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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Wanted to pop in and apologize for whatever is happening at the blog. I totally scheduled a post to publish last night and it didn't. I must've gotten the date wrong.

It's up now. Sorry for the incompetence on my part.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
DCCFan asked: "I rolled an 8, 12, 7, 10, 7, and a 14 for stats. A 48% and then a 3 on the d20 roll. What does that get me in TA?"

Here ya go...

Quote:
CHARACTER INFO
Demonologist
Gender: Male
Starting Age: 17 + 3d6 years
Wealth: Struggling
Description: Demonologists study grimoires, demons and the people who use them. A Demonologist is a pariah in proper society. It’s an occupation best kept secret. But Demonologists are sought out for all sorts of inquiries into the nature of supernatural occurrences. A Demonologist might come from a family that is hounded by the forces of darkness. Or a Demonologist may be travelling to Transylvania to learn more about the unholy creatures that reside there.

STATS
Strength: 8
Agility: 12
Stamina: 7
Intelligence 10
Personality: 7
Luck: 14

Hit Points: 3
Armor Class: 12

SAVES
Fortitude: -1
Reflex: +0
Will: -1

EQUIPMENT:
Athame (as Knife)
Exotic puzzlebox that inexplicably shifts into various planar shapes all on its own
Chain, 10'


I had to double-check the occupation. But that's what a 48 (and only a 48) will get you. You were one good roll (Luck) away from being able to use the "Life's Been Good to Me So Far" chart.

Oh, I've been neglecting the "Lucky Roll" thing. My bad. Transylvanian Adventures uses the same table for that as DCC. Those are, by far, the lowest Hit Points I've seen yet. But you've got the start to a good Theorist there.

Thanks, DCCFan.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 4:57 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Posts: 609
Location: Auburndale, FL
smathis wrote:
DCCFan asked: "I rolled an 8, 12, 7, 10, 7, and a 14 for stats. A 48% and then a 3 on the d20 roll. What does that get me in TA?"

Here ya go...

Quote:
CHARACTER INFO
Demonologist
Gender: Male
Starting Age: 17 + 3d6 years
Wealth: Struggling
Description: Demonologists study grimoires, demons and the people who use them. A Demonologist is a pariah in proper society. It’s an occupation best kept secret. But Demonologists are sought out for all sorts of inquiries into the nature of supernatural occurrences. A Demonologist might come from a family that is hounded by the forces of darkness. Or a Demonologist may be travelling to Transylvania to learn more about the unholy creatures that reside there.

STATS
Strength: 8
Agility: 12
Stamina: 7
Intelligence 10
Personality: 7
Luck: 14

Hit Points: 3
Armor Class: 12

SAVES
Fortitude: -1
Reflex: +0
Will: -1

EQUIPMENT:
Athame (as Knife)
Exotic puzzlebox that inexplicably shifts into various planar shapes all on its own
Chain, 10'


I had to double-check the occupation. But that's what a 48 (and only a 48) will get you. You were one good roll (Luck) away from being able to use the "Life's Been Good to Me So Far" chart.

Oh, I've been neglecting the "Lucky Roll" thing. My bad. Transylvanian Adventures uses the same table for that as DCC. Those are, by far, the lowest Hit Points I've seen yet. But you've got the start to a good Theorist there.

Thanks, DCCFan.


Cool sounding character. Even though his stats are very low a Demonologist would be fun to roleplay. I like the puzzle box idea. It got my imagination working overtime thinking about what this guy would look like with this morphing box levitating above his head while he meditates inside a pentagram.

_________________
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

THE PROTOCOLS, ADVANCED PROTOCOL #10


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:28 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
DCCfan wrote:
Cool sounding character. Even though his stats are very low a Demonologist would be fun to roleplay. I like the puzzle box idea. It got my imagination working overtime thinking about what this guy would look like with this morphing box levitating above his head while he meditates inside a pentagram.


His stats are pretty low. That doesn't mean he won't be successful, however. Much like DCC, stats aren't everything for a character. Characters in Transylvanian Adventures aren't stuck with the stats they've rolled, however. There's an opportunity to boost a stat score at each level to help offset the permanent loss of ability scores from things like injury, spellburn and such.

And, what's more, if that Luck score was only a couple points lower, the character would've rolled on a table for a "Disadvantage". These range from comical to character-defining. And taking one gives a +2 to a stat of your choice. I had to set some guidelines on the stats, though, because everyone wanted one. I guess that gives you an idea of what kind of "disadvantages" they were. If everyone wanted one, they can't be that bad.

I'm calling the table the "Life's Been Good to Me So Far" table, btw.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:55 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
Exotic puzzle box! Someone likes Hellraiser!


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:34 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Posts: 896
Location: the Towers of Carcosa
Karaptis wrote:
Exotic puzzle box! Someone likes Hellraiser!


Pssht. Everyone who is anyone likes Hellraiser.

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Enigma-Judge Narzill Tanntos (armorer Cleric of Amun Tor 4); Strength 15; Agility 10; Stamina 14; Personality 14; Intelligence 8; Luck 16; Neutral; AC 16 (banded mail); HP 24; missing three fingers from left hand.

Please, call me Master Jenks while we're in the Sign of the Three Rats flophouse.

"Will somebody please call all the ambulances?"


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:42 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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True enough!


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:47 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Karaptis wrote:
Exotic puzzle box! Someone likes Hellraiser!


Lol. Glad someone caught that. :)


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:52 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 2216
smathis wrote:
Karaptis wrote:
Exotic puzzle box! Someone likes Hellraiser!


Lol. Glad someone caught that. :)


I feel pretty sure that a lot of people caught that.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
Posts: 407
Location: The end of time.
Not to be confused with the cursed item Erotic Puzzle Box!!! :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Karaptis wrote:
Not to be confused with the cursed item Erotic Puzzle Box!!! :oops:


Oh my!

(Rolls Save vs. Ewww)

Ran through a 1st level playtest this weekend. It went well. Not as well as I'd hoped. Raised a lot of interesting issues with the character classes. Some of the players experienced issues with, well, DCC. I've tried to carry over as much as I could. In fact, the 0-Level experience (outside of the characters being slightly more survivable and the quirky new Occupations) is practically identical.

But the character classes were a fairly inventive amalgam of 4e memes and OD&D memes. This part received mixed results. Long story short, I'm going to do another rewrite of the classes. This time they will be skewed far more towards OD&D. I found the more situational abilities of some of the classes to be next to useless. This might also affect the leveling of the classes some. In that, the classes might be more distinguished by the upgrades they choose -- as opposed to the combination of features and upgrades.

That's a pretty big change and some of the classes will be altered dramatically. But their role in the game will remain unchanged. In most cases, the class will be receiving a power upgrade.

There are some rule changes that will just go away. They failed to come up and failed to add fun when they did. No sense in wasting word count on a crappy rule.

But beyond the classes rewrite, the larger changes will involve things being simplified, clarified and combined together.

That said... Everyone had fun. Everyone would play it again. It appealed to both new schoolers and old schoolers. And the game played like a combination of OD&D and Call of Cthulhu but no one felt de-protagonized by Sanity checks. Everyone was a pretty big hero and had the opportunity to kick some unholy backside.

The game has no need for magical healing. In fact, the gimped Cleric-ish healing abilities are going to be excised. They are not needed. Not even by 1st level characters.

So there's good. There's bad. And it's all getting better.

I'll post more details sometime in the near future as we continue to babystep this game into awesomeness.

P.S. The 1st level party was as survivable as a traditional 3rd level old school party. With no spellcasters in the group. Also, turning is pretty awesome/hilarious in TA. Similar to DCC with a few notable twists.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Posts: 609
Location: Auburndale, FL
My demonologist might need some healing. He only has 3 HP. The common cold might take him out. :lol:

_________________
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

THE PROTOCOLS, ADVANCED PROTOCOL #10


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 2216
DCCfan wrote:
My demonologist might need some healing. He only has 3 HP. The common cold might take him out. :lol:


In Transylvania? In DCC RPG?

No, my friend, this is an uncommon cold.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:20 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Raven_Crowking wrote:
DCCfan wrote:
My demonologist might need some healing. He only has 3 HP. The common cold might take him out. :lol:


In Transylvania? In DCC RPG?

No, my friend, this is an uncommon cold.


:D

Believe it or not, the characters are a magnitude more survivable in TA. I'm still ironing out the details but the hit points and stuff are easily the things that have translated the best to actual play.

I've succeeded in making characters that are more durable while keeping the familiarity and context of traditional D&D. In essence, I've created a D&D that no longer needs the Cleric. And doesn't have "healing surges" or anything like that.

Now I need to work on making the classes more competent and remove situational limitations that limit that competence.

Baby steps to awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Spent tonight working pretty feverishly on a revamp of some trouble points from the playtest. I think things are shaping up pretty well. I'm halfway through an overhaul of the classes. What's interesting, to me, is that the changes are relatively minor, IMO. But they're of such a broad scope that they are changing quite a bit of the game. I suspect that this pass through will not get finished until later this week. With a follow up playtest in the following week sometime.

I'm hoping to finish up the classes and then go back and get everything else in line with the changes that have been made.

I'm liking what's coming out of all this. It's looking more like the classes at 1st level will be distinguished by Alignment and Occupation -- which puts them more in line with DCC classes. As they advance, they'll diverge with upgrades -- instead of new class features mixed in with upgrades. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with that. But the classes that are coming out here are pretty minimal. I can't see stripping off any more class abilities from any of them. The big question now is managing the upgrades. Is it old school "Once you reach 3rd level..." or is it something that you buy up in any variety you want? And if so, how often should these upgrades be handed out?

I would say the big winners for the classes have been the Exotic and the Survivor. The Exotic is all around just way more awesome than it was. And differentiating from ground zero on Alignment really helps them to stand out. The Survivor was an interesting class that never stood out for me. Now, it's pretty awesome. Previously it was a class I always wanted to come back to. Now it's a class I'd want to play. Like now.

The Half-Breed got skewed weirder. It had to lose a couple of things. But it also had its abilities amped up a little. It's become less Vampire Hunter D than I'd hoped. But maybe I'm not seeing the combat application of some of these possibilities. There's definitely no question now that the Half-Breed is something only partly human.

There may not be a class blog post this week. I want to make sure I get these changes nailed down before I release much more about them. Some of the Half-Breed and Polymath info are wrong now. I'll have to go back over those at some point in the future.

I will try to do a write up of the playtest. And put to pixels the things I learned following that.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Location: the Towers of Carcosa
smathis wrote:
a revamp


I see what you did there.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Ogrepuppy wrote:
I see what you did there.


:twisted:

So, finished a re-write of several sections tonight. It was a minor setback but worth it, IMO.

Here's the highlights:

  • A revamp (muwahahahaha) that actually DECREASED word count. Always a good sign, IMO.
  • The hit points, damage and dying sections were dramatically overhauled. The result is something much, much cooler and much, much more useful than anything I've come up with previously.
  • What happened with the Fear rules is downright scary. Observing the rules I had at the table versus the experience I wanted created a paradigm shift big enough for the mighty Cthulhu to blow a raspberry in. How no one has thought of this before is completely beyond me. I'm beginning to think I'm ghost writing this for my Reptillian masters.
  • ALL the classes are 100% more awesome. I'll be the first to admit. I screwed it up the first three times through. I got close. But close ain't awesome. If you could read one class out of this book and say "Meh. Not interested." then... I dunno... that would kind of suck. But I'd say it's now 40% LESS LIKELY to happen.

I'll try to remember what we know about existing classes and what they do and post how it got changed here...

  • Classes have TWO points of divergence at 1st level -- their Alignment and their 0-Level Occupation. There is no longer any selection of Class Features. But some class features are better or worse based on the character's alignment. This brings TA more into the same line of thinking as DCC. I think Joseph would approve.
  • As they progress, classes can diverge wildly based on what they choose to upgrade. It's not point buy. But one 10th level Polymath is going to be significantly different from another 10th level Polymath.
  • Hunters lost their Sidekick. Sorry. Didn't fit with where we were going.
  • Half-Breeds lost their Two-Weapon Fighting. But they got upgrades to their weird monster powers.
  • Polymaths had their class features shifted all to bloody hell. But they remained the same in terms of flavor. They gained in competence. So I can't really say they lost much. They don't have that funky language ability anymore. But I replaced that with abilities that would show up more in play. They still aren't much to write home about in combat. Just sayin'.

I'll do a Hunter writeup next week.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
I put up a short blogpost about the playtest. If there's one thing you all could get an inside view on in TA/TG, what would it be?

Keep in mind some of these classes, rules, etc. are in a state of flux. But what would you like to read a blogpost about? First one in gets a blogpost on it.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:01 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:58 am
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Location: Warsaw, Poland
Okay - I will go into this. I would like a more detailed blogpost on the Half-Breed and their possible interaction with the rest of the party. Would the class be playable in a Hammer-like setting? After all - you are a monster of some sort and the more devoted members of the party would probably still kill you. Also more info on the monster powers and being half-something etc. Is this chosen at attaining first level or not?


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 5:30 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
Zdanman wrote:
Okay - I will go into this. I would like a more detailed blogpost on the Half-Breed and their possible interaction with the rest of the party. Would the class be playable in a Hammer-like setting? After all - you are a monster of some sort and the more devoted members of the party would probably still kill you. Also more info on the monster powers and being half-something etc. Is this chosen at attaining first level or not?


Cool. I'll sit down and write something more up on the Half-Breed.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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Posts: 1089
So I got Zdanman's question and I sat down and wrote a blog about it.

It was so long I arbitrarily split it out into three parts.

Prepare to be inundated.

Parts 2 and 3 will go up tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. No real reason. Just thought that would be neater.

I hope all your questions were answered Zdanman.

I also just finished up some of the Skill Check advice/guidance I'm putting in there. Nothing too offensive. Just more tools in the toolbox. I also finished the rewrite of the rule enhancements. Pared those down a great deal.

Next I'm finishing up some charts and tables for some additional coolness unrelated to -- but somehow drafted in -- that Skill Check section. And then I'm moving on to polishing up the 0-Level adventure for some more playtest action. While the other bits are out and about, I'm circling back around for a second pass at the first draft of the hexmap stuff and campaign setting info.

The last section will be the Monsters and Adversaries section. Nothing too flashy there. Some of these monsters will be familiar. Others will be very interesting indeed. And there is, of course, the big, scary guy in the cape and the mad scientist everyone's already familiar with.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:16 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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Posts: 1089
I haven't heard too much back on the last blog series or whatnot. I haven't had much time to do blogging/writing and such because I've been prepping for another playtest and working on some art for TA. The art is.... going.... sloooooowwwwly. But the playtest will feature the changes to the classes that were implemented after the last playtest. And I'm really excited about those.

On a positive note, everyone of the playtesters seems eager to give it another try. And the classes are looking about two or three times more awesome right now.

I'll see if I can post some art-ish sort of things. I've opened some discussion with one artist. And with my wife -- who is the other party involved in this matter. Thus far it's all about R.O.I. And where there's questions about the "R" it's hard to get any "I". I think we have a good strategy going forward, though. TA/TG won't be as awe-inspiringly art-filled as DCC. Or even many of the other 3PP's products. But, again, I'm trying not to charge $50 a book here. So we're tentatively moving forward with the best that we can do.

I have the hexmap done. I have a more general map of Transylvania done. I have an initial draft of the character sheet. I'm working on the map for the sample 0-level adventure. And may or may not be pulled into doing more art to complete the project.

As far as the marketing blitz goes, I know I'm up to do the Hunter next. I'm thinking I'll get that out next week. I wouldn't mind also spelling out some of my influences in writing TA/TG -- rpgs, movies, music, books, etc. If you all would be interested in reading any of that...


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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Posts: 1089
Ran through another playtest last night. The new classes are fairly well awesome. Many comments on how improved they were. And the game finally played up-to-and-beyond expectations. I need to put up some formal highpoints, lowpoints for this playtest session and the last.

But off the top of my head...

High Points
  • The In-Between Adventures charts worked fantastically. I need to put in some advice in the book about how to use them. In short, you need to roll them at the end of the adventure. So that way the Judge/DM can work through some scenes with the group in the next session. Not that they're useless playing on the fly. But they lose some of their dramatic effect just reading them off at the table.
  • Research worked well. Really well, I thought. But I need to finish the other charts up - kind of a "asking around town" chart and a chart for "shopping in town". Their absence was noticeable because Research was so fun and engaging and I was like "I dunno..." for those other things. The players wanted the charts. I tried using Vornheim's shopkeeper chart and system for tracking down stuff but it wasn't good enough. The players wanted something more like what they got to do with Research.
  • The Charger is a complete bad*** in melee.

Low Points
  • Firearms needed some work. It wasn't absolutely broken. But they needed some work. I under-estimated the desire of some players to have a modicum of versimiltude in regards to weapons. I've re-written that section today. It should be good to go.

Unexpected Awesome
  • Wealth worked out really well. I got some positive comments on it post-game. It's kind of funny and probably doesn't work like most people would think it does. The one character in the party that came from moh-nay was constantly harangued with Marxian dogma from the rest of the party (who are all struggling or straight-up destitute). Those guys were relieved when I explained how Wealth could be increased.
  • Once they got to do something with them, players who DIDN'T get something funky on the In-Between Adventures chart were kind of bummed.
  • One of the players offered up a fantastically fabulous idea for Firearms that I couldn't help but use whole-hog in the game. Firearms are on one hand simpler and on the other hand more like what you'd think Firearms would be like. With some wiggle room to make them pretty ineffective against things like Mummies and such.
  • I was concerned there might be more breakage with the classes. Or the game in general. But I was happy to note that what I would consider "systemic" issues are fairly well ironed out now. It's mostly what I would consider "details" that need "tweaking" instead of broader problems that require "rewrites". I guess the fifth time's the charm with the Character Classes.

The classes we have been running are the Charger, Half-Breed, Exotic, Hunter and Redeemable. As a result of this playtest, the Half-Breed has gotten BACK his Two-Weapon Fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Is this going to be in print? Looking forward to it.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Will you be at gencon? I would like to take TA for a test drive.

_________________
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

THE PROTOCOLS, ADVANCED PROTOCOL #10


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