The point of no return…

…in FKR might come earlier than you thought.
Heck, erlier than I thought, anyway. I just tried to get into the groove for some GLOG again. I had simplified attack/defense and exchanged it with opposed 2d6 rolls. Tried to keep hit points and damage rolls.

And it was boring. No, let me rephrase that: mindnumbingly boring. Boring, boring. Boring.

I tried the fistfighter class against an average guy. And I rolled my dice and rolled and rolled. And no, it wasn’t fun. Then I tried Moonhop, probably my most favorite GLOG hack. Same there. It just… doesn’t click any more.

The point of return, I have reached it. Future GLOG hacks will forever be highly inspirational source material for me. But they won’t be games I’d like to play. Same goes for Into the Odd.

What I’ll keep using is Mike’s Death&Dying table because I like it. But other than that, it’s FKR, and FKR only.

In FKR-GLOG, I’d probably use opposed d20 rolls and ‘rolls with advantage’ for combat-oriented classes. So the Fistfighter class I’ll mention in a second would roll 2d20-take-best for attacks.

Lucas’s Fistfighter class, FKR-ified

Class: Fistfighter
Fistfighters start with their fists. 4 hits.

Starting Skill:
1=Scholar (start with quill, notebook, and nice but functional clothing)
2=Street Tough (start with deck of cards, and scrappy clothing)
3=Spirit-Raised (start with very fine alcohol, and threadbare clothing)

A: Fistfighting, Quick Footwork
B: +1 hit
C: Footfighting
D: Grappling

If you have both hands free, your unarmed attacks can disorient your opponent if you roll high. If you only have one hand free (or only your legs), you deal normal damage.

Quick Footwork
You are harder to hit and move quickly as long as you are not wearing any armor.

You can make an additional attack each turn, kicking the opponent.

You may make an attack roll with disadvantage. On a success, you pin the target facedown. At the end of each of their turns they may save to escape your pin.

Playing the GLOG with The Landshut rules: REDUX

1. Stats
The only exceptional attribute I roll is Intelligence (15). 

2. Template (Classes)
I pick the Wizard template A. Wizards are weakly creatures, so they are not able to take lots of damage.
My abilities are:
Spellcasting: 1 Magic Die, 1 Spell Slot, and I get two spells
I decide to be an Orthodox Wizard. I roll for my spells and start with Levitate and Lock.

3. Race
I’m a Sparrowling.

4. Attack rolls
Opposed 2d6; better fighter might add a bonus. Ref determines.

5. Gear
I pick 2d6 items: 8.
Leather armor
Blank magic book
ink + quill

…and now I lose 1d6 of them: 4
The d8 determines which items must go: donkey, waterskin, blank magic book, ink+quill.

What remains is:

  • Leather armor
  • Sword
  • Dog
  • Dagger

6. Powers
Since the GLOG has a detailed magic system, I decide to not grant any more powers to starting characters.

The final version of my character:

Gerhard, Sparrowling Orthodox Wizard, Level 1
Templates: Wizard A

very intelligent

Magic Dice: 1
Spells: Levitate, Lock

Gear: Leather armor, sword, dog (“Sprite”), dagger


Oh yes.
After all that philosophizing and meta-plane-drifting, I think it’s time for me to return to something… shall we say, tangible. Or, weirdly tangible. Walter Moers is a fellow countryman of mine, and his Zamonia books have been translated in dozens of languages.

Zamonia is weird, and funny, and interesting, and sometimes, bloodthirsty. Perfect for roleplaying!
And a good fit for GLOG.

…but an even better fit for Troika!.

Thank the mighty gods that TheLawfulNeutral has already posted some really good material for Zamonian roleplaying.

Today, I’d like to introduce the Minipirate race-as-class for my Troika!/Landshut hack.

GLOG: the ancient-school approach

Two days ago, I adapted the original edition of Gary’s game to our Landshut rules.
Today, I’m trying to do the same with the GLOG. Specifically, Skerple’s Many Rats on Sticks edition.
It’s a voluminous edition, with 50+ pages. To me, that’s about 45 pages too long 😉

Let’s do this. I’ll play with a d20 instead of 2d6.

1. Stats
The only exceptional attribute I roll is Intelligence (15). For Constitution, I roll a 10 – I need this number to determine hit points later.

2. Template (Classes)
I pick the Wizard template A. With CON 10, I have 6 hit points.
My abilities are:
Spellcasting: 1 Magic Die, 1 Spell Slot, and I get two spells
I decide to be an Orthodox Wizard. I roll for my spells and start with Levitate and Lock.

3. Race
I’m a Sparrowling.

4. Attack rolls
Wizards are no fighters, so I roll 1d20 to attack, no bonuses. Had I been a fighter, I could have added +5 to my rolls.

5. Gear
I pick 2d6 items: 8.
Leather armor (adds 4 to hp)
Sword d8
Blank magic book
ink + quill

…and now I lose 1d6 of them: 4
The d8 determines which items must go: donkey, waterskin, blank magic book, ink+quill.

What remains is:

  • Leather armor (adds 4 to hp)
  • Sword d8
  • Dog
  • Dagger (d6 damage)

6. Powers
Since the GLOG has a detailed magic system, I decide to not grant any more powers to starting characters.

The final version of my character:

Gerhard, Sparrowling Orthodox Wizard, Level 1
Templates: Wizard A
XP: 0

very intelligent
hp: 6 +4

Magic Dice: 1
Spells: Levitate, Lock

Gear: Leather armor (+4hp), sword (d8), dog (“Sprite”), dagger (d6)

New GLOG class: Whitehack Brave

A week ago, I presented my new GLOG class, the Whitehack Strong. Now’s the time for

The Whitehack Brave 

Starting Equipment: d6 weapon, leather armor
Starting Skill: A Man of Honor, Patience

The Brave can use all weapons.

A: Losing is winning, No!
B: Pack Mule, Helping a Friend
C: Resistance to Curses, All but invisible
D: Divine Grace, Good Enough

Courage trumps both lack of skills and prowess. Brave characters are underdogs and unlikely heroes. 

Losing is winning: Every time a Brave character fails at a roll (attack rolls excluded), he gains a Comeback die (1d6). Add a Comeback Die to any attribute, armor or to use it as damage die when rolling for something else. You can use more than one Comeback Die, but only the highest die counts. If a roll fails despite a Comeback Die, all Comback Dice used for that roll are lost and the roll does not generate a new Comeback Die.

No!: Once per session, the Brave can deny an enemy a successful attack, miracle or fear effect directed at him. 

Pack Mule: The Brave character disregards disadvantage on encumbrance tests.

Helping a friend: The Brave character chooses a party member at the beginning of the session. When he rolls to protect them, the Bravegains one free Comeback Die to his AID.

Resistance to curses: The character rolls with advantage against cursed objects.

All but invisible: At the start of a battle, enemies always choose to attack someone else first — if there is someone else to attack. This feature can be inverted if the player wishes.

Divine Grace: Once per session, the character‘s god will hear his prayer. GM decides in what way this prayer is heard.

Good enough: Any improvised weapon does 1d6 damage.

I don’t care about D&D. My heart belongs to its children.

I don’t care about D&D.
Or to be exact, D&D as a ruleset? Can’t be bothered.
I really can’t. I don’t care (any more) about the original game, and I don’t care (never have) about 3rd, 4th and 5th edition. Too much to do and to choose from, too many moving parts, way too many rules and superheroic feats.
Way. Too. Many.
And sorry but not sorry, descending armor class is bullshit and completely counterintuitive. AAC makes it more bearable, but still… way too many rules.
Way. Too. Many.
I don’t care about much of the OSR, either. Retroclones, my ass. I have the original game(s) on my shelves, and even if I didn’t have them, I’d go buy pdfs or decently priced originals.
I DO care about a few OSR games, though.
I care about @Chris McDowall ‘s Into the Odd. Because it’s so quick and forgiving-unforgiving at the same time. Because it has so, so, so many awesome hacks people wrote for it. Its big brother, Bastionland, will be a piece of art. I’ll be backing this beaut on Kickstarter like crazy.
I care about @Olde House Rules 2d6 system (Blood of Pangea and Barons of Braunstein, specifically). Because it takes me back to a time before fancy dice invaded our hobby. Because it feels positively ancient, but still plays very, very quick.
I care about The GLOG. Because it’s the D&D I always dreamed of and always wanted to play (and tried to write, often enough). Because it has all I want in a game: classes galore, races galore, a magic system that blows my mind because it’s so freakishly awesome (and you can still use old D&D spells if you want).
So there you have it: I don’t care about D&D. I care about three of its children, and that’s really all that counts, isn’t it?

New GLOG class: Whitehack Strong

Headlopper, by Andrew McLean. One of the best comic books I’ve ever read.

Christian Mehrstam’s Whitehack has some very interesting character classes. They’re more like broad character catagories. One of them is called “The Strong”, and it covers every character who uses strength, power and physical might to get things done.

This is my attempt to GLOGify The Strong.

Class: The Strong

Starting Equipment: leather armor, sword, bow, 20 arrows
Starting Skill: Repair armor, or Patch wounds

You gain +1 Hit Point for each Strong template you possess.
Fighters can use all weapons.

A: Protect, Push, Monster Power
B: Cling, Battle Frenzy
C: Tactics, Encourage
D: Hit and Fire, Opportunity Attack

Protect: Forsake all other actions in a round, and you may protect an adjacent character by attracting all attacks on you. This last till your next turn. Enemy can save vs. this effect.

Push: After a successful attack, push an opponent backwards 10 feet (save negates) and move into their space.

Monster Power: You gain one single power (special attack, trick, substance extracted from their body, supernatural ability) from a killed enemy. You must deliver the killing blow. This power can be exchanged if you kill a new enemy. Use your Monster Power (Level) times per day.

Cling: You can cling onto huge monsters and even climb them (DEX check). When you cling to a monster and attack it, gain +4 to Attack and damage as long as you hang on.

Battle Frenzy: Spend one round of concentration and work up a battle frenzy (+2 Attack and damage, but -3 Defense). When the battle is over, save vs. frenzy or continue your attacks for another round. The one standing closest to you is your target.

Tactics: Bestow +2 Attack and +2 Defense on an ally, once per battle.

Encourage: Encourage all friends who stand close to you (15 feet radius), giving them +1 Defense and +1 Save. Invert this to put fear into your enemies’ hearts.

Hit and Fire: Forsake your move and make a one-handed melee attack AND a one-handed ranged attack in the same round.

Opportunity Attack: Instead of attacking, gain a +2 to Defense in a round. In exchange, you get +4 Attack and damage against one of the enemies you parried. Parry instead of attacking for two consecutive rounds, and you gain +6 Attack and damage. If you take damage in any parrying round, you lose these bonuses.

The GLOG – a guide for new initiates

As I’ve written in the past few days, I’m in love with an OSR system called ‘GLOG’, short for ‘Goblin Laws of Gaming‘. Or, to be more exact, Arnold created these rules first, and then a lot of others wrote their versions of them.

Its beauty is its simplicity. Also, the GLOG is nothing like all the countless other retroclones out there. It gives a flying fuck about staying close to whatever old version of D&D it tries to emulate, comes up with new and really exciting ideas (enter GLOG magic) and literally hundreds upon hundreds of classes and spells. The GLOG is just like your own feverish fantasy: It is what you want it to be.

The GLOG is also: free. And I mean this in both senses of the word. Free, as in free as a bird. You can really let your imagination soar, and the rules won’t stand in your way, while still providing a solid framework to hang your ideas on. And free, as in free of cost – if your financial situation doesn’t look very bright at the moment, you can still download ALL the material for absolutely free.

To some people, the possibly hundreds of blog posts with GLOG content, PLUS the wild variety of rulebooks available, look more like a threat (some call it “mess”).

But fear not – the following example of character creation will hopefully help you.

I’m deliberately using my own patchwork GLOG rules to prove to you that creating GLOG characters AND playing/running it is extremely simple.

As mentioned before, I use the Rat on a Stick edition as foundation, but for character creation, I’m using the Trenchcoat edition (the name coming from the blog that posted it, ‘Two goblins in a trenchcoat’). The reason: This edition has more races and failed careers.

Let’s open the pdf.

Ah, page 2. Character creation.

What do we have here? The same six stats as good ol’ D&D. That’s good. We know them, we know what they mean. So, let’s roll 3d6 in order:
STR 15, DEX 15, CON 10, INT 13, WIS 14, CHA 10 (holy shit, I really just rolled these numbers)

Stat Modifiers:
STR +2, DEX +2, INT +1, WIS +1

Then: Roll for Race. We’re still using Trenchcoat.

d60 on the Race Table: 7, I’m a Human. I may choose one stat for a reroll, and so I pick CON: 11! As a perk, I get a dog, but I’m rolling at a disadvantage when I have to save vs. mutations.

Next: Roll for Failed Career.

d100 on the table: Forester. I start with a bear trap.

Next: Filling out the other fields on the character sheet.

  • HP: I’m using the Rat on a Stick formula because it’s more forgiving: HP=CON-4, so: 7
  • Attack STR (that’s the number I have to roll on or under to hit successfully): 10+STR mod, so: 12
  • Attack DEX (ranged): 10+DEX mod, so: 12
  • Defense (that number, subtracted from 10, is subtracted from the attacker’s Attack stat):  10+DEX mod, so: 12
  • Save (like in Whitebox and other games, there’s only one general Save stat): 6+CHA mod, so: 6
  • Initiative: I don’t use this rule, so I leave this field blank
  • Aid (when you’re helping someone, for instance, trying to stabilize severely injured beings): INT/2, so: 7
  • Sneak: DEX-4, so: 11
  • Inventory Slots: STR, so: 15.

Next: Choose your Class.

Most GLOG variants offer several classes to choose from, but since they’re all cross-compatible, you can simply go ahead and pick one of the more than 300 classes available (and I’m sure, there are lots more out there on the intarwebs):

So let’s say, I’m picking the Barbarian.

You’ll notice that every GLOG class offers 4 different sets of abilities, from A to D. What you’ll do is you write down all the abilities listed under A. Later, when you gain a new level, you can either choose to pick the second set of abilities (B), or, even COOLER, you may choose to pick another class altogether. If you’re doing this, you’re multiclassing without all the fuzz of other games, and you’ll write down the first set of abilities (A) of the new class. That way, you could, theoretically, create a Barbarian-Cleric-Gambler-Orthodox Wizard. And yes, I would totally play that.

But we’re starting out right now, so I pick Set A from the Barbarian’s list. It contains one single ability: Rage. I won’t go into details about that ability, you can easily read it for yourself.

I also get to roll one starting skill: 1, I’m a Mountaineer. That means I can’t wear chain or plate armor.  I roll again to determine my mountaineer background: 2, I was a prince of a great nation who lived in valleys between mountains that cut through the clouds. Fucking A, man. I also get the Courtesy skill, 1 piece of gold, and the starting Noble rank of 1. Awesome!

That’s basically it. I now have a (poorly) equipped Barbarian and I know all his stats. What’s next?

Next: The GLOG Game system.

It’s a roll-on-or-under system. My barbarian has DEX 15, so whenever DEX is involved, I try to roll on or under 15 – a solid 75 percent success chance.

Opposed rolls are pretty simple, as well: Let’s say, I want to armwrestle another barbarian with STR 12. My barbarian has STR 15. Simply subtract the opponent’s stat from 10 and add the result to your STR. That’s the number you must roll on or under to beat him. So: 10-12 =-2. My STR of 15 -2 = 13. You could use change this to a more active resistance: Both sides try to roll on or under. The side with the higher, but still successful roll wins. Either way: Piece of cake.

Next: Combat.

Initiative: I’m not a fan of initiative rules, so we either establish the order of actions narratively, or I have each side (not individual) roll 1d6, higher goes first.

Let’s say, I attack you. I have an Attack stat of 12. You have a Defense stat (which will increase if you’re wearing armor), let’s say 11. Like with the opposed rolls above, I subtract your DEF from 10, then add the result to my Attack stat: 10-11=-1; 12-1 = 11. For this combat, I have to roll 11, tops, to hit you successfully. Let’s say you’re wearing chain armor (4 points), then the armor value is added to your Defense: 11+4 = 15. I would have to roll on or under 7. That’s a 35 percent success chance.

The simpler variant that doesn’t change the math is the one we were discussing on the Discord GLOG server the other day: Take the opponent’s armor value, add +1 for every point his DEF is above 10, subtract 1 for every point his DEF is under 10. So an opponent with DEF 11 wearing chain armor (4 points) gets 4+1= 5 points. Now, when I attack, I still try to roll on or under my Attack, but over the opponent’s number. In my case, this would result in a range between 6 and 12. This, again, is a 35 percent success chance.

Let’s say I roll my attack successfully and, thus, hit you. Now, I’m rolling damage, adding my STR bonus. The sum is the number of Hit Points you lose. Once you get to 0 hit points, nothing is lost, you’re not dead, but every hit after that has the potential to severely injure or kill you.

I’m using the Death & Dismemberment Table from the Die Trying edition. Let’s say, I hit you (5 hp) with a whopping 10 points of damage. You are now at -5 hp. I attacked you with my sword, so slashing damage it is.

The entry reads: “Horrifying near-miss, +1 Trauma”.
Now, I don’t use Trauma rules, so I simply take the next line down: “Painful injury; +1 DD and Shaken (Disadvantage on all checks), save ends”

That’s interesting! So my blow has probably cut you wide open and you’re bleeding profusely. Do yo know what “DD” means? DD are “Death Dice”. Each DD is a d6, and you add the result of that DD to every hit or damage you receive. Uh-oh.

Let’s continue this example: We exchange blows, you hit me, then, I hit you. I roll another 10 points of damage, but now I add the result of the 1 Death Die: 3. So, 13 points of slashing damage. Oh. The entry reads: “Left arm disabled; +3 DD”. Oh boy. This hit got you pretty good. You now have 4 DD. You are still standing, though. Maybe it’s advisable to play possum? But you won’t. OK. I understand that.

You attack, but miss (because of the Disadvantage you have, see above). My attack hits home again, and I’m rolling a sweet 8 for damage. PLUS 4 Death Dice: 4,2,4,4 = 14. That’s a total of 22 slashing damage. The entry reads: “+6 DD, automatically suffer a Breakdown”.

Now, you’re going down. You’ve collected 10 Death Dice in this combat, which means if someone hit you again now, the average damage coming from the Death Dice alone would be 35, resulting in, to quote the table, “TOTAL OBLITERATION”.

So there you have it. The bare basics of the GLOG. Very, very simple, right?
If you want me to write another piece for Wizards, please let me know.

And now, folks, please, puh-lease, give the GLOG a whirl. It’s a great, great game.

My own private FrankenGLOG (or is it GLOGgenstein?)

This is what I wrote on MeWe yesterday:

Just came back from our first GLOG game ever. And FUCK ME, what an awesome game it was! This really is what I have been looking for, for ages and ages! Super quick, super easy to referee, cool and funny classes… Thank y’all for writing all the crazy good material, and thank you, @ArnoldK, for inventing that system. It’ll be my go-to rpg from now on. We had so much fun tonight, we roared with laughter 🙂
Haven’t had so much fun in a long time in an rpg session. Arnold calls it a “swift little engine of joy”, and I agree wholeheartedly. And add the following, “a swift little engine of joy that can handle anything you throw at it”. And no shit, I think I have found my game.

I think I’m in sweet nerdy nerd-love again. The object of my gaming heart’s desire is called GLOG. My, what a wonderful, wondrous, free, humorous, welcoming and light-hearted creature you are!

You tickle my gaming nerves in all the right places: roll-to-hit, HD/hp and stats compatible with the old editions of Ye Olde Game, just the right amount of special abilities (between 4 and 8, tops), and multiclassing is outrageously simple (just pick another class template when you gain a new level, gather the special abilities, done).

There are many different variations of Arnold’s original GLOG out there; I picked a few and created my personal Frankenglog, consisting of: