Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Olympian Class (Gorgon Crawl Classics)

Continuing with my Mythic Greece ideas for Gorgon Crawl Classics, this here is the working text for the Olympian. The Olympian is the toga-clad strong man who fights only with his fists or the occasional tree trunk. He's inspired by Steve Reeves or Alan Steel's Hercules, Machiste, or any other beefy hero guy from peplum films. This has not yet been play-tested, but I will hopefully be running some GCC games online soon.

I'm not married to the the name "Olympian." I might change it to Champion or something later on. 

I feel like I've seen a reskin of the D&D monk class called the Olympian somewhere online many years back. I wish I could remember where. 

Some of these ideas also overlap with my Punchfighter B/Xclass. 


Olympian

Hit Points: 1d14 per level


Weapon Training: None!

Alignment: Any

Deed Die

  • Add to attack and damage rolls when fighting unarmed.
  • Mighty deeds, as Warrior
  • Add deed die to STR checks for feats of raw strength and power.

Unarmed Damage

  • Melee damage when fighting bare-handed. 
  • Goes up with level

Improvised Weapons

  • Fight with a mundane, handheld item not designed to be a weapon. 
  • Increase unarmed damage by +1d.
  • Item breaks on natural 1 or 20, or if maximum or minimum damage is rolled. 
  • Can be thrown (30/60/90) for -1d unarmed damage.

Mighty Thews

  • Armor is for the weak!
  • Add STA and Luck Modifiers to AC when unarmored.
  • Check penalties from armor apply to attack rolls!

Strict Regimen

  • Olympian’s might depends on specific exercises and/or taboos. There is something the character must never do or must do every day.
  • Examples: perform an hour of calisthenics every morning, drink a gallon of whole milk with breakfast, never drink alcohol, abstain from sexual congress.
  • If this regimen is violated, the Olympian cannot use their Deed Die until the next sunrise (treat Attack Bonus as +0). 

Olympian Table

Level

Deed Die

Crit/Table

Unarmed Damage

Action Die

Ref

Fort

Will

1

+1d3

1d12/III

1d4

1d20

+1

+1

+0

2

+1d4

1d14/III

1d6

1d20

+1

+2

+0

3

+1d5

1d16/IV

1d6

1d20

+1

+2

+1

4

+1d6

1d20/IV

1d8

1d20

+2

+2

+1

5

+1d7

1d24/V

1d8

1d20+1d14

+2

+3

+1

6

+1d8

1d24/V

1d8

1d20+1d16

+2

+4

+2

7

+1d10

1d30/V

1d10

1d20+1d20

+3

+4

+2

8

+1d10+1

1d30/V

1d10

1d20+1d20

+3

+5

+2

9

+1d10+2

1d30/V

1d10

1d20+1d20

+3

+5

+3

10

+1d10+3

2D20/V

1d12

1d20+1d20+1d14

+4

+6

+3


Level Titles

Level

Lawful

Neutral

Chaotic

1

Face

Jobber

Heel

2

Contender

Scrapper

Bruiser

3

Challenger

Competitor

Bounder

4

Champion

Victor

Bully


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Hubris for Gorgon Crawl Classics

Hubris, noun (hyü-brəs)
1) excessive pride or self-confidence.
2) (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.


In Gorgon Crawl Classics, PCs gain and spend Hubris to modify their die rolls. Spending too much Hubris or leaning on it too much temps fate and leads to tragedy. Very Greek.

Yes, I am also aware the Mike Evans has a very cool DCC setting called Hubris

This still very much a work in progress and has not been play-tested at all. Here's how it works...


Gaining Hubris
  • PCs start each session with 2 points of Hubris. Leftover Hubris does not roll-over from session to session.
  • If a PC rolls a natural 20, all PCs gain 1 Hubris.
  • If an enemy rolls a natural 1 against a PC, that PC gains 1 Hubris. 
  • If a PC rolls a natural 1, all other PCs gain 1 Hubris. Point and laugh at your fellow's folly.
  • NPCs do not gain or spend Hubris. 

Spending Hubris
  • Before making an attack, skill, save, attribute, or spellcasting roll, you may spend as many Hubris points as you have available. For each Hubris you spend, roll 1d6 and add the total to your roll. 
  • If any of the Hubris Dice come up as a 6, the gods punish your arrogance and bad things happen. The more 6s you roll, the worse the results. 
  • Rolling one or more 6s does not necessarily mean the roll has failed, unless the "Cost of Hubris" dictates so. Compare the total to the DC as normal. You can succeed in the roll and still suffer the wrath of the gods.
  • You can spend Luck and Hubris on the same roll.

The Cost of Hubris
  • If you roll one 6 on your Hubris dice, you suffer a misfortune. A misfortune is a short, one-off compilation that your character suffers. Once you deal with it, it’s done. 
  • If you roll two 6s on your Hubris dice, you suffer a curse. A curse is a persistent malignant effect that causes trouble for your character, but it’s not career-ending. Some lingering effects of a curse can be removed with the Remove Curse spell. Treat it as a “major curse” with a DC equal to the total of your roll that triggered the hubristic curse.
  • If you roll three or more 6s on your Hubris dice, you are struck by a doom. Dooms are powerful, far-reaching malasions that might end a character’s adventuring career or even kill them outright. These dooms are too powerful for the mortal magic of Remove Curse to remedy. To throw off your doom you must “quest for it!”
  • Roll 1d12 and cross-reference the roll with the number of 6s you rolled on the Hubris Dice. Luck cannot modify the Cost of Hubris roll.


1d12

One 6 (Misfortunes)

Two 6s (Curses)

Three or more 6s (Dooms)

1

Weapon or tool breaks

You are framed for the murder of a notable NPC

Struck dead

2

Hallucinations! You are unable to tell friend from foe for 1d6 minutes

The NPC you love the most dies.

Your entire bloodline killed.

3

You are attacked by (roll 1d4): 1) a lion, 2) 2 bears, 3) 1d3 boars, 4) 1d4 wolves

You are given the head of a donkey.

Transformed into a (roll 1d4): 1)  goat., 2) pig, 3) donkey, 4) dog

4

All horses, mules, oxen, and other livestock within a mile die.

NPC you love the most betrays you.

Abhorrent! All humans are unnaturally hostile to you.

5

All pregnant, non-sapient animals for a mile around you spontaneously miscarry.

The next person you slay rises up the next night as a vengeful shade.

Anyone you slay rises up the next night as a vengeful shade.

6

Thunderbolt! You lose your next action due to shock. All allies within 30' of you must make a DC: 13 Reflex save or be knocked to the ground.

Your touch sickens children under 13.

Besotted! INT permanently reduced to 3.

7

All plant life suddenly withers and dies for 300’ around you.

Normal plant life dies wherever you walk.

Stricken! STR permanently reduced to 3.

8

Hunger! You are -1d to all actions and saves until you eat a meal’s worth of food.

Insatiable! You must now eat and drink three times the amount of a normal person.

Spited by the Gods. You no longer benefit from magical healing.

9

Accidental injury! Take 1d4 damage.

Poxed! Make a DC: 13 Fort save each day or take 1d3 PER damage!

Your homeland is destroyed

10

Plagued by nightmares. No natural healing or spell recovery for the next night.

Doomed. You automatically fail your next “roll over the body” roll.

No ship you sail on will ever return to its home port.

11

Permanently lose a point of Luck

Lose 3 points of Luck.

You automatically fail all Luck checks.

12

You fail as if you rolled a natural 1 with all relevant consequences.

All natural animals hate you.

Struck blind


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Gorgon Crawl Classics


Before I got into Elric or the Gray Mouser, well before Tolkien, and long before I was into D&D, I was into Greek Mythology. The Chicagoland UHF station I grew up with would play old Hecules movies on the odd weekend, and Clash of the Titans seemed to be on constant ration on HBO. Books from the school library and Time/Life helped feed the love of heroes and monsters.

In the past couple of months, I’ve had weird bits of synchronicity with heroic Greek myth. The new version Agon came out in print, Blood of Zeus dropped on Netflix, a new season of Great Greek Myths came to Prime, and Eldritch Fields started actual play posts of Mazes & Minotaurs.

So now I’m primed for some heroic Greek gaming! I know there are several “mythic Greece” RPGs out there, but I’ve never had a chance to play any of them. I read thru both Agon and Mazes & Minotaurs (again), but then I thought to myself “You know what would be an interesting system to use for some mytho-heroic gaming? Dungeon Crawl Classics!

And so…

 

GORGON CRAWL CLASSICS!

Gorgon Crawl Classics is a DCC setting I’m low-key working on while I finish up other projects. I’m not sure what the final form will take: zine, full book, or just dead on the vine. My plan for now is to have fun writing stuff for it and run some test games at on-line conventions and for friends. Here’s the outline of things I have (thus far) planned. 

High Concept: RPG adventuring in mythic Greece and the Mediterranean Sea. DCC-style “gonzo” flavored. Heavily inspired by peplum movies and Harryhausen monsters. 

Cool Game Stuff > Movies > Mythology > History

I actually liked this movie!

Features

Hubris: a mechanic much like Fleeting Luck or Mojo. You add bonuses to your roll but risk getting smote down by the fickle gods.

Heroic Origins: replacing both the 0-level funnel and birth augers.

Supernatural Patrons: Prometheus, Orpheus, and Circe

New Classes: Olympian (unarmed strong-man warrior), Nymph, Satyr, and Minotaur.

Modular Armor: Mix-and-match what your warrior is kitted out with.



Inspirational Movies

Jason and the Argonauts

Hercules in the Haunted World

Hercules Against the Moon Men

Medusa Against the Son of Hercules

Lou Ferrigno’s Hercules

Clash of the Titans

Immortals

Blood of Zeus

 

Hell yeah, Herc! Crawl thru that dungeon... classically!

I’m excited about this idea, and I’ll be sure to share content on the blog here!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Grizzlethorpe and the Running of the Bears (Ryuutama)

I’ve been playing Ryuutama with Leighton, Anne, and Peter for several months now. Ryuutama is a charming, pastoral RPG about nice people travelling from town to town, meeting new people, helping with their problems, buying and selling trade goods, and seeing the sights. With the real world on fire and everything, we all decided that playing something nice and pleasant was what we really wanted. Ryuutama has fit the bill nicely. It also lets me indulge in one of my favorite GM activities—creating quirky little villages and filling them with eccentric NPCs.

That brings us to the village of Grizzlethorpe and their annual festival, the Running of the Bears.  You know how in Pamplona, Spain they run bulls through the streets while the citizens run in front of them to prove their courage? It’s just like that in Grizzlethorpe, but with bears.

Isn’t that dangerous? Yes, it is! Don’t people get brutally injured, scarred, and maimed? Yes, they do! But the people of Grizzlethorpe are proud of their tradition and are happy to include willing visitors in the festivities.

And the bears? Why they love it of course. These humans willingly bring them into their town and let them run amok and beat people up. The bears have a good thing going, so they don’t ruin it by killing (many) villagers. Just some good-natured maiming.

The players, perhaps wisely, declined joining in the Running of the Bears. They just watched from the sidelines. That’s too bad, because I wrote up rules for the Running of theBears!

The Running of the Bears takes place in four legs:

Leg 1: The participants try to outrace the bears. Roll Dex+Dex (Diff: 8) to put some distance between you and the bears or suffer 1d10 damage from bear mauling!

Leg 2: The bears coordinate their chase and try to pen you in! Roll Int+Dex (Diff: 8) to avoid getting flanked by bears. Take 1d10 damage if you fail, as the bears gnaw on you some more.

Leg 3: The villagers have taken down the bridge that crosses the creek that runs through town. What a fun joke! Roll Dex+Str (Diff: 10) to leap over the creek. If you fail take 1d10 damage as a bear violently smacks you across to the other side.

Leg 4: You’re almost to the safety of the finish-tower where the villagers will pull you up to safety. Roll Dex+Dex (diff: 9) to get there before the bears catch you! Take 1d10 damage and suffer the Crippled: 6 condition if you fail.

 

Grizzlethorpe, using a village map I found online somewhere (sorry!)


My GM Notes for the village of Grizzlethorpe:

Terrain: Deep Forest (Diff: 10)

Specialty Goods: Wooden housewares

Town Food: Crusted honey cakes

Pleasant woodland village of 500.

Full of fantasy-expy faux-Slavs and faux-Germans.

Large, multi-generational homes. Black Forest style. Long hipped roofs with eaves that almost touch the ground.

Lots of woodwork carved with images of bears and swans. Red and green paints in abundance.

Robust, friendly people of Gladian stock. Many with horrible scars. Outgoing and amicable.

Town council consists of the the oldest resident, the elected sheriff, the head woodsman, and the winner of the Running of the Bears.

 

Places of Interest

Magda’s Beerhaus

  • Single daughter Beverly

Shrine to Rowenna, the Girl Hero

  • Flanked by dragon statures

Martin Jimjam’s Tannery and Leatherworking

  • Missing legs.

Runcible Hawk’s Sundry and General Goods

Griff Harbo’s Goatlery

 

People of Interest

Intense young activist Hesperline Preet does not approve of all this bear wrangling

  • Sign reads: “I Stand Firmly Opposed to the Exploitation of Bears!”

Ancillary Scrumm – Griff’ Harbo’s brother-in-law. Chief bear wrangler.    Big scar diagonally bisecting his head. Looks like his face is misaligned.

Olly Yumpster – Band leader of local barumpapapa band. Round, and red-faced. Missing several teeth.

 

Job Board

Take several barrels of Grizzlethorpe Stout to the Drunken Diva tavern in Larksong

  • Stanislav Garr – Local brewer. 6 barrels (size 5 each). Jennifer at the Drunken Diva in Larksong will pay 500 gp for each barrel.

Collect several pints of honey from the speckled bees in the forest for Sigfrid the Baker

  • Will pay 200gp for each pint.

Procure a Walking Broom from Dwimmerstaff for Magda’s Beerhaus.

  • Magda will pay triple the purchase price. Get a receipt.