Into the pbtA

Two days ago, I created a Dungeon World character randomly, using nothing but Johnstone’s Class Warfare, and 3d6.

This was the result:

GUNTHER, Warrior
STR (18) +2
DEX (12) 0
CON (9)0
INT (12) 0
WIS (9) 0
CHA (13) +1
hp: 10
Load: 12
Recruiting for the causeWhen you recruit, also pick options equal to your CHA. On a 10+, all of them are true. On a 7–9, only one of them is true, GM’s choice. On a miss, none of them are true:

  • You gain the support of the locals, and my carouse in town before leaving.
  • You recruit a small squad of hirelings who do not have skills.
  • You recruit an additional, skilled hireling.
  • You requisition a piece of equipment from the locals.

Loyal CrewYou run a gang. They could be soldiers, pirates, thieves or mercenaries, but they’re yours and you are their captain and commander. By default, your crew is a medium-sized group (12-15 people), cautious, intelligent, and organized. In the normal course of operations, they obey your orders. Your crew are elite troops, a small-sized group (5-10 people). Roll +WIS to command them. They run a caravan. They’re poor, with shoddy equipment and no money.
The Weight of CommandWhen you issue a command to your crew during a charged situation, roll +WIS. On 1 10+, your crew obey you. On a 7–9, you have a problem to deal with first. Either they demand rewards, fight back, or try to back down until you make an example of one of them or convince them some other way. On a miss, eitehr one of them makes a concerted effort to supplant you as leader or they fall prey to their poverty.
Charge!When you lead the charge into combat, those you lead take +1 forward.

Now, a couple of days ago, Voidlight came up with this idea:

Today, I’ll do some Into the pbtA magic:
– Use a pbtA and plug it into ItO

Like so:

GUNTHER, WarriorSTR18 DEX12 CHA 13, hp10 
Moves (roll w/Advantage): 
Recruiting for the cause (CHA),  I have a Loyal Crew (CHA), Command my Crew (CHA), Lead charge into Combat (crew rolls w/Advantage for the first d6 rounds)


Into the Odd: Corporate Warfare, made easy

Into the Odd is a genius game.
Its rules just invite you to tinker with them.

Today, I’m thinking about Corporate Warfare. Yes, organizations at war. How do you emulate that?
With Into the Odd, of course. Because it’s really that easy.

  1. Turn your corporation into a character: STR becomes FINances, DEX becomes MArket MObility, and CHA becomes CONnections. Roll 3d6 for each stat. Roll 1d6 for Hedge Profit (HP). 
  2. Weapons:
    d4 Ham-handed disinformation campaign
    d6 Usual sting tactics etc
    d8 Data-theft campaign
    d10 Supply-chain attacks
    d12 Concerted Eradication Offense 
  3. Each turn of CorpWar is about 3 months or so.

Quick and decisive combat with Into the Odd

We’re playtesting the Into the Odd/Electric Bastionland combat rules for a cinematic cyberpunk game… and they’re BEAUTIFUL. The last situation we tried was this here: a hired killer (STR8 DEX 13 CHA 11, 17 hp) with an assault rifle against 7 goons (4hp, daggers d6). Location: dark warehouse. They spot him, and start to run towards him. He gets one chance to spray them with bullets before they arrive. We’re using the “Into the Jungle” autofire rules. Player: rolls a d20 – he has to roll 18 or lower for the first burst, 15 or lower for the second, and 10 or lower for the third. He makes all three rolls, so he can now roll damage three times. After this attack, three goons were dead. Goons: Now they’ve reached his position, and we roll group initiative: The goons win. I roll damage: 4d6, highest die: a 6. The player character (killer) is down to 11 hp. Next round, player wins initiative. Player: There’s still four of them, shiiiiat! I let myself drop onto my back (a move we learned in Russian military combatives), and try to squeeze the trigger! (He’s the one most at risk, so I have him make a DEX save, with Disadvantage – and he aces it!) Again, the player goes for three bursts of fire; two of them are successful, then, he’s out of ammo. These shots kill another two gangsters. Two left. Now’s the goons’ turn. Goons: roll 2d6 for damage, and again, highest die is a 6. The player character is down to 5 hp. New round. The gangsters win initiative. Goons: roll 2d6 for damage, and ANOTHER 6 pops up. The player character is down to 0 hp, and STR 7. He makes a STR save to avoid critical damage, but misses. Holy SHIT, that was AWESOME!

Troikatober: Into Troika!

Some of you might know that I’m a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Into the Odd. In all honesty, I do think that Troika! and Into the Odd are the best game systems around – this also includes my own rules-lite rpgs. (The GLOG clocks in at third place).

Today, I’d like to show you my ideas on converting Troika! backgrounds (player characters) to Into the Odd – and vice versa. This has been totally NOT playtested, so tread carefully.

Troika! Stamina Into the Odd STR
14 3
15 4
16 5
17 6
18 7
19 7+1d6
20 14
21 15
22 16
23 17
24 18

Into the Odd
4 D6+3
5 10
6 10+1d8
Into the Odd
7 1
8 2
9 3
10 4
11 5
12 6

Advanced Skills: to use them in Into the Odd, simply make a save against the most appropriate stat and use the Skill number as stat modifier.

When converting from Troika! to Into the Odd, roll 3d6 for CHA/WIL.

An example:
I have a Troika! lansquenet with Skill 4-Sta 22-Luck 10. His Advanced Skills are 2 Greatsword Fighting, 2 Pistolet, 1 Run, 1 Fist Fighting and 1 Astrology.
Let`s convert this character to Into the Odd:
Stamina 22 is STR 16. Skill 4 means I have to roll 1d+3 to determine DEX; I roll a 2, so I have DEX 5. Luck 10 translates to 4 hp. I roll 3d6 for CHA and get a 9. The ItO lansquenet looks like this: STR16-DEX5-CHA9-hp4

I know, I know… active parry for Into the Odd.

Yep, you can blame me. Or my latest infatuation with the genius OSR system called GLOG and its many variants. Into the Odd still is one of my favorite systems, ever. And I keep tinkering with it because it invites me to do so.

So, active parry for Into the Odd. Anathema for some. Heresy. To me? I don’t care. I’m trying, I’m playing, I’m twisting and its rules, just to see what kind of rainbow will shine out the other end. 
Instead of going to direct damage, use this:
  1. Establish initiative.
  2. Attacker rolls on or under 10+STR mod (=Strength/3 minus 3) to hit with d20
  3. Defender rolls on or under 10+armor*2+DEX mod (=Dexterity/3 minus 3) to defend with d20
  4. Compare successful rolls: higher roll wins (if attacker wins, he rolls damage; if defender wins, he defends successfully)

Moonhop – if you like OSR games, you’ll LOVE this.

I’ve said it before, and now I’m saying it again: Into the Odd beats almost any other OSR game (with @Olde House Rules games being the exception) in efficiency, quickness and pure joy of playing.

Another OSR game system that I consider to be among the best out there is The GLOG and its hacks (Arnold K.’s “Goblin Laws of Gaming”, original game is here: because it makes writing new classes, flexible spells and multiclassing a snap. Currently, there are more than 300 classes and more than 500 spells available, all for free. Similar to Into the Odd, you can play any old school D&D module and convert it to Glog on the fly.

Now, Moonhop combines the super-quick gameplay, character generation and decisive combat of Into the Odd with the Glog’s class and magic system. This, gentlemen, is truly magnificent. Buy it here and play, play, play:

Darkworm Colt — an Epic Fantasy of Sword & Magic

I’ve been looking for a name for my new fantasy game. Didn’t find it, at first, but it was right there in front of my eyes, the whole time.

Darkworm Colt — an epic fantasy of swords & magic

This is not only the name of my blog, but also appropriately weird, hitting all the right notes. Darkworm Colt takes its inspiration from Bakshi films, Heavy Metal 1 and 2, and other 60s/70s/80s fantasy movies. It will will contain:

  • a system based on Into the Odd/Electric Bastionland, i.e., super quick and easy to handle 
  • 30 weird character classes 
  • 4 traditional old school character classes, with 
  • clerics coming in two flavors: traditional clerics and holy men/women/hermaphrodites. Clerics use clerical insignia (item-bound spells) to do magic, holy people use guru prayer beads that bestow a new temporary power upon their wearer every day. 
  • 300 spells (colluted from Chris’s list and Ben Milton’s knave) 
  • simple level-less magic system with magic dice a la GLOG 
  • probably tables to generate mood and appropriate descriptions

I’m pretty happy with how it’s developing at the moment.

Through the week with a Holy Man: details on the Cleric in my Into the Odd fantasy hack

I’m currently working on a game that uses the Into the Odd/Electric Bastionland rules, but transplants the action into the fantasy genre. Depending on your mood, you can either pick the “weird” classes the game offers, or stay traditional and play one of the backgrounds of the original D&D game: cleric, fighting-man, magic-user or thief.

When you decide to play a cleric, you have two options:

  • a) Play a traditional Cleric (uses item-bound spells, colored to fit their god)
  • b) Play a Holy Person (prays each day and rolls to see what special power their god grants them for the day)
Clerics start with one Holy Symbol (spell-item) and one permanent special ability, bestowed upon them by their god. Holy Persons choose to pick so-called Holy Numbers and intonate them properly. Then, they roll a d6 to determine what happens.
Let’s stay with a Holy Man for this post. 

He has STR 8 DEX 11 WIL 14 hp 2. He gets a blunt weapon (1d6) and armor 1. His god is a protective god. 

On day 1, he picks the Holy Number 7, rolls a d6 and his god grants him the ability to turn a target or himself immaterial for 1d4 rounds.

On day 2, he picks the Holy Number 5, rolls a d6 and gains armor 3 for this day.

On day 3 and 4, he picks the Holy Number 3, rolls a d6 and gains armor 3 for these days.

On day 5, he picks the Holy Number 7, rolls a d6 and his god forces a target to be spiritually fascinated by a piece of armor the Holy Man determines, effectively cutting any damage the target does does in half.

On day 6, he picks the Holy Number 8, rolls a d6 and, for this day, can either turn ten pieces of garment into Armor 1, or give ten targets Armor 3, or let ten persons resist poison successfully, or turn ten persons immaterial for 1d4 rounds.

On day 7, he picks the Holy Number 4, rolls a d6 and his armor and that of his companions permanently gain +1.

These results are all pretty generic. That’s intentional. The random effects still need to be dressed up in colorful description by the player. The Holy Man I wrote about here might see the effects of his god’s powers as divine light surrounding his body, while another Holy Man might be protected by the giant spiritual hands of his goddess.

Bottom line: I’m pretty satisfied with how the Divine Miracles of the Holy Persons work. More on this after playtesting.