Friday, 17 January 2020

VOLUME XII LIBRARY OF BABEL'S FIVE ON FRIDAY

Top posts from 10th - 17th January.

It was Amelia Earhart day this week (January 11th).

If you want to make a GLOG aviator, just visit
https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2019/12/secret-santicorn-2019-2-glog-classes.html
This post is going to be short and sweet this week. I'll let the titles do the talking.

Monday, 13 January 2020

PARIAH

PARIAH: The working title we're employing ahead of #zinequest

I'm so hyped: here is our proto-neolithic animist classless and levelless psychedelic old school RPG that VERY SOON is going to be launched into the stratosphere.

...a collaborative project that pulls together a rag-tag bunch of friends to produce something genuinely original!


EDIT: Pulled out the swears, I was feeling a little.."exuberant" last night.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

ONE-POST SETTINGS: A COLLATED LIST

Given that god is infinite, and the multiverse is infinite, would you like any toast?

As I was downloading this crude drawing of a ten-pointed star I found by searching for MULTIVERSE I was informed that I would need to credit CHARLES RICHARD BENTLEY JUNIOR: it's written in the picture! Why lord, why? 
Board your spelljammer ship, hop in TARDIS or draw a chalk circle anointed with the blood of a virgin goat by the light of a waning moon, we're about to go on a trip beyond the ordinary limitations set by sight and sound: WELCOME TO THE COLLATED LIST OF ONE POST SETTINGS, extradimensional spaces, parallel worlds, pocket dimensions and demi-planes, each offering an enticing invitation to the brave, the bold, and the brainless.

Read on.. IF YOU DARE

Friday, 10 January 2020

VOLUME XI LIBRARY OF BABEL'S FIVE ON FRIDAY

Welcome to the first Library of Babel of 2020! Please accept my sincere apologies for not publishing a list of blogs last Friday,please accept not FIVE but TEN MORE THAN FIVE blog posts by way of compensation. Oh, and if you have been celebrating Yule, remember that twelfth night has already passed (see below) and you need to remove your decorations at once, or Old Father Time will eat your soul.

If you don't like my writing it means you hate Shakespeare.
First, in service to the greater blogger gods: read Froth's Humpday Blog-O-Rama and please have a look at this incredible blogroll at Dragons Never Forget.

Let us not shilly-shally any longer...

1D20 x 1D20 SPICY HOT TAKES TABLE


You can download a slightly better resolution pdf of the above image FOR FREE using the internet:

https://aloneinthelabyrinth.itch.io/sofinhos-spicy-hot-takes-alternative-rules-generator

Alternatively, cut and paste this table and print it yourself without going to another website.



“Okay, okay so: what if….”
...instead of...
...we simply...
1
...CHARACTER SHEETS...
1
...use jungian archetypes.
2
...SEARCHING FOR SECRET DOORS...
2
...search for obvious windows.
3
...DEATH AT 0 HP...
3
...make characters quantum immortals.
4
...RANDOM ENCOUNTERS...
4
...say that everything’s going to be just fine.
5
...SPELLS...
5
...recognise the right to  believe in pseudoscience even if (or because) it expedites humanity’s inevitable extinction.
6
...LEVELS...
6
...kill all characters to which players have become attached.
7
....MONSTERS...
7
...embody our subconscious fears in a more subtle manner.
8
...SAVING THROWS...
8
... discuss a range of possible outcomes and take a vote on the one which “best serves the fiction”.
9
...SKILL CHECKS...
9
...play “The Game”, not some platonic ideal, but “The Game”, the one we’re always playing but if you remember you are playing it you automatically lose. Which means we all just lost.
10
...EXPERIENCE POINTS...
10
...tune a shortwave radio to the nearest numbers station and interpret whatever message is broadcast accordingly.
11
...CLASSES...
11
...escalate the CLASS WAR!
12
...PERCEPTION CHECKS...
12
...fart into jars and try to identify which fart belongs to which player.
13
...TURN BASED COMBAT...
13
...hold a bake-off (in game or out of game, roll 1d2 to decide which).
14
...ROLLING FOR INITIATIVE...
14
...interpret the entrails of a recently deceased animal.
15
...THE CLASSIC 6 ABILITY SCORES...
15
..improvise a ballet inspired by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
16
...HIT POINTS...
16
...cut off a digit. 
17
...CORE RULE BOOKS...
17
...ask everyone to bring their favourite piece of literature to the table and together construct a new fictive reality.
18
...ROLLING DICE...
18
...we each stick our respective heads in our respective ovens.
19
...a GAMEMASTER...
19
...play trust exercises
with our genitals.
20
...PLAYERS
20
...use dogs.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

BRINGING META ELEMENTS INTO THE FICTION PART I - Player/Character

This is the first of two posts in which your author (me) will take a stab at the disc-horse (or at least give it a half-hearted flogging) concerning incorporating non-diegetic (i.e. meta) game elements into the diegetic fold. If that doesn't sound like fun to you then please, skip ahead: no one will ever know. You could read this post about a giant psychic parasite that lives inside a pyramid instead.

In a sense this post (and its forthcoming daughter, to be linked here at some point in the future) is a response to a conversation running back and forth across multiple platforms, from which I'd hitherto abstained but to which I now feel I have something to contribute.  Back in September, Cavegirl published this post on diegetic and non-diegetic game elements to elevate (and clarify her contribution to) the ongoing discourse surrounding RPG mechanics.

It is, as you can appreciate, a somewhat delayed response. The intervening period of fermentation has led to it taking on taken on some other aspects.

A picture of a lot of dice, including polyhedral dice.
Dice: because we are talking about GAMES.
DIEGETIC AND NON-DIEGETIC ELEMENTS IN A TYPICAL RPG

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

ACTIVE DEFENCE

This is a follow up to my post about alternative armour systems for OSR games, which can be found here: https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2020/01/80s-armour-two-alternative-armour.html

This post concerns replacing enemy hit rolls with PC defence rolls, and some other variable rules to either expedite combat, or add additional flavour without layering on too much simulationist crunch. I was first exposed to this idea while looking into u/giffyglyph’s Darker Dungeons O5R homebrew document but have since discovered that it’s a very common house rule, especially in GLOG circles including the excellent Die Trying by Spwack.

"Wow!" indeed... courtesy British Library
This represents my own interpretation of similar houserules.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Shuttered Room: 'Classic Six' Initiative Order

Shuttered Room: 'Classic Six' Initiative Order: Following on from a tweet/blog post by Half Minotaur Farmer  (who covers this for d20 Initiative), and a recent DIYRPG/OSR Tweet (the author...

Friday, 3 January 2020

80s ARMOUR - Two Alternative Armour Systems from the Gazeteer Series

As part of my ongoing project to disseminate material from TSR's BECMI products (begun with the Dwarf-Cleric post), I thought I'd share two alternative armour systems put forward in Gazeteer 10 The Orcs of Thar and the Dawn of the Emperors boxed set.

DoE showcased the two major powers in Mystara (the D&D Challenger, BECMI and B/X setting), Alphatia and Thyatis, with additional rules and classes provide in the Thyatian section to emphasise that nation's martial prowess. Among the additional rules was a full system for armour acting as a damage reducer rather than making characters harder to hit.

Orcs of Thar was concerned with the humanoid hordes inhabiting the broken lands, and included rules for running humanoid PCs (which I may adapt one day). There was also an interesting system for assembling piecemeal armour, in keeping with the crude bricolage aesthetic associated with goblins and their brethren.

I've summarised both systems below.


Thursday, 2 January 2020

NSR PLANESCAPE: The Labyrinths of Hod

Planescape is 25 years old. 25 years ago I was fourteen years old, and made the difficult decision to stop frittering away my money on RPG products and put it to good use: namely microdots, cider, hashish and low-grade bathtub speed. So yeah, sadly it passed me by.

(Confession: I was avowedly anti AD&D for some reason - I think I just really, really hated Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, which were heavily promoted at the time - and I'm not sure if it would have registered on my RPG radar even if the drugs didn't work)

By all accounts, the loss was mine, not Planescape's... I mean, check this shit out:


Given my penchant for planes-hopping wyrd adventuring, Planescape would have been an incredibly good fit, and the resurgence of interest is convenient for me as I've been attempting to curate a list of one page/post settings. fortunately, my task is going to be rendered all the more easy thanks to this post by Pandatheist:

https://boneboxchant.wordpress.com/2019/12/22/nsr-planescape/

...in which the gauntlet is thrown down and a challenge issued: come up with a plane using four elements and 10 spells/psionic abilities only...

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Magic Hit Dice - A Short Post

This is going to be a very short post outlining the casting mechanic I use in most of my games. It's been referenced previously (in this rambling post concerning hit dice in 5e and O5R), and one iteration appears in my poorly conceived b/x sorcerer class.  As stated in previous pots, this mechanic was partly inspired by the GLOG magic dice system (about which you can read more here, under the section entitled Casting Mechanic). The key difference here is that magic dice are the same as hit dice, and this slots into a larger framework where hit dice are a resource that must be managed.

Courtesy Adobe Stock.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

LIBRARY OF BABEL SPECIAL: THE TOP 5 POSTS OF THE YEAR

With the year drawing to a close in less than one minute (if you're on ICT, that is) it is perhaps germane to round things off with a summary of the blog posts that have really made me tick this year.

In case you haven't clocked it yet (and alarm bells should be ringing if you haven't), I'm making a number of "amusing" horological puns (in comedy timing is everything). There will be more: watch this space.

So here follows my top five blog posts of the 2019 OSR blogosphere.

First though, a disclaimer: this year marked a return to the hobby after a three year absence. My 2015 blogroll hadn't aged so well: some of them had become obsessed with making ill-mannered attacks against those with a passion for social justice, some had built paywalls around their content, others had simply given up. It took me a while to catch on, and I've still got a lot of catching up to do.

None of the blogs listed below were on my reading list at the start of the year, though this is obviously indicative of my own ignorance, as each is considered an OSR luminary. Indeed,  some even possess shiny awards.

Special mention should be made for https://www.google.com/amp/s/dragonsneverforget.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/3063/amp/ as it was their insane dedication to the art of RPGs in compiling this list if over 450 blogs. Incredibly, each entry has a description and, where possible, a current posting frequency. Such a labour of love can only inspire those who gaze upon it: it was this post that made me realise that I too should be doing my bit to develop the OSR blogging community, hence the birth of these Library of Babel posts.

But if we're going to talk about people with sincere dedication to the OSR blogosphere, it would be remiss of me not to mention Froth's Humpday Blog-o-Roma. Froth scours the blogosphere and records a weekly podcast summarising his own personal highlights, which are extensive to say the least. What's more, each episode is accompanied by a very thorough blogpost, with links to the material covered in the episode. The man is a champion of the hobby and deserves our respect and adulation! Or you could follow the blog and  also follow him at THAT OTHER PLACE

So, now that's all said and done, here are my personal highlights from the blog-o-sphere this year: no doubt you have your own, and I'd be delighted if you would share it with me below: