05 May 2019

Dragon dimensions and carry capacity spread sheet and calculator for pre-wotc dnd and adjacent games

Dragon dimensions and carry capacity spread sheet and calculator.

I and my spouse have been working on a personalized one on one version of dnd and accompanying setting. Currently it's titled Kobolds and Kaiju and is centered on kobolds that ride on dragons. The setting is an aerial and mountain peak based one. As it is influenced by Oregon Trail, Mount & Blade, and Ryuutama as well as Mystara and Spelljammer, we're putting a lot of emphasis on travel and logsitics. Which is why the spreadsheet.

The Mystaran/BECMI rules for aerial mounts, especially dragons, are underwhelming. Dragons are small. Their carrying capacity is low and linearly scales. And their monthly upkeep is laughably low for intelligent and powerful creatures like dragons.

So I dug into the 2e AD&D Draconomicon for the exponential increase of mass proportional to body length and the percentage mass of food based on body mass and age. Along the way all kinds of fun nonsense because dragons aren't real, and I found several articles on estimating the wingspan and mass of pterosaurs, here and here, at the suggestion of a friend to look into that. They later also asked about the 3e D&D Draconomicon which I had not bothered to look into because 3e is super chunky in terms of size categories. Turns out that there are all the gross physical dimensions, including wingspan and mass per age/size. So some of those numbers are very similar to my calculations, mass isn't and neither is carrying capacity, mine is based on the upper limit of carnivorous bats, originally raptors, of 50% of mass, and the 3e is based on size, strength, and the rules that only a light load can be flown with.

My sheet ended up as a hybridization of BECMI and 2e dragons with upkeep based on food consumed, cargo capacity, and treating the dragon as a navigator/pilot.

Funny note, the wingspans listed the 3e make sense, but the illustrated wingspans are more than double that.

20 April 2019

A quick bit on sky-rat aeroplanes

A quick bit on sky-rat aeroplanes
My wife and I are working on our own personal setting, part of which involves kobold riding dragons and gnome sky-rat aeroplanes.
Because of my fondness of PC2 and the gnome aeroplanes I’ve been keeping my eye out for books on early aircraft. And found this the 16th.

Since I noticed that the Mk VI Polecat is super similar looking to the Fokker Dr.I, I’ve been wondering if there were other strong similarities between other planes for purposes of filling in the non-combat specs of those planes. PC2 lacks important information such as the dimensions and weight of the planes.

Clockwise from the upper left: Pflanger-Skyratchet, Smurfri-Lodestar, Topcat, Polecat



Fokker Dr.I

As Classics of the Air isn’t an exhaustive resource on early military aircraft it wouldn’t be fair to assume all the craft in PC2 will find a twin in it. However, have found close twins and for my purposes they will probably suffice.
Either or both of the two-seaters, Pflanger-Skyratchet or Topcat, could be based on the Brequet 19 or the Albatross C.III.

Albatross C.III
Brequet Bre 19


The Smurfri-Lodestar bears a resemblance to the de Havilland Dragons and Dragon Rapides.

DH.84 Dragon

13 April 2019

The Phlogister for the Harry Clark Bestiary


The Phlogister

Number of Party: One
Level: 10
Armor: As Mail & Shield
Movement: As a normal person or a bit faster than a vessel
Attacks: Two lanterns, each as a heavy flail
Special attack: Petrifying fog
Special defense: Mundane fog
Special weakness: Triple damage from fire-based attacks
Other notes: Petrifying fog is extremely flammable, tripling the size and damage of fire-based attack. Any mundane fire will explode in a 3'-5' radius for 1d6d6 damage.
Treasure: Scarf of Void-Breathing, Suit of Star-twinkles and Astral-rays (enchanted mail), Slippers of Vapor Stepping, Lanterns of Phlogiston, and 5d10 slightly irradiated gold pieces.
Alignment: Celestial Law

A phlogister is a mysterious being encountered in interstellar space, the astral or ethereal planes. They are always encountered within a fog, noticeably denser interstellar dust, or a thickening of the phlogiston. They are so rarely met that many scholars believe there to be only one; however, there are as many as there are stars and celestial realms. As agents of Celestial Law they are non-aggressive towards most mortals and are unconcerned with their laws and rules, concerned only with the maintenance of the local celestial regions.

If pressed or provoked to combat, in addition to their garb and lanterns, their fog provides concealment equal to a heavy fog, 50% miss chance. Their twin lanterns are fueled by the pure ethereal light of stars, the source of the constantly flowing mists. Each round they can make two attacks, one per lantern. At will a phlogister can turn the mists into shimmering & glowing phlogiston. In most places it will take one round to reach optimal density, after which each round inflicts a petrification effect, first reducing all speeds by 75%, then all speeds and attacks by 50%, then 25%, finally petrifaction. Each stage allows a save vs petrification to stave off the effect for a round. While a creature remains within the phlogiston, they have to continue making saving throws. Only a remove curse of an 11th level or higher caster or uncoerced will of the phlogister can reverse these effects. Should they face overwhelming odds or are reduced to 25% hp, they will flee at just faster than the speed of any pursers, escaping after 1d6 rounds. Each round whomever is leading may make a 5d6 roll-under WIS check to maintain distance, adding 1 more round.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

07 April 2019

ꙮ The Panopticium: An Entry From the Soggy Warlock's Compendium of Curious Creatures

The second monster for Mini Monster Jam on itchio is the many-eyed and feathered giants know as the panopticium. The main submission to the jam is here, and will be PWYW until the jam is over, in less than a day.

I'm also selling these entries singularly on Drivetru. After I have enough make it worth doing print I'll bundle the pdfs up etc.


The panopticium are peacock-feathered giants, generally around 12 feet tall, with skin covered almost entirely with eyes. Their origins are speculated to be from the blood of ancient god of guardians. They claim to hail from some far off celestial sphere or plane, appearing primarily when summoned as guardians for some great treasure. As a rule they are peaceable folk. Even when engaged in any form of guardianship, they rarely immediately attack potential thieves, looters, or invaders. They prefer a sensible escalation of force, and are more than willing to chat, even to the extent that they will halt combat if their attackers decide to cease hostilities. However, they are implacable foes if anything within their charge is harmed or stolen.

While they do not need to sleep, and rarely do, they are not immune, or even resistant any effect that can induce slumber or drowsiness.

Their eyebeams can be emitted from one of their manifold eyes, even the apparently false ones on their peacock-like plumage. All but petrification take the form of strands of light enclosing an appropriate portion of the target's anatomy (fulls body for paralysis, eyes for blindness, ears for deafness, extremities for slow). These strands may be cut by anyone free to do so with an attack dealing maximum weapon damage to the target, or requiring a full round and dealing no damage. A petrified target takes the form of glowing marble and requires curse removal, a reversed petrification effect, or the uncoerced will of the panopticium who inflicted it. Any form of magical darkness able to counteract or overwhelm magical light can prevent the usage of a panopticium's eyebeams.

06 April 2019

The Nautilium: Well-Dressed Skull-Munching Opium-Smoking Sophonts From the Stars

So I was making fun of Product Identity monsters on twitter the other day, and I noticed that the Mini Monster Jam on itchio is still going. So I've brainstorming some monsters kind of like them.

Introducing the nautilium. They come from space. Dress very well. Eat mammalian organs. And smoke opium.

It's PWYW until the jam ends. If I remember.

I'm also selling these entries singularly on Drivetru. After I have enough make it worth doing print I'll bundle the pdfs up etc.


These well-dressed folks hail from the stars. They are an aristocratic people. Extremely charming to anyone they perceive as being their equals or betters. However, for the most part they consider all non-nautilium to be useful servants at best or conveyances and food at worst. For you see, these celestial sailors dine upon all manner of mammalian organs, especially brains. And it is through their horrendous appetites they can conceal their deep secret. That they are actually small nautilus-like creatures from the star that through their superior medical science can gain control of any headless mammalian body, preferring those of humans and similarly shaped creatures.

Their cultural manner of dress is similar to 18th century European aristocracy cut from wondrous metallic fabrics. Those appearing to Ladies will always have a either a mask (1-2) or an opium pipe (3-4) or both (5-6) in or close at hand. Those dressed as Gentlemen will always have a Radiant Pistol with 6 shots and a finely made sword made of mother-of-pearl. If 50% or more of the Ladies present have masks then an equal number of Gentlemen will have them as well. Naturally, if a Party of nautilium have infiltrated a human or like creature ball or courtly affair, all will be carrying and using masks.

29 March 2019

Rough flying monster conversion guide to Stars Without Number: Speed/Maneuverability


In my opinion, while SWN is supposed to be a drag-n-drop OSR game, it's missing something I think would be important. It doesn't have any guidance on how to give a Speed rating to the kind monsters you would be hunting or fleeing from in a vehicle, particularly flying monsters, but large monsters in general. Vehicles don't have a movement rating; they have a Speed rating. Even Engines of Babylon despite including overland rates, does not explicitly include a tactical movement rating.

Without a Speed rating, it becomes difficult to adjudicate sweet aerial combat with Alien Space Dragons or even a Swarm of Giant Bees.

BECMI Maneuver Factor to SWN Speed is based on the gnomish aeroplanes from Top Ballista having the best plane be on par with an atmoflyer.

NB: The Champions of Mystara Spelljammer conversion has in the quick conversion MC A=MF 5, MC B=MF 1, and MC F=MF ⅕. So, there will be two charts.

My current conversion:



SWN Speed
BECMI MF
AD&D MC
Pathfinder MC
5
5
A
PERFECT
4
4




3
3
B
GOOD
2
2




1
1
C
AVERAGE
0
1/2




-1
1/3
D
POOR
-2
1/4
E
CLUMSY
-3
1/5
F
VERY CLUMSY

Conversion based on Champions of Mystara:


SWN Speed
BECMI MF
AD&D MC
Pathfinder MC
5
5
A
PERFECT
4
4




3
3




2
2




1
1
B
GOOD
0
1/2
C
AVERAGE
-1
1/3
D
POOR
-2
1/4
E
CLUMSY
-3
1/5
F
VERY CLUMSY





24 March 2019

Kyuun Kyuun Super Dimensional Love

Like I've said previously, I'm working on a Macross rpg. To me that means it has to explicitly allow for and encourage the kinds of events that unfold in each show, even sort of the OVAs.

That is, it needs to have mecha combat, and that has to be able to do aerial combat and h2h mecha combat, but at a pace that will, hopefully, make it feel like close to the speed on screen. In other words, not something crunchy like Battletech or Mekton.

It also needs to make relationships and emotion matter beyond a "just RP it" style dismissal.

Finally, the power of song needs to matter. And I don't mean some whimpy ass bardic inspiration style shit. Each show ends with the power of love and song winning. The mecha violence is kind of padding.

I started out working on this building off Basic Role-Playing Mecha and King Arthur Pendragon. I've been looking Mekton and Fuzion, which has kind of cool rules for dogfighting, at Powered by the Apocalypse games like Monsterhearts.

I'm currently looking at Forged in the Dark games because the clock mechanic is very appealing in that I don't need to make something non-combat, like singing space magic, directly affect combat, because that happens more and more frequently as the meta-series progresses, and that I think I can use consequences to do things like location based damage to mecha without getting all crunchy and shit.

I've been working on it as it's own specific thing since about February, and it's not even at an alpha playtest stage yet.

I was planning to a text dump or link to the google folder and the discord I set up for it, but since it's still at the what do I really want to do phase and I cannot as of yet playtest it myself, I'm keeping those under my hat.