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Morale as a d6 roll

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It is known that I like to reduce miscellaneous rolls and mechanics to their approximate d6 equivalents. The foundation for this is the elegance of the LotFP d6 skill system , which I think is memorable, minimal, and hackable. So far, I have turned saving throws into d6 skills that can be improved by Specialists and downtime training and even a unified d6 single saving throw inspired by Swords & Wizardry . Morale is ripe for adaptation as well- even though it's determined with a 2d6 bell curve, the chances align rather similarly. It could go quite nicely with the d6 Save versus Death for Chainmail style combat , also. Not perfectly, mind you, but with a deviation of about 8% at most, which is right in the middle of the 16.66% gradations of a d6 roll. Is it a worthwhile price to pay? I think so- the more things that can be condensed into similar mechanics, the better for use at the table. And why do we really need 12 individual gradations of Morale, when the MM usually assi

Quick Combat: Redshirts and the Save Versus Death

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When there are large quantities of combatants, especially of the same type, there's no reason to roll individual attacks and damage, and no reason to keep strict, detailed records of who's dying and who's left. Of course there's nothing wrong with fighting them normally by making a d20 roll and then rolling damage, but why do that for every combatant when there's a bunch of them? Assuming that they're facing opponents of roughly equal strength, it can be streamlined into a single roll with a little math. Redshirts with low HP, AB and damage are easy to model, so we can just make a roll for each individual or unit without tracking their HP if we calculate the chance of them dying from an attack. Thus, they get two states: "Dead" and "Not Dead" (or "Not Dead Yet"). If they fail a save, they are Dead. If they succeed, they are either Not Dead (fully alive) or Not Dead Yet (reduced strength, suffer a Morale check, or other negative

Essential Viewing for a Weird Campaign Part II: Archetypal

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Here comes more inspiration and recommendation. This time around, it's archetypes, films so quintessentially and obviously weird that their relevancy to Weird storytelling should leave you with a gameable idea or two almost automatically. November by Rainer Sarnet This is a slow, black & white Estonian film. I'd probably characterize it as a European Kurosawa film in many ways (no samurai though). It has humor, horror and folklore all at once in a mix both incongruous and somehow elegant (think Rashomon). It's about common folk who use magic to control servant spirits called kratts made out of junk. They sell their souls to the devil to make these things, and they go mad and kill their masters every now and then anyway. What a deal. So this movie is about people trying to solve simple problems with extreme solutions. Kind of like a Weird Magic spell! Magic, demons, plagues and ghosts are just facts of life and you work with them just like you would a

Horsemeat? Raw? Are you fucking kidding me? (Sirenswail 5)

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Date: Early fall 1640 Location: London Main Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundisalvus the Magic-User, Salith the Elf Supporting Cast: Helga of the Ulvenbrigaad, Harold the Mule Previously: Our heroes adjusted to life on the island as Cult VIPs, spent their just rewards carousing and investing, and sought further adventure. Their queries aimed them toward the Tower of London to investigate the unexpected and suspicious imprisonment of Archbishop William Laud by Parliament for papism and overreach. Presently: Tired from their long journey, the party sought out an inn where they might avoid notice. They found themselves in London's Southwark, a seedy and pseudo-lawless district south of the Thames at the Strident Goat Inn. Operated by a sweet old couple, Shio overpaid significantly, shelling out a gold coin each night for silence and privacy.  After some time shopping and getting their bearings, they traveled as innocuously as possible to the Tower. Outside they found a young man about to

Maxin', Relaxin' All Cool, Torturing Some Children Inside A "School" (Sirenswail 4) CW: Child Experimentation

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Date: Early fall 1640 Location: South English countryside, London Main Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundisalvus the Magic-User, Sadith the Elf Supporting Cast: Helga of the Ulvenbrigaad, Harold the Mule Previously: The party sniffed out Father Osreth, fugitive priest, and took part in his sacrifice and the ensuing highly debauched feast. Presently: After coming down from the high of the orgy, the sacrifice, the feasting -you know, the little things that make all the dirt and blood-caked parts of adventuring life worthwhile- Shio and Gund had a frank conversation with Marvale. In a surprise twist, he revealed that they were originally intended to be sacrifices. Indeed, shocking- but he had been impressed by their sincere effort to help the island by hunting Osreth, and participating in the ritual which ostensibly would render Sirenswail sacrosanct against Christian influence and persecution via magical protection. They were, if they would agree to keep the Island's secret and serve Sar

Ok, fine, it IS a Human Sacrifice Feast. (Sirenswail 3.5) NSFW, Content Warning: Torture

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Date: Late summer 1640 Location: The Island of Sirenswail, southwest of Cornwall Main Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundisalvus the Magic-User Supporting Cast: Helga of the Ulvenbrigaad, Harold the Mule Previously: The party explored the Island, touring the cult's burial sites, orchards and House of Contentment. Shio found love. Presently: Having successfully made eyes at a sacred sex worker, Shio and the rest headed back to the tavern. There they found the small-town sense of community that everyone dreams of: it seemed the entirety of the Island had come together to drink, dance and hobnob. They settled into a corner table where Shio enjoyed the company of Ayesha, Gundisalvus the company of Sally Clay, Helga that of copious liquor. Harold, for his part, the soft fur of a fine young mule in the paddock- a purely physical but nonetheless enjoyable romp, as he knew that he was unlikely to find himself another of his own erudition in this land.  The party made small talk for awhile until

Essential Viewing for a Weird Campaign

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A good Ref takes inspiration from everywhere. Books, graphic novels, video games, movies, television. What's the canon? Where is the weird? We need an Appendix N. It's pretty hard to find many films that meet the standards of the type of games we try to run. To that end, I'm going to be doing a couple of posts about some movies that will give solid inspiration for atmosphere, aesthetics, creatures, and to a lesser degree, structure (because being a slave to structure is antithetical to good refereeing, particularly in the OSR). I will avoid spoilers without warning and give content warnings where appropriate. Every film comes with my recommendation. Of course, there is no way to begin a series like this without addressing the elephantine abomination in the torture room, the most obvious, perhaps even cliche choices of inspiration for a deadly, dark and weird game. The Obvious The VVitch by Robert Eggers This is one of a few films which will instantly be brought up