31 March 2022

Unpredict-O-Bubble Table

'Tis April Fool's Eve, when the Ghost of Random Generators Yet To Come appears, presaging the visitation of an unknown number of tables by which various oddities of the universe can be divined. With dice in hand, let Chance guide thee via the Unpredict-O-Bubble Table!

Unpredict-O-Bubble Table

Roll 1d20

1. Roll on the Peculiar Marriage Rituals Table!
2. Roll on the Wandering Cosmic Entities Table!
3. Roll on the Archdevils Table!
4. Roll on the Demon Nobles Table!
5. Roll on the Demihuman Variants Table!
6. Roll on the Exotic Pole Arms Table!
7. Roll on the Garden of Earthly Frights Table!
8. Roll on the Rumors at the Tavern Table!
9. Roll on the Foreign Attitudes Table!
10. Roll on the Unusual Sounds and Ominous Noises Table!
11. Roll on the Interesting Aromas Table!
12. Roll on the Pointless Cantrips Table!
13. Roll on the Wandering Monsters 2 Table!
14. Roll on the Misspells 2 Table!
15. Roll on the Misspells for Illusionists Table!
16. Roll on the Magical Hats Table!
17. Roll on the Misspells 3 Table!
18. Roll on the Birth Status Table!
19. Roll on the Misspells 4 Table!
20. Roll on the Royal Gifts for Loyal Subjects Table!

N.B.: Results of the Unpredict-O-Bubble Table (resulting in more tables) are being added daily (more or less). [And that's a wrap for this year's Random Generator Month mega-table.]

30 March 2022

Table: Variable Experience System

The premise: Each adventure, roll on the table below to determine how experience points will be gained.

Variable Experience System

Roll 1d12

1. Treasured gained.
2. Treasure donated.
3. Monsters defeated.
4. Monsters encountered.
5. Monsters befriended.
6. Puzzles solved/traps avoided.
7. Perils escaped.
8. Magic acquired.
9. Victims rescued.
10. Wrongs righted.
11. Plots thwarted.
12. Roll twice on this table. Re-roll duplicates.

27 March 2022

Applied Phantasticality's 10th Anniversary

As of yesterday, 26 March 2022, Applied Phantasticality has been in existence for ten years. In its first entry (Welcome to Applied Phantasticality), I stated that it was "devoted to the 'Old School Renaissance' (or OSR) faction of the role-playing hobby." At a time when many of us were just discovering that we were not alone in our enthusiasm for past editions of role-playing games (or role-playing games that were long out of print in any edition), it was a suitable umbrella term that helped us find one another. Eventually, I discovered that the lines dividing players of different editions and different games were not as clear and immutable as I had been led to believe. When I started actively gaming again with a mixture of players ranging from total novices to those who primarily played games like Pathfinder, I discovered that they adapted to my GMing style easily and with no objections. There were no "Edition Wars" in my real life gaming circles. There was no need to define terms to describe our gaming philosophies. We just did what came naturally. We gamed as friends. We accomodated one another's interests. We enjoyed overcoming challenges and we enjoyed one another's company. It didn't matter if I was an Old School gamer and several of my players were Pathfinder or Numenara fans. We were all role-players first, and the role-playing always came first. That's still how it is. Labels inevitably become more of a hindrance than a help to understanding, which is why I no longer classify this blog as overtly Old School. It's just a blog about fantastical role-playing in a variety of genres via many different games.

Initially, Applied Phantasticality was intended to provide a "narrow focus" on early D&D and retro-clones in contrast to the more general content of my other gaming site, Fudgery.net. After I ended Fudgery.net, I decided to start several other blogs, each more narrowly devoted to a different aspect of my role-playing interests: Theoretical Swashbuckling (for all forms of swashbuckling as a genre) in January 2014, Creative Reckoning (for Fudge and Sherpa) in March 2014, Decidedly Six-Sided (for d6-centered games) in April 2015, and Savage Arts & Sciences (for Savage Worlds and/or Flash Gordon) in September 2020. Would it have been better to fold everything into Applied Phantasticality rather than maintain five separate gaming blogs? I just don't know. But I do know of two benefits to keeping them separate: 1) I can organize my thoughts better and 2) readers don't have to sift through subjects that don't interest them (I hope).

All in all, I think active role-players of every stripe are proving every day that we have more in common than not, and that's a wonderful thing.

Thank you for reading.

Game on.

12 March 2022

Alternate Spellburn and Glowburn Rules 2

Suppose I wish to incorporate the incompetence spiral of spellburn and glowburn without resorting to the reviled recalculation of modifiers. How would I go about it? It's time to pull out the dice chain...

Whether you burn attribute points normally or use Burn points, each instance of burning causes you to suffer a -1d penalty to all physical actions, Fortitude saves, and Reflex saves until you rest. The penalty is cumulative. For example, if you spellburn twice during a battle, your penalty is -2d until you rest. Rest, in this case, means a cessation of physical activity for at least one hour per instance of burning. Or, to put it another way, the penalty is reduced by 1d per hour of rest.

So, if you like your spellburn or glowburn to reflect physical sacrifice or hardship, but you dislike taking the time to fiddle with a character's established modifiers, just use the dice chain.

Again, this may require some playtesting.

05 March 2022

Alternate Spellburn and Glowburn Rules

What would I do to improve my enjoyment of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and Mutant Crawl Classics RPG (besides using DCC Lankhmar)? I would change spellburn and glowburn. One of things I have always disliked about fluctuating attributes in games that do not utilize dice pools is that it becomes necessary to adjust modifiers and derived attributes (and their modifiers). This slows down the game (if the players even remember to do it) and I hate slowing down the game for the purpose of crunching numbers.

So, what would I do differently? I would create a separate characteristic called Burn, which is calculated by adding Strength, Agility, and Stamina and dividing the sum by 3. If you want to spellburn or glowburn, you spend Burn points, not attribute points. If you fall below 1 Burn, you may continue by directly spending hit points. Hit points thus spent may be regained normally. Burn points are regained at the rate of 1 point per day during which no burning has occurred.

This solves my problem with recalculating modifiers, but retains the significance of the physical attributes and transforms the risk of high intensity burning from an incompetence spiral to actual wounds.

I think this is worth playtesting.

01 March 2022

Magical Spell: Globe of Quietude

The idea for this spell may or may not have been inspired by a loud vehicle that disturbed my sleep last night.

Globe of Quietude

Spell Class: Magic-User
Spell Level: 3
Range: Special
Duration: 1 hour

This spell create a sphere of silence 8 cubits* in diameter centered on any being or object the caster can see or hear. If the target is unwilling, a successful saving throw will cause the globe of quietude to bounce to the next nearest being or object and so on until a target accepts it or fails its saving throw. Inanimate objects are not entitled to a saving throw. Once the globe hits its mark, it will move with its target, nullifying all sound within its area of effect. The globe of quietude persists until it expires, is cancelled by the caster, or is dispelled.

Unlike the clerical spell silence 15' radius, which prevents sound from issuing from its area of effect whilst permitting external sound to enter it, the globe of quietude is a barrier to all sound within its confines.

* 12 feet or 4 m.