As soon as the dungeon boss is defeated, the players all turn against each other and begin fighting one another.  A new round begins (shifting the starting player to the left as normal) then each player, on their turn, rather than open a door, can spend 1 AP to attack another player.  Combat begins between those two players as normal.  Other players can jump in on either side to aid one of the combatants.  During this point of the game monster enhancers can be used on players (yourself included) and will remain on that player until they are defeated.  After the combat resolves, the next player alive takes his turn.  This cycle continues as normal until one player survives.


AUTHOR'S NOTES
This hasn't been play tested yet, but I'm hoping to get it out there.  I'll be in an opportunity to test it pretty soon, I think.

The idea here was to give Munchkin a little more structure.  I do enjoy Munchkin a lot for the comedy and general play style, but as anyone who has played Munchkin knows, it's a good way to make enemies out of friends.  In normal Munchkin it was too easy to screw your opponents and steal victory for yourself.  It was basically assumed the first person to reach level 9 wasn't going to win, but the second person who did, had a much better chance, assuming the rest of the players were out of cards to use.

My hope is by limiting the amount of cards players can work with and by limiting the amount of actions they can do each round, it will add a little more balance to the game.  By not allowing players to throw everything they have at each other without limitation, it will require players to think a little more.  On top of that, by requiring players to equip grenades and spells before they can be used, the other players have a bit more of an idea of what they are up against.  This will make the disappointment of losing a battle slightly less so.  Typically, it's not the losing which bothers people, it's the not knowing it was coming.

Additionally, I'm adding a bit of customization to the game.  As I've stated previously, I'm a fan of customization.  It's not a lot, but by giving the players the chance to choose stats, it will make each player less totally reliant on luck-of-the-draw equipment.  

In that same vein, the gold system allows players to stray further away from the luck over skill (which I've also gone over before).  The store allows each player equal opportunity to some of the equipment and everyone has a fair shot at it.  But in not getting rid of luck completely, players are still given a random grab-bag of equipment to start with.  Further, the system wherein the starting player in a round changes each time further pushes a balanced game.

Lastly, the Dungeon Boss idea was something I thought would be interesting.  The main idea came from Munchkin Quest, but with the added level that monster enhancers stay on the Boss, by adding them, you are only making it harder for yourself to win as well.  So the idea of throwing everything you have at the Boss might not be the best tactic.

As I've said, I was really trying to make Munchkin a more balanced game.  Less reliant on chance, which it was solely before.  Munchkin has some great cards, humorous ideas and would be great to play everyday if it wasn't so frustrating to lose.  The hope is that by giving players options, having every player access to the same cards and by limiting how much you can screw over your opponents at any given time, Munchkin will evolve into a much more balanced, friendly game which won't make people want to kill each other (outside of the game, at least).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

D&D Skill Variants

Over the years, I've incorporated a number of house rules into my Dungeons and Dragons games. While many of them are intended for 3.5 edition, they are pretty easily translated to 4th. I always liked a skill-focused D&D game. I felt like the skills were never as much a focus as I would have liked. Sure they are useful or even necessary in certain situations, but I like to make skills more involved. "What's the point of making a Knowledge check if I'm just going to kill it anyway?" Before these variant skill rules, my answer would have been "...to know how to kill it faster?". But now I can smile wide and say, "MONEY!"

Harvesting (Intended for 3.5)

Upon the defeat of any monster, the PCs are able to use their skills to take bits and pieces of the creature that someone, somewhere will want to buy. 
                Harvesting from a creature takes 1 minute per HD and at the end of the time spent, the one doing the harvesting makes a Knowledge check and gains their check result times the creatures HD in valuable organs, fluids, etc.  Any amount harvested from a living creature will decay at least somewhat or partially.  Each hour the harvested parts go without being sold or preserved in some manner reduces their worth by 2%, to a minimum of 50%.  Some of the pieces harvested will not be able to decay (nails, scales, etc) or simply won’t fully decay to nothing, so the amount harvested will never decay to being worthless.  The bits and pieces sold will most often be sold to a spell component or magic shop.
                Certain skills and class or race abilities will grant a synergy bonus to harvest from certain creature types.  When a player has 5 or more ranks in the listed skill, they gain a +2 bonus to harvest from the listed creature types.  If a character has both 5 or more ranks in the skill and the listed class ability, they gain a +4 bonus to the Harvest check.
                A ranger’s favored enemy bonus also applies to Harvest checks.
Creature Type
Skill Synergy
Ability Synergy
Aberration
Survival
Ability to cast or use a (Calling) spell or ability.
Animal
Heal
Wild Empathy Ability
Construct
Disable Device
Trapfinding Ability
Dragon
Heal
Having Sorcerer levels
Elemental
Spellcraft
Resistance or immunity to the appropriate elemental damage type
Fey
Heal
Save bonus against Enchantment effects
Giant
Heal
Dodge bonus against giants
Humanoid
Heal
Having the same subtype as the creature to be harvested
Magical Beast
Spellcraft
Having a familiar
Monstrous Humanoid
Heal
None
Ooze
Survival
Resistance or immunity to acid
Outsider
Heal
Ability to cast or use a (Teleportation) spell or ability.
Plant
Survival
Ability to wild shape into plants
Undead
Heal
Ability to channel divine energy (turn, rebuke, etc)
Vermin
Heal
Resistance or immunity to disease or poison



Research(3.5 or 4th)

The Knowledge skills allow a PC to read at a library and learn that way, instead of being restricted to their own knowledge. The size of the library gives the character a bonus to this check. A small library might have a bonus of +4. A local library might have +8. A large library would have +16 and an enormous library could have +24 or more. However, every 1 point of bonus the library has, the time to find the information increases by 2 hours.  Although, the PCs can opt to reduce the bonus to whatever they want, and thus reduce the time researching. This method, generally, won’t allow a PC to find recent news or the like, as that is not typically found in a library. If the PCs can use a library to help with the Knowledge check, it is called a Research check, meaning the PC can use either of these skills in conjunction with a library.  Researching allows a PC to make any Knowledge check untrained, however the PC must gain at least a +1 bonus from the library to do so. 
With a very large library, the time required to fully benefit from the library’s resources could take multiple days.  Each day, the PCs can research for 8 hours without penalty.  For purposes of researching for a long time, the rules are similar for attempting to forced march (3.5 PHB 164).  If the PCs don’t want to deal with Forced Research, they will have to spread the researching out over multiple days.  Any extra researching time spills over to the next day. 
At the end of each hour past 8, the researcher makes a Constitution or Endurance check, if he fails, he passes out.  If not, he can keep researching.  The DC is 10 + 2 per extra hour. The researcher is allowed to sleep during the time he is researching, while this will essentially waste his time, it resets his Forced Research count, allowing him to research a further 8 hours the next day without penalty.
Once the researcher has either passed out or drawn the bonus he wanted from the library, he makes his Knowledge check with the bonus from the library.  Regardless of how long he searched, or over however many days, he only receives one check.  He may take a 10 on the check but not a 20.  A portion of the roll is representative of simple luck to determine if the library has books on the topic to be Researched.
Lastly, the researcher cannot continuously research a single topic at a library, over and over.  At a certain point, he discovers the library simply does not have any information on that topic.  This point occurs when the researcher has drawn twice the library bonus from it, over however many checks.  For example, Tardok wants to research Blue Dragons at his local library (+8 library bonus).  He spends his first day researching for 8 hours, giving him a +4 library bonus.  He makes his Research check and unfortunately, he discovers nothing he didn’t already know.  He pushes harder the second day, researching for 12 hours, granting him a +6 bonus.  Again, he learns nothing new.  At this point, Tardok has drawn a total of +10 bonus from this library, over his two days of research.  When he tries again the next day, no matter how long he researches for, he will only gain a +6 bonus.  The library grants +8 typically, twice of which is +16.  Tardok has already gained a total of +10 from this library, so he only has +6 library bonus left before he has checked every book the library has that might contain information about Blue Dragons.  Any further researching at this particular library about Blue Dragons will not give any sort of library bonus.

Taunting (3.5 Only)

The Intimidate skill can be used quite well in combat. In addition to demoralizing an opponent, it is possible to send him into a reckless anger.  To do this, the one doing the intimidating, must make a successful Intimidate check DC equal to the targets HD + target’s Wis modifier, a negative modifier will lower the DC. If this check is successful, the target must then make a Will save DC equal to that of the Intimidate result. If this check fails, the target becomes reckless.  This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent, fear effect and takes a standard action.
A reckless character gains +2 Str, but ‑4 to AC and Will saves. The reckless character will focus his attention on the intimidater. This does not mean he will completely ignore all other attacks, but his focus remains on the intimidator. If a reckless character is being attacked from all sides, he will get himself to a better fighting position and then go after his target. The reckless character remains in that state until either he or the intimidator has been defeated, or he has been out of line of sight of the intimidater for a full round or 1 minute has passed since becoming reckless, which ever comes first. For example, if a fighter intimidates a wizard, then the fighter runs out of the room, the wizard will run after him. If the wizard spots the fighter in on his round, the reckless state continues.  If the fighter is out of line of sight, then the state ends.
Once an attempt has been made to make a character reckless, all further attempts from that intimidator to affect that target will fail for the next 24 hours. If the person being taunted is willing, they can choose to automatically be effected to gain the bonus to Strength.  It essentially becomes a pep-talk at that point.



Cheaper identify (3.5 Only)
While using detect magic, the caster must make a Spellcraft check to determine the school of the effect.  The DC for this is 15 + spell level for a spell or DC 15 + one half caster level for a non-spell effect.  If the caster of detect magic beats the DC by 5 or more, he also learns the subschool.  If he beats the DC by 10 or more, he also learns any and all descriptors the effect has.
However, knowing more about an item, reduces the cost to identify it.  The base cost to identify an item is 110 gp, 100 gp for the material component, 10 for the service charge.  If the caster already knows the school (and the item does not have a subschool) of the item, the material cost is reduced by 10 gp.  If the caster knows the school of the item, and the item does have a subschool, knowing the school reduces the material cost by 5 gp.  If a subschool is available and known, that reduces the price another 5 gp.  Each descriptor known reduces the material cost by a further 5 gp.
                Attempting to identify an item with incorrect knowledge of school or subschool or descriptor causes the identify to automatically fail with wasted components.