[resources] Oh god, it’s full of spells!

A while ago someone on G+ asked for some alternative spellbooks, as in “I need a bunch of new spells”.

Thing is, I love spell and the arcane in RPGs, and I bought a bunch of related books. I even wrote and published a few.

So, here’s the list, in no specific order:

  1. The Great Net Spellbook – the first “noncanon” supplement we brought into our game. Things went wild. It impressed my teenager self to no end. A bunch are boring, a number are utterly overpowered, all are somehow wonky and quirky and a labour of love.
  2. The Pangean List of Spells – a tagged list of rewritten spells, great interface, a bunch are new.
  3. Kellri’s Spell Reference – As far as I know, all spells from that famous advanced fantasy game.
  4. Arcane Abecedary – I can’t describe this with less than 7 words:”wampus wampus wampus wampus wampus wampus wampus”
  5. Weird Thaumaturgy – Someone on g+ made a public thread asking for non-canonical, non-boring spells. I put together the document with some rough cut and paste but I did not finish it because reasons.
  6. Theorems & Thaumaturgy – a boat of spells, classes, items… PWYW
  7. Space Age Sorcery – the tin says, the book does
  8. The Basic Illusionist - Fancy a few illusion spells? what about about 8-score? 159 illusion spells and paraphernalia.

More will come to mind. Suggest some in the comments.

More on the Challenges Combat system hack: Multiattacks,

On Google Plus we had a small discussion about the last post. Nags were found. Here come fixes.


The first nag is that if you have multiple attacks per round and your target is hard to hit, you get more penalties. Which is true and a problem. If you use such a system, I advise ignoring all the negative effects from missing the target, but if you want you can keep “deal half damage missing on a 1″ and “deal 1d3 missing on a 2″.

The table becomes the following (and it’s what I’m going to use when I run things using a d20 to hit):

When Hitting with a…

  1. or less: 5+ damage (or more), critical wound
  2. +4 damage, medium wound
  3. +4 damage, medium wound
  4. +3 damage, medium wound
  5. +3 damage, light wound
  6. +2 damage, light wound
  7. +2 damage, light wound
  8. +1 damage
  9. +1 damage
  10. Normal Damage
  11. Normal Damage

What About Scarlet Heroes?

Just use the table above, looking up the natural d20 result on the table if you hit. Apply the damage modifier from the table to a single damage die and then convert that to SH damage. I will playtest tonight with a newly rolled Fighter and amend the post with the results.

What if I don’t use d20? The AFG example

AFG does not use a d20. But it has 2 completely different combat systems. The adaptation therefore works this way: the result that guarantees a hit to both newbs and experts is the one that does no extra effects, with other results that are successes only for more experts deal progressively more damage. For example if you use a d6 and you hit with high numbers, 6 will deal no extra effects, 5 will have some extra damage, etc.

5MAIL always uses a single attack per round, so it’s safe to use both negative modifiers on miss and positive on hits:

Miss on a 1: deal 1d3 damage (or 1d6/2 if you’re strict about these things)

Miss on a 4: don’t attack next round

Hit on a 2: +1 damage die, save or trauma (-1 FC for 1d6 weeks) and staggered for 1d6 rounds

Hit on a 3: +1 damage die, save or trauma (-1 FC for 1d6 weeks)

Hit on a 4: +1 damage die, save or staggered for 1d6 rounds

Hit on a 5: +1 damage die

Hit on a 6: normal damage

Some of these results give an extra damage die, to be treated as all the other extra damage dice. If the character knows Secret Fighting Techniques that require activation, they can activate them foregoing this extra damage die.

FIGHTMORE might make you roll for melee multiple times per round. So for the purpose of modifiers just consider the roll used to potentially hit someone and not the defence rolls. If you roll once per round (for example using FIGHTMORE MAYHEM) then just use that roll.

On a Draw, deal damage normally, counter with a shield as usual. On every other result, use the 5MAIL table above. I might release a proper old-style CRT (Combat Result Table, like in old wargames).

Have I hit well? Hacking Moldvay’s Challenge System Combat for a quicker, more intense game

Moldvay’s Challenge System has a really interesting optional rule: it does not only matter if you hit, but also by how much. And if you miss by only a bit, you might still deal some damage, but if you miss badly you might lose initiative next round, or even the full round.

So it basically wraps a progressive critical hits/miss system in the hit roll. <3

Basically, it looks something like this (totally my stuff, I’m just explaining the principle):

  • miss by 10 or more: lose next round
  • miss by 5 or more: lose initiative next round
  • miss by 3: no damage
  • miss by 2: deal 1 damage
  • miss by 1: deal half damage
  • hit exactly: deal normal damage
  • hit by 2 or more: +1 damage for each 2 points of margin…
  • hit by 4 or more: …and deal a light wound (-1 to hit/saves until a cure light is received, or rest 1 week)
  • hit by 7 or more: …but the wound is medium instead (-3 to hit/saves until a cure medium is received, or rest 2 weeks)
  • hit by 10 or more: …but the wound is critical instead (-5 to hit/saves until a cure critical is received, or rest 4 weeks)

So a margin of 8 deals +4 damage and deals a medium wound.

Another version could be done with combat tricks (trip/disarm/stop from pursuit next round/whatever you get from Dungeon World):

  • miss by 10 or more: enemy does 1 combat tricks to you, their choice
  • miss by 5 or more: enemy does 1 combat tricks to you, but the choice is yours
  • hit exactly: deal normal damage
  • hit by 2 or more: +1 damage for each 2 points of margin…
  • hit by 4 or more: …and inflict 1 combat trick on the opponent for each 4 points of margin

So, yeah, awesome. The only problem is that you have to calculate the margin. Calculating margins is a bit boring. Especially because there’s a way of doing it without margins.


When you roll to hit, match the natural d20 on the table below. Careful, it’s split in two parts: one cares if you HIT, the other if you MISS. No need to calculate margins. You basically want to roll LOW, but ABOVE the armour class. If you miss, you still want to roll LOW.


  1. glancing blow: deal half damage
  2. bruise: deal 1 damage
  3. miss
  4. miss
  5. lose initiative next round
  6. lose initiative next round
  7. lose initiative next round
  8. lose initiative next round
  9. lose initiative next round
  10. or more: lose next round


  1. or less: 5+ damage (or more), critical wound
  2. +4 damage, medium wound
  3. +4 damage, medium wound
  4. +3 damage, medium wound
  5. +3 damage, light wound
  6. +2 damage, light wound
  7. +2 damage, light wound
  8. +1 damage
  9. +1 damage
  10. Normal Damage
  11. Normal Damage

The only issue is that it’s a bit counterintuitive. But if you do the math, you realize that extra bonuses actually stop you from f*cking up badly. And make you more capable of doing that sweet thing of hitting with a 10 or less.

Also, it’s a handy table that tells you what sweet effect happens without calculating margins or rolling extra dice. I like that.

EXTRA CONTENT: Parrying! Defense!

When your character spends the round defending only, they give a negative modifier to up to 2 attackers equal to the defender’s hit-roll modifier PLUS 1d6. This might make feints and respostes more of an interesting thing.

I’d like to be able to dodge the issue saying that errors like these happen all the time

The truth is that i fouled up.

The first print run of Into the Odd has been printed with the wrong back cover. This is the cover I wanted:


This is the cover that got printed (the colour is fine, it’s just my camera being weird with halogen lights.


The back cover has a blurb and a wrong illustration and trade dress.

So I’m going to destroy them and have a new batch printed correctly.

Now, if you want the “original misprinted edition”, write me, and you’ll get shipped one. The day I receive the correct printing I’m going to destroy the remaining wrong copies and ship the correct ones. If you dont write me that you want the original printing, you get the corrected cover.

If you want a misprint, a few of them are still available at the webshop.

This hobby of mine is such a pain sometimes.

Domains as actors, part deux: perks

After the first installment, I felt the need to make domains more unique. At the moment they are only distinguished by their fortification, domain type and of course by their topology, or connectedness.
The way domains are connected to each other is very important. In Risk, lands have only one stat (the continent they belong to), yet Ukraine is way more important than, say, Madagascar. For the same reason, make domains connect in interesting ways.

At any rate, here’s a first list of perks. I suggest each domain has a 1 chance in 4 to get a random perk, and if they got a perk they check for an extra perk. If they do have one, roll 1d8:

  1. Treacherous woods: all units in the domain fight as unarmed peasant levy.
  2. Swampy grounds: units must stop after entering the domain.
  3. Sea Harbour: +1 import and export. Only for coastal domains.
  4. Plentiful fisheries: harvest can be carried out in any season. Only for coastal domains.
  5. University: during a Fair action, the domain can spend a trade good and a food reserve to gain a prestige point.
  6. Metalworking tradition: every winter can transform one trade good to one arms without spending actions.
  7. Pilgrimage: every summer can spend one food reserve to a trade good without spending actions.
  8. Rich Mines: the first harvest of the year grants an extra trade good. The trade good can’t be consumed by this domain using the Gain Prestige action, but can be exported and spent elsewhere. To distinguish these tokens from the traditional type maybe flip them over.

So, yeah. The next step for this is a PDF with a few scenarios.

Reviews of Into The Odd, Wonder & Wickedness and Chthonic Codex

New products came out, and people wrote reviews. If you wrote one not in the list, let me know.

Into the Odd

Author: Chris of Soogagames (go there for more material)  who by the way just released a free-as-beer Oddpendium.

Over at In the Shadow of Puzzled Vikings Daniel Luce has a solo playthorugh and some encounters.

Alex Chalk wrote a review in his blog To Distand Land.

Noah Stevens (of the Noah Tax) reviews it at Hapless Mercenary

Sophia Brandt’s review at Die Heart

By the way, Levi Kornelsen, who made the supersweet ItO cover, made a great modern character sheet and then another more old looking.

This section ends with some quotable soundbites:

This game is soooooo good! Simple rules, wonderfully weird setting. It’s my go-to for gritty, deadly, dungeon-y adventure.
+John Harper

I just ran my first session of Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd. Know what was cool? Everything. More specifically? A party managed to crawl 21 rooms worth of dungeon in under 3 hours. Now that’s efficient
+Alex Chalk

Awesome stuff. Mechanics are really simple but lead to very satisfying play
+Nathan Ryder

It’s vague enough to permit a great deal of creativity and just barely rulesy enough to stay together for a game that will need no consultation of the book under time pressure
+Noah Stevens

The rules get out of the way and provide resolution mechanics without being cumbersome. Fighting is fast and lethal and doesn’t mess around with armor class. Gear generation is delightful.
+Andrew Shields

As a starter game, a pick-up for veterans, or a quick convention drop, Into The Odd definitely delivers and will certainly sit on my mobile device for quick access and in my convention kit.
+Paul Baldowski

Wonder & Wickedness

Author: Brendan of Necropraxis

A first review from A Dungeon of Signs.

In German, a review of from oliof.blogspot.ch

Chthonic Codex

I’m the author, you’re at my blog already. :)

Stuart of False Machine made a four-fold review. Stuart got a bunch of things perfectly right:

  1. on Cryptic Creatures
  2. on Academia Apocrypha
  3. on Mysteries & Mystagogues
  4. on Goats and handouts and all that’s in the box and a final commentary

the TL;DR: version is the second half of the fourth part.

Dyson (yes, that Dyson) wrote a review of the box of the boxed set itself. I’m not even joking.