28 January 2023

Fight or Fright

I just read "Morale, Fear, and Madness" in Archade's Tower, and I think it has some ideas worth testing at the table. I tend to avoid (or neglect using) rules that impose or restrict player character behavior, as I believe situations and the manner in which they are presented ought to be enough to motivate a player's actions, but this article reflects a similar desire to preserve player agency—albeit in a mechanical fashion—and I think it might be a useful alternative. I'll be rereading the relevant section in the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG rule book and pondering the topic.

23 January 2023

Completely Unfathomable Completely Available


The magnificent monstrosity that is Completely Unfathomable, consisting of Jason Sholtis' Operation Unfathomable and Odious Uplands, adapted and expanded for use with DCC RPG by Paul Wolfe, is now available in print and PDF right now, right here.


21 January 2023

Regarding the Recent RPG Industry Kerfuffle

Game rules themselves cannot be copyrighted. You never needed permission to publish something that is compatible with something else. Your game is yours to use as you see fit. Morality clauses are tools of oppression and weapons against self-expression justified by "good intentions." Adhering to "official rules" does not make your gameplay more or less valid in the hobby of role-playing games. Only the joy you get from engaging with the hobby validates it. You do not need a stamp of approval from anyone to create what you want to create or play the way you want to play. Your hobby is yours.

14 January 2023

Crawling Toward New Spellcasting Options

For those who are interested in alternative interpretations of magic in Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, Reverend Dak of Crawl! has posted Practicable Magic: Reliable Spell Casting for DCC RPG. I think it's worth a try.

01 January 2023

Heightening the Heightened: Abilities and Passive Mutations

Overall, I like the streamlined nature of the rules of Mutant Crawl Classics RPG, but sometimes the streamlining erases important details. One such detail is the nature of certain passive mutations. Mutations by their nature are things that stray from the norm. They are abnormal. So, why do some passive mutations have the possibility of yielding results that are indistinguable from the normal non-mutated range? Here, I am referring especially to mutations that have a chance of altering a character's ability scores, such as Heightened Intelligence. Unless the player rolls 20 or higher, the ability score improves by merely +1, +2, or +3. In many cases, the character might not even gain any tangible benefit. If the ability score were 9, for example, a +3 improvement wouldn't even boost it beyond the average range.

I have an alternative.

When rolling passive mutations such as Heightened Agility, Heightened Stamina, Heightened Strength, Heightened Intelligence, Dual Brain, etc., ability increases refer to the ability modifier rather than the ability score. The ability score is then increased to the threshold of that ability modifier.

For example, a mutant, manimal, or plantient with Intelligence 6 (-1) who acquires the Heightened Intelligence result, "The mutant's Intelligence score is increased by +1," now has Intelligence 9 (+0) because 9 is the minimum ability score at which the modifier becomes +0.

Granted, having one's low Intelligence raised to the dizzying heights of average seems at odds with the term Heightened Intelligence, but at least this method offers a guaranteed tangible benefit with each increase.