Daily Houserule tweets: December 2022

From February 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023, I posted an entry a day to the @gamesdiner Twitter account, using the hashtags #TRPG, #GURPS, and #DailyHouserule. The concept: Make tweets out of a bunch of minor GURPS houserule items, GM/player advice tidbits, and other tips & tricks, to have a bit of fun engaging with other gamers and get the #GURPS tag out there more. (See the initial announcement here.)

The year is up! I’m now posting those tweets to this site, a month per page. Links to all 12 months are below.

Do forgive the overly abbreviated and janky writing. These were tweets, so the text is full of shortcuts to fit the format. For better or worse, I’m leaving the content mostly untouched.


Entries by month:

20220203040506070809101112202301List of all pages


Entries No. 304 to 334

304

2022-12-01: Are Wrestling and Sumo Wrestling equally good? They’re both Average skills and share many abilities, but each also offers a unique merit or two.

Here’s what Wrestling offers that Sumo Wrestling doesn’t, and vice-versa:

  • Wrestling: ST bonus extends to pins and chokes/neck snaps; parry vs kicks is unpenalized
  • Sumo Wrestling: TH extends to slams and shoves; slams and shoves get bonus dam

On whole, they look roughly equal, as expected from their equal difficulty. All good.

But, a tangent:

DFRPG appears to drop Sumo Wrestling’s parry penalty vs kicks, arguably lifting the skill a bit above Wrestling.

It’s a tiny difference. But, just brainstorming here: if you were to view Wrestling as inferior (perhaps after further tweaking), you could demote it to Easy.

And if you did so, you get one nicety: three neat striking + grappling skill pairs, one for each difficulty level:

  • Easy: Brawling, Wrestling
  • Average: Boxing, Sumo Wrestling
  • Hard: Karate, Judo

Hm. Hardly a “Do this!” kind of thing, but maybe of interest to tinkerers.

305

2022-12-02: DF/DFRPG: Scrap is generally noted as worth “$1d x 100 per half ton” or similar.

This particular dungeon scrap value (DFRPG Exploits p. 17) is a good general rule for any low-quality, unspecified scrap – though I like it written “$1d x lbs / 10”.

How about specified scrap (armor, etc.) that’s worth more? Examples: hobgoblin armor ($1d x 30 for 40-50 lbs), golem-armor swordsman armor ($1d x 100 for 200 lbs), gladiator ape headgear ($40; weight not noted).

As a general rule for specified scrap, $1d x lbs / 2 seems about right. So:

  • Value of general scrap: $1d x lbs / 10
  • Value of specified scrap: $1d x lbs / 2

306

2022-12-03: DF/DFRPG: By the rules as written, it’s not clear to me whether the Scrounging roll to confirm valuable scrap occurs at the dungeon before collecting junk, or back in Town after hauling the junk across the Dire Marches.

So, a variant idea for scrap-to-cash:

  • Collecting scrap is automatic, but one player rolls Scrounging at the dungeon to find the good junk.
  • In town, PCs look for a buyer. If found, the GM rolls 1d twice. Scrap sells for $100 (per half ton) x higher or lower die, depending on success/failure of that Scrounging roll.

Or, for a more interactive twist:

  • The GM makes one of the two 1d rolls secretly. A player makes the other 1d roll, and the Scrounging roll, at the dungeon.
  • Knowing the result of that 1d roll and the Scrounging roll, but not the result of the GM’s secret 1d roll, the players can bet on whether hauling scrap will be worthwhile.

These ideas give the players some intimation of what the value is likely to be, so they can decide whether to bother.

The ideas also mean that a half ton of scrap will always have a value of at least $100 – at least, it will if the PCs don’t give up on the sale before finding a buyer.

307

2022-12-04: One more variant on the scrap-selling biz (see yesterday):

Play it by RAW, including the value of a half-ton (simple $1d x 100).

The difference: Scrounging acts only as a complementary roll to that 1d, making it 1d-2, 1d-1, 1d+1, or 1d+2.

This is generous: a Scrounging failure may yield $0 (unlike RAW’s automatic $0), while success yields more than RAW.

If that’s too generous, add this:

Treat scrap like anything else. PCs are offered a percentage of the value based on their Wealth (typically 40%), take it or leave it.

Anyway. These last three entries on scrap prices are just options for those who (like me) find this trivial side-topic modestly interesting. Feel free to ignore these and keep your own scrap-hauling mini-game as basic as you like.

308

2022-12-05: Consider bringing Fortune-Telling into DFRPG.

This would be little more than a hobby, or a way to busk for small coin by performing “readings” in town.

But also let Fortune-Telling replace IQ in the interpretation roll for Divine Omens. This lets clerics improve omen interpretation via a skill.

Fortune-Telling’s default from Occultism would also work for omen interpretation. But its default from Fast-Talk, and its bonuses for Charisma and Empathy, are for personal “readings”, not omen interpretation.

Let props (tarot, runestones, crystal ball, etc.) assist Fortune-Telling: say, $50, 1 lb in props for +1 to rolls; $200, 4 lbs for +2.

The skill might even benefit from consumable props. Use the single-spell spell component rules from DFRPG Companion 3.

Final thought: If you like the idea of making the ability to interpret omens improvable but don’t want to import Fortune-Telling into DFRPG, let Meditation or Theology do the job.

309

2022-12-06: New Talent: Feline Grace [5/lvl]

+1/lvl to Acrobatics, Climbing, Escape, Jumping, Stealth.

Reaction Bonus: Admirers of such grace.

Alternative Benefit: +1/lvl to DX rolls for Catfall; reduction of skill penalties for cramped quarters.

Feline Grace is suggested by VIVIT. Thanks!

This Talent is perfect for enhancing the feline physicality of your DF/DFRPG cat-folk PC. (“I’ve got the moves like jaguar…♪”)

For an even more catty feel, consider a small tweak: Add Light Walk to the list of boosted skills. Counter that by lessening the Climbing bonus: it’s good only for climbing up, not down! (You may have to rely on Catfall – or the fire department – to help you down from that tree.)

See more talents at link.

310

2022-12-07: DF/DFRPG’s PC templates are well-designed, IMO, avoiding un-fun or inefficient builds (e.g., spending tons on skill levels that attributes or advantages could have bought much more cheaply).

Still, some exploits for point munchkins:

1. It may be possible to streamline on skills vs attributes (GM willing). Example: If your martial artist spends [2] each on Meditation and 4+ Will-based special skills, cutting those to [1] each and buying +1 Will is a better deal (aiding those skills plus Intimidation, Will rolls, more).

2. Ignoring defaults can lead to serious point wastage. Example: The knight’s weapon options include spending [24] on Broadsword or Shortsword, or spending [12] on each. The former nets a 20 in one skill and a default 18 in the other; the latter nets just 17 in each! (It’s like throwing away 16 points.)

3. Some template traits may be more than what’s needed. Example: The holy warrior needs only Holiness 1 as “buy-in” for Holy abilities and skills. Extra Holiness aids some but not all Holy abilities; if you choose only unaided ones, the template’s extra level of Holiness does nothing.

(Another example: Perfect Balance is a cool trait, but a thief already has great balance even without it. GM willing, dropping Perfect Balance can save a thief a lot of points.)

These are tips for munchkins wanting to scrounge around the templates, mud-larking for stray character points fallen into the gutter.

In practice, following those well-crafted templates to the letter is unlikely to steer you wrong. But, if you must, let your munchkin flag fly…

311

2022-12-08: Lots of GURPS stuff gets left out of DFRPG – generally for good reason.

One thing I bring back, though, is Telegraphic Attack. It’s a nifty bit that models some things just right: attacks vs defenseless foes, attacks by low-skill fighters, etc.

Actually, Telegraphic Attack does seem to be hiding in DFRPG, disguised as the +4 bonus for a backstab – a perfect place to be using it.

But I say let’s bring it out into the open as an attack option for use by anyone at any time.

312

2022-12-09: Should Sensitive Touch boost skills like Pickpocket? Probably, but adding compatible traits like Manual Dexterity handles that easily.

A Touch roll as a complementary roll for such tasks makes sense. Even with that, though, Sensitive Touch and Acute Touch could use more in-game spotlight.

So I wrote up some tasks to give Touch rolls more of a workout, but then I thought “Hm, I’d better re-read Sensitive Touch in Basic Set before posting”. And… I found I was largely repeating BS.

Well, I’ll post the stuff anyway. Here are ideas for heroically difficult Touch rolls (some of which may sound familiar):

  • Sense approaching dangers as vibration in ground or walls
  • Pick up a faint buzzing in your magic spirit detector, treasure detector, etc. when its target is a bit outside effective range
  • Notice a subtly odd texture in the handshake of a not-quite-right shapeshifter
  • Detect slight temperature differences (“Somebody was sitting here!”)
  • Better evaluate treasures when texture/heft matters (recognize shaved coins, fine-quality textiles, etc.)
  • By feel, pinpoint where the horrible grubs have burrowed into a fellow adventurer before the surgeon starts cutting

313

2022-12-10: Yesterday’s entry noted difficult Touch rolls to detect dangers via ground or wall vibrations.

“Roll vs Per if PC has Sensitive Touch” is a simple way to handle that.

How about a more universal take? Maybe a Per roll that anyone can try, with mods like these:

  • Target’s size, speed, range, number: From SSRT (Each is a separate mod. For “number”, read number as “yards” to get mod.)
  • Acute Touch: +Level
  • Sensitive Touch: +4
  • Touching surface with bare hands: +3
  • Concentrating (not passive): +3
  • Target’s Stealth: -Margin of Success
  • Soft ground: -4 or worse

Ex:

  • One (-2) sneaking (-3 for Margin of Success on Stealth roll) assassin, MV 2 (0), 10 yds away (-4) = Per -9
  • Trio (+1) of SM 1 (+1) ogres, MV 3 (+1), 20 yds away (-6) = Per -3
  • Herd of 100 (+10) SM 2 (+2) buffalo, MV 7 (+3), 200 yds away (-12) = Per +3
  • As buffalo, but SM -3 bunnies: Per -2

A few notes:

  • Examples are for passive rolls by a normie!
  • Anyone can take +3 for Concentrate and +3 for use of hands; add Sensitive Touch to make that +10!
  • Vibrations should be easily overwhelmed by other sources: That assassin’s steps would be drowned out in a crowded market.
  • Success by 5 or more reveals direction or other useful info.

Hm. Do the rolls seem OK? Or way too easy?

(Going by feel, I’m thinking it looks a bit easy for a normie. Maybe increase all-round difficulty a bit? A simple way to do that would be to use +0 for active concentration and -3 for passive detection. And maybe also use SMx2 instead of SM, considering that ±1 SM is generally a big 3-fold weight difference?)

What do you think?

314

2022-12-11: Some swords allow a Brawling etc. “hilt punch” at +1 damage.

Nothing wrong with that. But punching with a hilt is anything but normal swordfighting form. A -2 to Parry with the sword immediately after a hilt punch doesn’t sound unreasonable.

(Detail lovers could make that a -1 penalty for knives, -2 for shortswords, -3 for longer swords.)

The Parry penalty might reasonably be bought off with a technique, suggesting fighting styles that teach hilt punches followed by quick return to proper parrying form.

Edit 2023-08-20: Is this entire item misguided? That punch uses Brawling skill, which means, special upgrades aside, that weapon is committed to Brawling skill throughout the turn, which in turn means a Shortsword or other parry using that weapon is impossible to begin with. If that understanding is correct, then I think this entry is invalidated.

But a side issue: Outside of a non-lethal duel, would a sword wielder even choose to punch? More broadly: Fiction often has fighters mix up how they attack – a hilt punch, a sudden kick, a surprise uppercut during a sword fight – whereas game PCs typically perform “my best attack” on auto-repeat. How to shake that up is a tricky topic for another day.

315

2022-12-12: “Stuck for an Adventure”? That’s the ad copy found in many a GURPS publication, directing players to warehouse23.com.

There are indeed GURPS adventure supplements to be found there – but in number fewer than some newcomers may expect.

It’s true: Roll-your-own, not commercial, is the adventure norm in the GURPS world.

But there are many more published GURPS adventures than evident at a glance. The key is knowing where to look: Pyramid magazine back issues. They’re full of adventures for every genre.

In particular, look for compilations (like Pyramid Dungeon Collection for fantasy games).

You’ll also find other sources online. Of particular note: Well-made, free adventures + characters for GURPS (and more) at One Shot Adventures: link.

316

2022-12-13: DFRPG: “Druids need more awesome spells!”

Can do. Just dive into GURPS books to steal – or reskin – some wizardly spells (GM willing).

First up:

Magic: Artillery Spells points to several of its powerful weather spells as druid-appropriate.

Magic: Death Spells does the same for a handful of killer spells, including Swamp Rot. Any of the book’s element-related spells (Cremate! Drown! Lethal Lightning!) might also suit druids.

(I vote for including Euthanize; death is a part of nature.)

I like Dust to Dust, Butcher, and Annihilate, reskinned with this druidic detail: victims are mulched into humus. (Reworked name idea: “Compost-Mortem”?)

Also add Butcher’s lesser cousin, Prepare Game. As druidic tweaks, rename it “Decompose” and let it turn any dead organic matter into good soil.

Naturally, a spell for composting corpses is useless for monster organ collectors, but great for gardeners – or anyone needing to make an inconvenient body disappear.

As always, you’ll have to set PI (Druidic) for borrowed spells – say, PI 3 for Decompose, 5+ for deadly spells?

Caution: A druid with a lot of points in such spells probably has Sense of Duty (Nature) – and takes it really seriously. Best to stay on her good side.

(“Uh, gang, how ’bout we go without a campfire tonight?” [throws nervous glance at the High Priestess of the Sacred Glade…])

317

2022-12-14: Yesterday’s entry noted a couple of books in the GURPS Magic line with killer spells that DFRPG druids can nick.

Another book that druid players should check out (GM willing) is Magic: Plants, full of leafy spells both peaceful and deadly.

Some parts deal with GURPS mechanics, of course; one group of spells directs readers to GURPS Magic for details.

But pure-DFRPG players will find dozens of easily-adapted spells (complete with PI!) and druid-themed advantages, disads, perks (1-pt advantages), and more.

I’ll note in closing that Green Death is a nasty spell. If that doesn’t put an end to jokes about your druid, maybe Wood Golem, Undergrowth Ambush, or Bloodsucking Branches will…

318

2022-12-15: Mail, plate, and other metal armor offers lousy protection against electrical attacks. For metal-clad delvers still smoldering over lashings by electro pistols or magic lightning bolts, here’s a welcome armor upgrade:

Grounded: Metal armor incorporating high-tech electrical grounding or infused with Earth and Air magics; offers full protection (like non-metal armor) vs electrical attacks. +0.5 CF.

(Hm. Electricity is a rare danger; I wonder whether even +0.5 CF is too high. What do you think?)

319

2022-12-16: There’s a (rarely-encountered) bug in weapon ST workings!

Your maximum effective ST for figuring a melee weapon’s damage is triple the weapon’s ST. It’s a crude but simple rule, and is fine for most purposes.

The bug:

Max dam for a swung bastard sword:

  • One-hnd: ST 11 x 3 = ST 33 = 6d (+1 for weapon)
  • Two-hnd: ST 10 x 3 = ST 30 = 5d+2 (+2 for weapon)

Oops. As an artifact of the game modeling two hands as lower weapon ST instead of greater user ST, a powerful wielder may inflict lower dam by using two hands.

A proper fix requires reworking the whole business of weapon ST, its interaction with user ST, number of hands, etc.

Here’s a sloppy, quick-fix patch instead:

  • With two hands on a proper two-handed weapon, your max effective ST is quadruple weapon ST.

320

2022-12-17: DFRPG: Are you all out of boomerangs for Thrown Weapon (Stick)?

MA and Low-Tech offer throwing sticks: Acc 1, x4/x8, sw-1 cr, $10.

Let’s make up more:

  • Thrown baton/short staff: Acc 0, x2/x4, sw-1 cr.
  • Unshaped stick: Acc 0, x1/x2, sw-1 cr, -1 TH, $0.

These throwing distances are a big drop from those of Martial Arts/Low-Tech’s throwing stick.

But they’re actually far more generous than the distances for hurled melee weapons given on Martial Arts p. 220. I’ve arbitrarily boosted their distances to keep Thrown Weapon (Stick) interesting.

321

2022-12-18: An oddity: It seems you could chop a $10 quarterstaff into multiple $20 batons/short staffs.

Easy fix: Swap these costs! Shops now sell $20 quarterstaffs, $10 batons and short staffs. (Add $30 to either for the magic staff version.)

I like the revised prices. (Whether to then go down to $5 for a short baton… I don’t know. What do you think?)

(Tangent: Leave Low-Tech/DFRPG’s boomerang at $20. It may not be a returning boomerang, but it’s still a carefully-shaped, far-flying airfoil, not a simple stick.)

Starting tomorrow: Torch Week! Posts about torches!

As David Letterman would have said, you’ll want to wake the kids and phone the neighbors for this!

322

2022-12-19: DFRPG: A torch hits for baton damage (Exploits p. 36) + fire damage if lit!

Nice – but players will question $20 for a baton if a $3 torch is just as good.

First: Consider making batons only $10, the same cost as a club or jo (yesterday’s entry).

Next: Treat a torch as a cheap improvised weapon (Exploits p. 49). That means easy breakage, and no cool weapon modifiers!

A torch should probably be a clumsy weapon as well: -1 to combat skills. So go get a real weapon for beating up on monsters.

(More on that tomorrow…)

323

2022-12-20: You like beating up on monsters with torches, you say? (Weirdo.)

Go ahead and turn any wooden weapon into a torch for $1 in wrappings and oil. Don’t burn up good weapons, tho: use Cheap (-0.6 CF) and/or Poor Balance (-1 wpn skill; -0.6 CF).

Poor Balance is from Low-Tech. (I assume it’s what’s built into tools like the machete in DFRPG.)

Cheap + Poor Balance combine to -0.8 CF (Low-Tech p. 59).

Using these two mods, a club-based torch is $10 x (1 – 0.8 for Cheap and Poor Balance) = $2 + $1 for oil and wrappings = $3. A hard-hitting knobbed club torch is $4 + $1 = $5.

And the baton-like generic torch? If you reprice batons to $10 like other sticks and add Cheap + Poor Balance, the cost is the same as that of the above club-based torch: $2 + $1 = $3. That’s the listed cost of a torch.

Just keep in mind that this cheap, poorly-balanced stick is a poorer weapon than a proper baton. Sounds right to me.

324

2022-12-21: Don’t forget that a torch is also a stick that can be thrown. Yes, to set a Nazgûl’s face-hole on fire, as seen on the big screen, but more normally as a way to light up dark spaces from a safe distance.

Just turn any stick into a torch (+$1; see yesterday’s entry) and throw it (see Entry No. 320).

The wrappings should probably nerf aerodynamic performance: cut ranges to, say, 80% and add -1 TH, if you care for that detail.

In any case, you now have a flaming thrown weapon, which is cool – even if effective use requires a little luck.

(Luck like Aragorn had. The normal Luck advantage for his Thrown Weapon (Stick) to-hit roll; Serendipity to have the Ringwraiths show up in freshly kerosened robes.)

325

2022-12-22: A nice flaming torch should beat both lanterns and weapons in a couple of ways, IMO:

  • +1 or more on Intimidation vs creatures that fear fire (e.g., many animals)
  • +1 damage vs swarms, as flame disperses and easily crisps little vermin

I’m not sure whether RAW already lets flame boost limited dam vs Diffuse targets. It should, IMO.

The point is that a torch should out-shine weapons in warding off some animals, swarms, Diffuse nasties, etc.

(A magic flaming weapon would offer the same benefits, of course.)

Entry No. 294 suggested a similar +1 on Intimidation for wielding a whip. Same deal: Animals (often) fear fire and (supposedly) fear whips. (Up to a point, anyway, as lion tamers and PCs can find out the hard way.)

(And so: +2 Intimidation for a flaming whip? I guess so!)

326

2022-12-23: DF/DFRPG: New gnomish alchemical torches:

  • Green Dragon. 4x burn time (4 hr). Subtly greenish flame. $10.
  • Red Dragon. 1/4 burn time (15 min). Incendiary red flame doubles follow-up dam (2 dam) and light radius (4-hex). $10.
  • White Dragon. Combines Red and Green properties: white-hot light with 1x burn time (1 hr), 2x dam and radius. $22.

Low-Tech p. 33 has $7 pitch torches with 2-hr burn time. I’ve made these fantasy torches a relatively better deal, as delvers’ torches are so expensive compared to lanterns.

Notes:

  • Red Dragon torches are essentially fantasy road flares.
  • Gnomes also sell Grey Dragon torches for $4. These are normal torches, though with a pretty flame and low smoke; the gnomes claim they use “gnomishly special tar”. (That’s their pitch, anyway.)

For the bean counters:

If you subtract $2 from each torch for the value of the cheap/clumsy “baton”, the value of the gnomes’ added chemicals becomes:

  • Grey: $2
  • Green: $8
  • Red: $8
  • White: $20

327

2022-12-24: DF/DFRPG: New gear: Gnomish torch oils, for creating alchemical torches (see yesterday) on the go – among many other uses.

Cost per pint (1 lb):

  • Grey: $10
  • Green: $40
  • Red: $40
  • White: $100
  • Add $2, 0.5 lb. for pint bottle.

To create torches:

  • Apply 1/4 pint to a stick, wooden weapon, etc.
  • Grey: 1 hr burn (normal torch)
  • Green: 4 hr burn
  • Red: 15 min burn; extra +1 fire dam; 4-hex light radius
  • White: 1 hr burn; extra +1 fire dam; 4-hex light radius

For flaming arrows:

  • Apply 1/4 pint to arrow and ignite
  • Burns fast (“S” below = must shoot within S seconds)
  • May burn out in flight (“B” below = B in 6 chance)
  • Grey: S2 B2
  • Green: S8 B2
  • Red: S1 B1; +1 fire dam
  • White: S2 B1; +1 fire dam
  • (Optional rag bundle: $1; -2 TH; +1 S (+4 if Green); no burn-out – in short, it lets Grey oil create a flaming arrow as described on DFRPG Adventurers p. 105, if pricier)

As alchemist fire-like grenades:

  • Throw in a glass bottle.
  • Grey*: 30 sec burn; -2 dam per turn (Not self-igniting; must ignite with flame)
  • Green*: 120 sec burn; -2 dam per turn (Not self-igniting; must ignite with flame)
  • Red: 8 sec burn; -1 dam per turn (Self-igniting)
  • White: 30 sec burn; -1 dam per turn (Self-igniting)
  • If less than 1 pint in bottle, decrease burn time accordingly.

As lantern oil:

  • Grey: Burns like normal oil for 24 hr
  • Green: Burns for 96(!) hr
  • Red: Burns for 6 hr; 4-hex light radius.
  • White: Burns for 24 hr; 4-hex light radius.
  • (Lanterns with these oils once guided sleighs, before the invention of bioluminescent reindeer!)

In short, these oils make for expensive torches and lantern oil; create expensive, semi-reliable flaming arrows; and sear foes with less heat than proper alchemist’s fire.

The point is versatility: a bottle is ready to serve any of those purposes. Try a pint in your next dungeon.

328

2022/12/25: New skill: Torchbearer (IQ/E).

Nobody NEEDS this, but pros can:

  • Pick the best light source for the job
  • Position light optimally
  • Gauge burn time remaining
  • Eke [MoS] extra minutes from torch
  • Safely burn off leeches
  • Save vs extinguishing wind
  • Craft torches

Torchbearer also covers candles, lanterns, lamps, fire starting (like Survival), etc.

NOT a combat skill!

It’s a trivial but fun (?) skill for NPC torchies. Make a roll now and then to let PCs know whether their low-rent hireling is handling this simple task competently.

Torchbearers probably even have a guild. Just look for the shingle with the torch on it. (It’s their brand.)

There’s a fine torchie template in DF 15: Henchmen.

A torchie for hire: link

A 250-pt (!) PC torchie: link

Any of these characters is ready to carry a flame for you in your next dungeon. (All they lack is Torchbearer skill!)

329

2022-12-26: DF/DFRPG lanterns appear to be enclosed pottery lamps from Low-Tech p. 33 ($20, 2 lb).

But for proper wind- and spill-resistant reliability, maybe they should be Low-Tech’s covered lanterns ($40, 2.5-lb) with tough metal frame, gnomish glass, etc.

A trivial thing. But given lanterns’ huge cost benefit vs torches, I like charging $40 (while keeping 2 lbs. for simplicity).

Cheaper lanterns (pottery, open, etc.) would also remain available. But frequent rolls to save vs wind, breakage, etc. aren’t fun. Stick with proper lanterns.

Thank you for your patience during Torch Week, seven days of entries on – wait, this “week” burned with eight days of torches and lamps! It’s a miracle!

330

2022-12-27: DFRPG: Druids’ Nature’s Shield ability seems a poor value vs Tough Skin. Nature’s Shield is more expensive, yet it’s useless vs weapons, claws, so many hazards – and gets even weaker away from Nature.

I’m tempted to make it [2] per DR.

If nothing else, at least consider letting it protect vs falls (onto natural ground) – and maybe even vs natural attacks (claws, teeth, fists, etc.)?

(Similarly, the [3] cost of DR vs fire/heat (Monsters 2 p. 19) seems a lousy deal. Doesn’t Tough Skin do the same plus much more?)

331

2022-12-28: A long (1.5m or so), narrow, light cloth (gamucha, etc.) can be very handy on adventures:

  • Wrap into a turban for a light cloth helmet
  • Wear around the neck for cooling (+1 HT rolls vs heat if kept wet?)
  • Use as a makeshift garrote
  • Wrap a stone at one end for a makeshift bola perdida (Low-Tech p. 55)
  • Mask face to protect against some respiratory hazards (GM call; +1 to resist dust, gas, etc., +2 if wet?)
  • Use as makeshift bindings, strainer, wrapping…
  • Use as one application of bandages

Call it $3, weight negligible?

(Of course, cheap makeshift tools shouldn’t outperform dedicated ones. A head wrap should indeed offer the protection of a light cloth helmet – versus maybe one hit, which knocks it off the head. Buy a proper helmet for something that stays on!)

332

2022-12-29: DFRPG Exploits p. 57 lets a wizard use Thaumatology to identify an unknown spell cast by another wizard.

There’s no mention of clerics and druids, though.

Let them identify unknown spells in their domains with a Religious Ritual roll.

If it’s a matter of interest and isn’t otherwise obvious, also let a cleric or druid make a Theology roll to identify the clerical religion/temple or the druidic tradition/circle of the caster.

333

2022-12-30: DF/DFRPG: Still looking to get Mimicry and Ventriloquism skills into play? Here’s an easy way: entertainment! When busking in taverns, a 1 on 1d6 means there’s an appreciative audience for these oddball skills, or bar bets to be won. Busk away!

On rare occasions (another 1 on 1d?), there might even be a competition going on, offering a modest purse if a PC can beat a local favorite who has skill (9+1d6).

(In the audience sits the agent of a powerful figure who seeks a master of voice skills for some shady scheme…)

334

2022-12-31: DF/DFRPG: To ring out 12 old months and ring in 12 new, here are a dozen short magic items of my invention – six today, six tomorrow.

These are just the simple ideas; costs and detailed stats are up to you. (A tweet doesn’t hold a lot of info!)

  1. Big Feller: Large felling axe inhabited by a tree-hating spirit. Does x2 dam vs wood. Hated by elves, trétrolde, etc.
  2. Lightning Lash: Fly-whisk of electric jelly tentacles delivers mild shock (1d-4 dam) as weapon – but full 1d elec dam to diffuse beings and flying swarms.
  3. Bonebreaker: Mace delivers x3 (not x2) dam vs skellies and liches. Against other creatures with bones, it delivers normal damage, but treat the damage as 1.5 times greater for determination of limb crippling, and apply -2 to the HT roll for crippling duration.
  4. Shoes that boost Dancing and allow Acrobatic Dodge using the Dancing skill.
  5. Sentient rope that obeys orders to knot/unknot itself. Can report its played-out distance and what it feels (not sees; it’s blind) along its length.
  6. Giger Counter: Black box uses spooky boops and small moving dots of light to warn of nearby elder things (even if invisible).

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Header image: Posting tweets the old way.

Source: “Georg Liebe – Der Soldat” 1899
Woodcut from Prüss, Strassburg (1488) Montevilla

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