Showing posts with label play-test. Show all posts
Showing posts with label play-test. Show all posts

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Wasted Lands as a Dungeons & Dragons Replacement

All month long, I have been talking (rather obsessively so) about the Wasted Lands RPG. I make no apologies for this. It is a great game, and it shares DNA with my own NIGHT SHIFT, which is just a bonus.

I talked about how I can emulate superheroes, our modern Gods and Myths, as Wasted Lands Archetypes all last week. This week is going to be all about how I plan to use Wasted Lands (with a little help from NIGHT SHIFT) as my go-to Dungeons & Dragons replacement.

Wasted Lands Larina

I have been talking bout this topic all year too, with examples from Castles & Crusades and Pathfinder 2e.  I hope to have some good examples this week to show how well this works.

Obviously, Wasted Lands shares some DNA with D&D. NIGHT SHIFT was an OGL game and Wasted Lands grew out of that. It also shares DNA with Spellcraft & Swordplay. This is why you will find the O.G.R.E.S. and O.R.C.S. from each game (respectively) in The Wasted Lands.

If you are a backer, you already got the preview of nonhuman species so you can play the likes of an Elf, Dwarf or every stranger things. This is one of the key D&D experiences there is and it is a welcome addition for those that want them. I have already shared my two Shadow Elf, or Dökkálfar, characters Runu & Urnu

Can Wasted Lands replace D&D at my table? Easily. In fact, it is has been doing that for a little while now.

Can Wasted Lands replace D&D in my heart? That is a different thing, but I aim to find out.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 6 The Mistress of Magic

The Mistress of MagicDo you know what today is? Well, yes, it is the last of my superheroes for Wasted Lands, but is it also a Zatannurday! Have not done one of these in a very long time. So lets end this exploration right with someone really powerful.

Today I cover the Mistress of Magic. She is a scion of a magical lineage and has worked out ways to do magic with little corruption. It makes her spellcasting more difficult but keeps her from going mad. Or evil. Or both.

The Mistress of Magic

Class: Sorceress
Level: 20
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good
Background: Magical student and adept

Strength: 13 (+1) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 16 (+2) 
Intelligence: 20 (+4) A
Wits: 16 (+2) N
Persona: 18 (+3) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 52 (d4)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +8/+6/+4
Melee Bonus: +6 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +6 (base)
Saves: +7 vs. Spells and Magical Effects

Sorcerer Abilities
Spells, Arcana, Arcane Powers

Arcane Powers: Astral Projection, Beguile, Enhanced Senses, Polymath (Sage Lore), Precognition, Telekinesis, Psychic Ability: Domination

1st Level: Arcane Darts, Chill Ray, Command, Create Light, Glamour, Read Languages
2nd Level: Beguile Person, Conjure Flame, Invisibility, Levitate, Magic Lock
3rd Level: Blinding Speed, Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Protection from Normal Missiles, Zone of Protection against Evil
4th Level: All-seeing Invisible Eye, Conjure Fire, Globe of Daylight, Illusory Landscape, Protection against the Deeper Dark
5th Level: Commune with Deeper Dark, Elemental Wall, Passage Way, Teleport
6th Level: Destroy Undead, Dispel Evil, Invisible Servant, Shadow Duplicate
7th Level: Ball of Sunshine, Create Catatonia, Precognition, Wave of Mutilation
8th Level: Animosity/Affinity, Mind Shield, Wail of the Banshee
9th Level: Astral Projection, Breath of the Goddess, Feedback Barrier

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Sense Magic
Level 2:  
Level 3: Psychic Ability: ESP
Level 4: 
Level 5: Fly
Level 6: 
Level 7: Magical Recovery
Level 8: 
Level 9: Ability Increase: Intelligence
Level 10:
Level 11: Spell Resistance: 20%
Level 12:
Level 13: Reroll Saves: Poison or Disease
Level 14:
Level 15: Persistent Luck
Level 16:
Level 17: Heal Corruption
Level 18:
Level 19: Time Slip
Level 20:

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Magic

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. 

And there is my Justice League of the Dreaming Age!

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.


Friday, July 14, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 5 The Occult Detective

John Constantine
 The Dreaming Age is an age filled with magic. Dangerous to both the wielder and those around them, the magic is the leftovers of the Deeper Dark; an aberration of a time when the Old Ones walked this Earth. Magic is dangerous, seriously deadly, and ultimately corrupting. It should only be handled by the most serious and dedicated of practitioners. 

And then there is this arsehole.

The Occult Detective is the guy who has a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of magic, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of bad choices.

He is obviously modeled after John Constantine, but his type ends up in all sorts of horror-related media. It makes him perfect for the world of the Wasted Lands.

The Occult Detective

Class: Sage
Level: 9
Species: Human
Alignment: Twilight Neutral
Background: Con-man, Occultist

Strength: 12 (+0) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 14 (+1) 
Intelligence: 16 (+2) A
Wits: 15 (+1) N
Persona: 16 (+2) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 36 (d6)
Degeneracy: Uncomfortable Aura
Corruption: 5

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +3 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +5 vs. Spells and Magical Effects

Sage Abilities

Languages (16), Lore, Mesmerize Others, Suggestion, Renegade Skills, Spells, Read Languages

Renegade Skills

Open Locks: 55%
Bypass Traps: 50%
Sleight of Hand: 60%
Sneak: 60%

1st Level: Chill Ray, Command, Obfuscation, Protection from Evil
2nd Level: Conjure Flame, Invisibility, Subtle Influence
3rd Level: Clairvoyance, Globe of Darkness, Zone of Protection from Undead
4th Level: Conjure Fire

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Arcane Power: Mystical Senses
Level 2:  Level 1 Sorcerer: (Arcane Power Attack Supernatural)
Level 3: Hedge Mage
Level 4: 
Level 5: Psychic Power: Photokinetics
Level 6: Psychic Power: Telekinetics
Level 7: Arcane Power: Exorcist
Level 8: 
Level 9: Astral Projection

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Occult

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. 

Damn. Now I want this character moved over to NIGHT SHIFT.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 4 The Demon's Daughter

The Demon's Daughter
Okay, let us scale things down a bit and see what we can do with some mystical characters and some that are not super-powerful. At least not yet.

Another concept that comes up is the Demon Spawn that tries to do good. These characters often appear in comics with magic as a theme and they are a great choice for a Wasted Lands game since there is likely to be a lot more interaction with demons. 

This character could be a lot of different things, and "demon" might even be an alien, say in the case of Karolina Dean from Marvel's Runaways. But my example here will be borrowing heavily from DC's Teen Titan, Raven.

Now there are a lot of ways to do Raven. We have Psychics, Sorcerers, and even Necromancers. But Raven's primary powers come from her empathic abilities and astral projection with some spells. So I am going with Psychic for her here.

The Demon's Daughter

Class: Psychic (Persona Aspect)
Level: 6
Species: Human-Demon
Alignment: Twilight Good
Background: Student

Strength: 12 (+0) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 14 (+1) 
Intelligence: 15 (+1) N
Wits: 15 (+1) N
Persona: 17 (+2) A

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 30 (d6)
Corruption: Unnatural Parlor

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +4/+2/+0
Melee Bonus: +2 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +2 (base)
Saves: +3 to Persona based saves

Psychic Powers

Supernatural Attacks, Sixth Sense, Empathy, Psychokinesis (Telekinesis, 2d6+1), Temporal Sense, Shadow Walking, Astral Projection

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Rebilous Child of older God/Demon

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Mystical Senses (as Sorcerer spell)
Level 2:  
Level 3: Additional Movement: Fly
Level 4: 
Level 5: First-level Sorcerer
Level 6: 

1st Level: Protection from Evil

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. You likely will not use all of these on one character. I'll have some less-super examples coming up.

She has fewer to reflect that she is still just a teen or young adult. This also more likely the speed in which people will want to hand out the Divine Touchstones. 

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 3 The Paragon

The Paragon
 We are working our way up the power scale to tackle the Paragon. Now this guy (or gal) has Power, with a capital P. They are also a favorite of late for deconstruction or alternate attempts (The Boys, Brightburn) but I am not interested in that right now. I am interested in the one that has power, great power even, and wants to use it for the right things. But this is also the Dreaming Age, and life is pretty rough and dangerous. The Paragon of this world and time will also need to be a little rougher around the edges.

In D&D, they would be a paladin or some other knight in shining armor. They are the bright reflection of the Dark Avenger. Thankfully they both have the Amazon Warrior Princess to help balance them out.  One of many reasons why this unlikely trio works so well together.

The Paragon

Class: Warrior
Level: 14
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good

Strength: 22 (+5) A
Agility: 17 (+3) 
Toughness: 17 (+2) N
Intelligence: 15 (+1) 
Wits: 15 (+1)
Persona: 16 (+2) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Plate (7)
Vitality: 75 (d8)
Degeneracy: None
Corruption: None

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +6/+4/+2
Melee Bonus: +5 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +5 to all saves

Warrior Skills

Combat Expertise, Improved Defense, Increased Damage, Melee Combat, Master of Battle (90%), Ranged Combat, Spell Resistance (36%), Supernatural Attacks (Melee), Tracking, Extra Attack (x4)

Improve Defense: -4

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Justice, Hope

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Mystical Senses (as Sorcerer spell)
Level 2: +1 to combat rolls
Level 3: Additional Movement: Fly
Level 4: Increased Ability Score (Strength +2)
Level 5: Divine Smite 
Level 6: Gout of Flame (as Sorcerer spell), as Heat Vision (unique mode of attack)
Level 7: Divine Aura
Level 8: Damage Immunity from missile fire
Level 9:  Increased Ability Score (Strength +2)
Level 10: Half Damage from Mundane slashing
Level 11: Chill Breath (as Ray of Frost Sorcerer spell)
Level 12: Unique Attack, Heat Vision 60' line
Level 13: Down But Not Out
Level 14: Divine Recovery

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. You likely will not use all of these on one character. I'll have some less-super examples coming up.

This one looks great. And don't tug on his cape.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 2 The Amazon Princess

The Amazon Princess
I am continuing my exploration of various superhero archetypes in the Wasted Lands.  Today's topic is the Amazon Princess. While this could be Wonder Woman or someone like Starfire, it can also be a character like Xena Warrior Princess. In truth, Xena would fit in quite well in the Dreaming Age.

This character's drive is not Vengeance (like the Dark Avenger) or even Justice (like the upcoming Paragon) but rather the most good possible.  In a lot of ways she is also an emissary of a more enlightened, but still warrior, culture.

In both the cases of Wonder Woman and Xena they have a relationship to the Gods, the Greek Gods in particular. In the Wasted Lands then she would come the same culture that the warriors Zeus and Ares come from. But godhood is not her goal.

The Amazon Princess

Class: Warrior
Level: 12
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good
Background: Nobility

Strength: 20 (+4) A
Agility: 18 (+3) N
Toughness: 17 (+2) N
Intelligence: 16 (+2) 
Wits: 16 (+2)
Persona: 16 (+2)

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Studded Leather (7)
Vitality: 60 (d8)
Degeneracy: None
Corruption: None

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +4 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +4 to all saves

Warrior Skills

Combat Expertise, Improved Defense, Increased Damage, Melee Combat, Master of Battle (90%), Ranged Combat, Spell Resistance (36%), Supernatural Attacks (Melee), Tracking, Extra Attack (x4)

Improve Defense: -4

Stealth Skills

  • Open Locks: 15%
  • Bypass Traps: 10%
  • Sleight of Hand: 20%
  • Sneak: 20%
  • Climbing: 70%

Danger Sense 1-3 (d6)
Perception: 40%
Vital Stike: x2 damage +4 to attack

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Justice, Truth

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Unique mode of Defence, -1 vs. Missile attacks
Level 2: +1 to combat rolls
Level 3: Charm humans
Level 4: Increased Ability Score (agility +2)
Level 5: Level 1 of Renegade
Level 6: Unique mode of Attack (lasso) +1 and Detect Lie
Level 7: Ceases to Age (Natural)
Level 8: Divine Aura
Level 9: Signature Item, Lasso.
Level 10: Half Damage from Mundane slashing
Level 11: Transporation mode: Fly
Level 12: Restore Corruption

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends.

This one works out quite nicely, I think!

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 1 The Dark Avenger

The Dark Avenger
The Dreaming Age is both very dark and very hopeful. 

Humanity (well...proto-Humanity) has cast off the yoke of the Old Ones and now lives in a time of unimaginable horrors. There are monsters, there are forces of evil, and their are even evil humans that are all too willing to take over where the Old Ones left off. It is post-apocalyptic in a very real sense. But also, humanity has the chance in the form of our (your) heroes to make a better world.

The characters will one day be remembered as the Gods and Heroes of yore. 

But not all of them are bright, happy people.

Making "superhero" characters for the Wasted Lands RPG really only takes a change of reference or point of view. If Superheroes are modern myths, then the Wasted Lands RPG can also make those. Though your character's origin story is not going to be one of being a young adult, and then BAM, your character is powerful. Legends are built over time, and legendary characters even more so.

The Archetype of the Dark Avenger is a great example. This character had a really bad day once and now spends a lifetime fighting against the forces of Darkness and Evil (yes capitalized) by donning the guise of evil.  In comics, these characters are usually just normal humans but have something special about them. They are unnaturally dedicated to their cause for example, or maybe even they have a bit of an edge. It should also be noted that many take on the guise of an animal or creature that strikes fear into others; the bat, the wolverine, and even devils.

For these Superhero Archetypes, I will present them at higher levels to get a feel for what their legends will be like. I will also add the various Divine Touchstones to make the character a bit more "super."

The Dark Avenger

Class: Renegade
Level: 10
Species: Human
Alignment: Dark Good
Background: Nobility

Strength: 18 (+3) N
Agility: 20 (+4) A
Toughness: 17 (+2)
Intelligence: 16 (+2) N
Wits: 16 (+2)
Persona: 16 (+2)

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Studded Leather (7) (See below for mods)
Vitality: 36 (d4)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +3 (see below)
Ranged Bonus: +9 (+4, +5)
Saves: +5 to Death attacks and area effects

Improved Defense: -6 to attackers

Stealth Skills

  • Open Locks: 110%
  • Bypass Traps: 115%
  • Sleight of Hand: 125%
  • Sneak: 125%
  • Climbing: 100%

Danger Sense 1-5 (d6)
Perception: 95%
Vital Stike: x4 damage
Read Languages: 85%

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Vengeance, Justice

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: +1 to Melee Combat
Level 2: Additional Vitality Points
Level 3: Level 1 of Warrior
Level 4: Level Two Spell: Invoke Fear
Level 5: Auto Success (once per session)
Level 6: Gains +1 to all attacks and +5% to all skills
Level 7: Servant: Ward of Vengeance
Level 8: Signature Item: Batarang (+5 to hit, +5 to damage, -3 DV, 1 fate point)
Level 9: Down but Not Out
Level 10: Hop and Skip

This is not a guy you want to meet in a dark alleyway.

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Wasted Lands, now with FREE content

This one is still going on, and I really want to see it get funded!

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Role Playing Game

Wasted Land Playtest

A tabletop RPG of cosmic horror, swords, and sorcery in a savage lost epoch, 1000 years after the Old Ones fell to their eternal sleep.

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Core RulesWasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Campaign Guide

I have been talking about this Kickstarter a lot and will continue. Please check it out and give Jason your support.

Both books are written. Both have gone through edits and playtest notes. Jason is doing the layout now. 

It looks great, and I see it as replacing D&D on my table for the foreseeable future. You really need to check it out. 

PLUS there is now FREE Quick Start rules with a brand new adventure ready for you to download. All you have to do is click on the link!

If you can't pledge please share the word of this great game.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Wasted Lands and Sherwood

A couple of Kickstarters close to my heart today.

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Role Playing Game

A tabletop RPG of cosmic horror, swords, and sorcery in a savage lost epoch, 1000 years after the Old Ones fell to their eternal sleep.

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Core RulesWasted Lands: The Dreaming Age Campaign Guide

I have been talking about this Kickstarter all month, and now it is live. Please check it out and give Jason your support.

Sherwood: The Legend of Robin Hood 5E

Sherwood 5e

Adam Thompson, brother of the late Jonathan Thompson, has taken over Battlefield Press and plans to get Jonathon's unfinished work completed.  And I, for one, could not be happier.

Jonathan was a great guy, and he had such a love for RPGs and everything about them. It is great knowing that there are still guys like Jonathan and Adam for every crappy person in this biz you meet.

I have only gotten to know Adam over the last few days, and he also seems like a great guy.  I can think of nothing more fitting than getting all of BPI's projects out there for gamers to enjoy.

Sherwood, here is something that should have been a no-brainer. Robin Hood, for D&D. Yeah. Let's make this one happen!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Raven, Swordsmistress of Chaos

Getting back to some Wasted Lands playtesting, I wanted to try a different character and a character whose ultimate goal doesn't end as becoming one of the Gods we know but rather a legendary figure.

Let's take the example of Raven, the Swordsmistress of Chaos.

Raven, Swordmistress of Chaos

I talked a bit about Raven in the past, but here is a summary/recap.

Back in 1987, I was a freshman in college. My then Favorite Local Game Store was also my Favorite Local Used Book Store.  They sold new books, used books as well as new and old gamebooks.  I got a copy of the first printing Deities & Demigods here along with scores of old copies of Dragon and White Dwarf. One book they always prominently displayed was the American versions of Raven Swordsmistress of Chaos.

I never grabbed the book but as an 18-year-old guy, I always was attracted to the covers. I even had a character named Raven, who like the cover, was blonde and had a pet raven.  I was vaguely aware there were more books in the series but never knew how many. 

Over the last couple of years, I have been on a quest to find and read all the Raven books by "Richard Kirk" who was, in reality, the pen name of authors Angus Wells and Robert Holdstock.  Both wrote Book 1, and then they alternated with Wells on Books 3 and 5 and Holdstock on Books 2 and 4.

Well, I succeeded in my quest and I found them all and read them.
While they are not...good...they are fun little romps in late 70s Swords and Sorcery (and Sex, but not as much as the Corgi covers hint at). Sometimes described as a mildly ribald Red Sonja or a less ribald Ghita Of Alizar. The books, however perfect for game fodder. 

Raven as a Legendary Figure

While Raven is the cover girl and the eponymous main character, the warlock Spellbinder narrates and tells the events many years after the fact. Even the scenes where he was not present.

The story Raven begins with that of a runaway slave girl named Su'ann. She is rescued by a mysterious warlock-like character named Spellbinder, who recognizes that she is "the pivot on which the world turns" partially because she is also protected by giant raven, and he senses something in her. 

Spellbinder and Su'ann, now calling herself "Raven," hook up with a band of outlaws and pirates.  They go from adventure to adventure, but all the time, Raven is training with swords, spears, and what would become her "trademark," a set of throwing stars.  It was the 70s, man.  Raven, though is not training out of boredom, nor even for the higher purpose fate seems to have, but is very vague about, for her.  She wants to kill her former slave owner, the Swordsmaster Karl Ir Donwayne.  

The story is a simple one, but close to many FRP gamers. Raven wants to kill Karl Ir Donwayne. How is it going to do that? Well, they need to Skull of Quez to appease this ruler to get to Donwayne. But they have to find the mysterious island first and then kill some beastmen. And there are shadowy loners, men with mysterious pasts. Raven jumps in and out of bed with Spellbinder, Gondar the Pirate captain, and even Krya M'ystral, the Queen and sister of the ruler they were trying to go see.  This is all in the first book.  There is a nice gory battle with Karl Ir Donwayne too, but he comes back in future books to bother Raven some more.

It is very much a pastiche of Swords & Sorcery (& Sex) in a world lost to time. So perfectly set up for the Dreaming Age of the Wasted Lands.

Raven, Swordmistress of Chaos books

Raven as a Character

Raven is a "pivot point" of Fate, an agent of chaos. She is, however, not "evil," so the traditional D&D Basic/BECMI alignment system doesn't work for her very well. She has no supernatural powers to speak of, but she is able to complete some feats of skill and combat that go beyond what is expected. Her raven guide is one example, her ability to master a number of weapons quickly is another.  For a while, I thought she was akin to a NIGHT SHIFT "Chosen One" (and the similarities she shares with Buffy are pretty strong).  I was reading over author/designer Jason Vey's posts about Class Abilities and customization that got me thinking that a Divine instrument character is also a good fit for the Would-Be/Could-Be gods that I have discussed already.

I have a concept. I have some good ideas. What Class in Raven?

The natural choice is "Warrior"; she is obviously that. But "Renegade" is also a great choice.

I could multi-class her, starting out in Renegade and advancing as Warrior. I could use some very limited Divine Touchstones to give her some flavor of the other classes. 

I could even bring in the "Chosen One" class from NIGHT SHIFT. Since they are 100% rules compatible. 

In the Wasted Lands RPG, there is an Appendix for character point buy building. Essentially you pick and choose the ability you want your "class" to have and build it up that way. Except there is no class and no class level, every ability has a level.  

Raven has aspects of Warrior, aspects of Renegade, and even some Chosen One and Survivor (both from Night Shift).

So, what can Raven do?  Going through the list of abilities, I see Raven is very close to the Night Shift Chosen One and the Wasted Lands Warrior, minus a few abilities and adding a few more. Her abilities are:

Brutal Warrior (Leveled) (10 xp per scaled)
Melee Combat (5 xp)
Stunning Blow (10 xp)
Killing Blow (15 xp)
Supernatural Attacks (5 xp)
Sixth Sense (5 xp)
Improved Defense (5 xp)
Ranged Combat (5 xp)
Extra Attack (2) (15 xp per)
Vitality Dice 1d8 (Leveled) (5 xp)

Plus, the following from Renegade and Survivor:

Stealth Skills (Leveled) (10 xp per scaled)
Climbing (10 xp per)
Sneak Attack x3 (5 xp per)

Each one of these abilities has an XP value attached to it and some are "leveled." I *could*, in theory, keep all of these leveled ones at the same levels and build an XP advancement for her custom "class," but keeping them all on separate "levels" allows even greater customization. She has some stealth skills, but despite being a pirate at times, being a "thief" is not part of her history. Sure, she does do it, but her prowess with a sword (Brutal Warrior) and throwing stars (Ranged Combat) is more important.

I wanted to ensure she gets Supernatural Attacks since she fights zombies/the undead and even a "God." Though this god is more akin to the servants of the Old Ones or an Old One himself.

Other Abilities

These are great, and I love how it is all working out together. But what about her other abilities? Such as the part about being an agent of Fate, or her raven companion?  In other words, what makes her a Wasted Lands character and not just a generic D&D fighter?

Simple. This is exactly what the Divine Touchstones are for.

Raven has not overt magic. She doesn't even have supernatural abilities other than what is stated above. But there is something...extra about her.  The Divine Touchstones allow me to codify these.  For this I am sticking with the ones in the Core Rules.  I can see her getting a +1 to melee combat (to cover how she was already a capable fighter), a Favored Weapon benefit for her throwing stars, and of course a "Spirit Guide" in the form of her raven.

Putting it all Together

Putting this together, I get a great customized character that perfectly fits the concept of what I want.

Raven, Swordmistress of Chaos
Raven, Swordsmistress of Chaos

Class: Custom (XP buy)
Level: 6
Species: Human (Primate)

Alignment: Light Neutral (Twilight leaning)

Strength: 16 (+2) A
Agility: 17 (+2) N
Toughness: 15 (+1) N
Intelligence: 12 (+0)
Wits: 13 (+1)
Persona: 17 (+2)

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: 5
Vitality: 30 (6d8 +6)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +4/+2/+1
Melee Bonus: +7 (see below)
Ranged Bonus: +4 (Throwing Stars +5) (see below)
Saves: +2 to all


Brutal Warrior (Level 6) (10 xp per scaled)
Melee Combat (5 xp)
Stunning Blow (10 xp)
Killing Blow (15 xp)
Supernatural Attacks (5 xp)
Sixth Sense (5 xp)
Improved Defense (5 xp)
Ranged Combat (Level 2) (5 xp per)
Extra Attack (2) (15 xp per)
Vitality Dice 1d8 (Level 6) (5 xp per)
Stealth Skills (Leveled) (10 xp per scaled)
Climbing (10 xp per)
Sneak Attack x3 (5 xp per)

Divine Touchstones
1st: +1 Melee Combat
2nd: Favored Weapon (Throwing Stars)
3rd: Spirit Guide (Raven)

Divine Notes: Agent of Fate
Background: Former Slave

Sword, leather armor, buckler, daggers, throwing stars, net

Ok! I like how she worked here. These are superior to her BECMI stats I did a while back. While she made for an interesting Dungeons & Dragons character, her nature and her world are much more similar to the Wasted Lands than they say to Mystara, the Forgotten Realms, or Krynn.

This also shows off how powerful the customization is in the Wasted Lands RPG. Any character concept is possible. This sort of customization is more "expensive" than, say a by-the-book character, but I am fine with that, to be honest, to get the character I want.

Raven, Swordmistress of Chaos

Friday, June 16, 2023

Kickstart Your Weekend: Heroes Fall, Gods Rise!

 What is this scene below?

Heroes Fall, Gods Rise!

That is the sad battle of the characters in the Wasted Lands playtest going up against the minions of the Cult of the King in Yellow.

My oldest is playtesting the Wasted Lands, and the last session resulted in a complete TPK!

In my son's game he has gone to the past of his own world and the players are now playing as the Gods of his 5th Edition game. His campaign has always dealt with the Gods and their interference of the lives of the mortals (the characters) now they get to play those gods way, way back in the past of his world.

They were shocked that their big arch nemesis, The King in Yellow, was around at this time.

Better luck next time guys!

This group of dedicated 5e players are loving the Wasted Lands. They do have experience with a lot of games, but 5e D&D is their favorite. The old-school style of Wasted Lands though is really drawing them into their characters and the play.

Elf Lair Games is looking for a few more sign-ups on their Kickstarter for this.  My kids are having a blast with this now and I think most gamers will too.

So check it out!

Wasted Lands

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Ereshkigal

Queen of Night
We are in the midst of the Wasted Lands playtest right now. It is fun to play a game I am at the same time familiar with (it is very similar to NIGHT SHIFT) and yet brand new at the same time.  For me, there is extra fun here since I can use so much of my own One Man's God material in my home games.  

My home game, right now, is a bit of a riff on my "Second Campaign" ideas.  Recall that in the Wasted Lands during the "Dreaming Age," the first generation of humanity (or proto-humanity) has thrown off the yoke of the Old Ones (the stars went "wrong" again), and now they have an Earth to themselves.  It is part Mythical Age and part Post-Apocylptic. 

With the Old Ones gone, humanity renews its battles with their most significant threats, the reptiles. So I have reptiles and Snake People as my big bads here, at least for this trail run of the game.

Since the characters will become the gods of our myths and legends, I want to try out some of my favorite gods here.

Up first is one I have called "The World's First Goth Girl" Ereshkigal.

She was the Queen of the Underworld and the Goddess of the Dead in Sumerian mythology. In the Dreaming Age, though, she is now just a 1st Level Necromancer.  This is good for me since my very first D&D character was a cleric dedicated to destroying the undead. So a nice little flip side to that.

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age uses the same O.G.R.E.S. rules as NIGHT SHIFT does. So following along here will be easy. 

So. Let us see what we can do.

Siouxsie Sioux as Ereshkigal
Siouxsie Sioux as Ereshkigal

Class: Necromancer (Persona Aspect)
Level: 1
Species: Human

Alignment: Dark Neutral

Strength: 16 (+2)
Agility: 13 (+1)
Toughness: 15 (+1) N +1
Intelligence: 13 (+1)
Wits: 15 (+1) N +1
Persona: 17 (+2) A +2

Fate Points: 
Defense Value: 7
Vitality: 5 (d6)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +2/+1/0
Melee Bonus: +2
Ranged Bonus: +1
Saves: +3 to Persona based

Special Abilities
Channel the Dead 22%
See Dead People
Summon the Dead 15%
Command (Spirits)
Protection from Undead
Turn Undead 20%

Divine Notes: Death, Earth Psychopomp
Background: Undertaker

Leather armor: DV 8
Dagger: 1d4

Here is my concept for her.

At this time, Ereshkigal of Irkalla & Kur is the daughter of Nanna, an oracle of the moon. It has been her task to take care of the dead of the city and in particular, the dead that have been killed by dark magics. 

I have yet to do much with her, but rolling her up was as easy as rolling up any D&D-like character. Faster even if you are a fan of NIGHT SHIFT. Now I don't have everything figured out just yet, but I want to get her into a game to figure it all out. 

The campaign I am working up will be against a cult of Snale Men that are trying to rise up in the vacuum left by the Old Ones. Humanity is on the brink of being wiped out before they even begin and only one group will inherit the Earth. 

Since I see Ereshkigal as the world's first goth girl, it only makes sense that she is portrayed in my games by Siouxsie Sioux.

Want to know more about The Wasted Lands? Head on over to Jason's blog to read more.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

These are the Voyages...

I got my Trek play test materials from +Modiphius Entertainment for the new RPG coming out.
Was going to spend some time with them yesterday but other things like the day job came up.  Though I have managed to print out the rules and will be going over them soon.

Over the summer I mentioned a desire to play some Trek using what ever rules seemed right. Likely White Star, but now I might try a simple training mission using these rules in addition to the official playtest.

Of course I want to use the USS Mystic, NX 3000 that I found here:

Of course I'd make mine the NCC-3120 USS Protector; an homage to all the ships that inspired it.
I love the idea of those experimental nacelles.

Not to steal too much from Voyager or even Event Horizon, but my basic outline would be that while testing their new Warp-13 capable engines (shout out to the Omega-13 from Galaxy Quest) the USS Protector is transported ...somewhere... and in this section of space the stars are right and there are horrors.

The game would have other technobable details like the curvature of the warp nacelles and how this ship uses triberyllium instead of trilithium in it's warp core.  Maybe it is a design upgrade the Federation got from the Thermians (all from Galaxy Quest). This produces an "asymmetric warp field".  So start off as a regular Trek-like game, and then BAM hit them with the horrors.   Hey, maybe the Theramins are evil. Who knows really.

Since it is based on the Ambassador Class space frame I could put it in the Enterprise C era.
Though if it is an experiment and the prototype in NX 3000 how do I explain the jump to NCC 3120?

No idea.  Maybe the old classic it was a clerical error in the system registry databases.

I have a small Ambassador class Enterprise C at home and I think it is a great looking ship. I just want to do something with it.

In any case I am going to enjoy this. I am ready with the beats and the shouting.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pathfinder: Advanced Class Guide Playtest

The newest public beta test for Pathfinder is now up. The Advanced Class Guide Playtest.

This new book introduces new classes that are a combination of two other classes.
Very similar to what WotC was doing with "hybrid" classes back in the 4e days.

I liked the idea of hybrid classes to be honest, take a little from two classes and combine them into one class.

The 4e approach made it feel like each character was unique, the Pathfinder approach makes it feel like it is a new class.

I am sure there are things in this that people could adopt for their old-school or osr game, but for me I am more interested in how to use it my Pathfinder game.  True, I am running near the end of my 3.x game, but I am currently playing Pathfinder.

Yes. There is a "hybrid" of their witch class in here. The Shaman combine the witch with an oracle.
Neat idea, but not what I would have done.  If you are going to combine a witch and an oracle then I am thinking "Sybil" is a better name. Though given that it focuses on spirits, "shaman" is not really that far off.

I am going to read over it more but this might give me the framework to try out a class I have been wanting to play for a while; The Green Witch.  A Green Witch combines the best of the witch and druid classes into a potent divine spellcaster.   Back in the early 3.0 days I had it as a multi-class path.  Later I tried to make a Prestige class for it, but I didn't like how it worked.  Not sure what to do with the Druid's Wild Shape ability just yet, but I think I have an idea or two.

The druid Nature Bond and the witch Patron would get rolled up into one concept.
Likewise an Animal Companion and Familiar become one.

I am thinking something very Miyazaki influenced. With a dash of neo-paganism (maybe even Eco-Pagan) and animism.  Though I would like a different name.  "Green Witch" is great, but not evocative enough of it's druidic background.  Yeah, yeah I am introducing "Tree Hugers" to D&D, but a tree huger that will kill you if you mess with their forests.

Monday, August 13, 2012

D&D Next next playtest packet

The next playtest packet is out for D&D5 (I still hate calling it "Next").

There is a lot more material including character generation (novel concept you ROLL for your abilities) which already has some of the newer guard complaining.  Though there is the standard array.

First thoughts:
- I like the monster write-ups.  They are simple and easy to read and can summarized in a module easy.
- Character creation is really fast, as it should be.
- Some feats now seem to be maneuvers, which I like.
- Classes focus on the Big 4.
- Backgrounds and skills together. This is an improvement over 4e since you can now play that kid just off the moisture farm.
- I can see Witch as being a Specialty of a Wizard.  This reminds me a lot of the 2nd Ed Kits.
- Races are the other Big 4.

All in all I see the strands of DNA from every edition of D&D here.
I will buy this game, I am not sure if I'll play it much but who knows.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Next Day

The playtest docs for D&D Next/5e come out today.

I am expecting them to be kinda raw to be honest, but who knows.

Are you planning to try it out?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writing Slumps and Research Surplus

In the last two weeks I have done nothing.

Well that is not totally true, I mean I have been working at my job, still reading with the kids, playing D&D with my kids and Pathfinder with the big kids.   Still doing things that I need to do around the house.

But I  have not done any writing at all.
And this is a big problem.

Not so much for "The Witch", although that is also affected, but I am supposed to have a new adventure for Ghosts of Albion ready to go for Gen Con and I am not done with it, nor have I playtested it yet.

For the Witch, I have been going back to my stacks of research.  I am re-reading Margaret Murray's "The Witch Cult in Western Europe" for inspiration.  Yeah, yeah I know, every credible anthropologist on the planet has derided her work, that would be an issue if I was writing am anthropological textbook.   Instead I am looking at it different this time.  Murray posits that "witches" are an unbroken line from pre-history to now.  What if I went in the opposite direction?  What if I took the neo-pagan tropes and reverse engineered a pre-historic ancestor using the fairy tales of the ages AND placed this recipe in a D&D-ish style world to stew for a few thousand years.  What sort of witch would that be?

Also thanks to the magic that is my new Father's day gift I have been downloading a ton of ebooks.
So far here is my research list:
  • The Witch-Cult in Western Europe - Margaret Alice Murray
  • Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft - Sir Walter Scott
  • Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather A Reply - Charles W. Upham
  • Brood of the Witch-Queen - Sax Rohmer (fiction)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales (the originals) - Jacob Grimm
  • The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology - Russel Hope Robbins (one of my faves)
I am also re-reading the "Malleus Maleficarum", but frankly there is not much here for a game.
The book is laughably bad in most places when it is not sadistic, misogynistic, and overly focused on the curses a witch will put on men's genitalia (for a group of people that are supposedly celibate the writers of this book are very preoccupied with sex).

Frankly it has the mentality of a 14 year old, and a very puerile 14 year old at that.  

And lets not forget that real people were actually tortured and murdered because of this book.  While it might not be the "Witches' Holocaust" of later writers, 1 innocent person murdered is 1 more than I would like.
While I might glean some tidbits out of it, all I got out of it the last time I read it was the Malefic Witch I wrote from my 2nd Ed Netbook back in 1999.  I want to write something people want to play, not torture.

Not that I want only good witches, I like evil ones too. Grimm is a great source for that especially if you read the original versions.  Evil, child eating hags that live in the woods? Oh yeah there is room for you in my book, right next to so-beautiful-it-is-frightening faerie witches and the domestic goddesses and potion makers.

I have the traditions defined, the class, some magic items, some monsters and about 500 spells.  That will be trimmed down, but still expect a lot of spells from me.  I have art.   And it may go against some "old school" credo but I have some art from Larry Elmore to put in it.  I have always wanted to have a book of witches with Elmore art in it and now I can do so.

For my Ghosts of Albion adventure I am re-reading Sherlock Holmes and I now have a copy of  Jess Nevin's WONDERFUL The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana.  And let me tell you this. It is worth every penny I paid for it. I bought it before the prices sky rocketed but it still was not cheap.

Act 1 is done.  Act 2 and Act 3 are mostly done.  I have the characters.  I have my monsters.  What I don't have is a good way yet for the players (not the characters) to figure out how to stop the monsters before they break out and eat London on New Years' Eve.  Whatever clues I need to move the plot forward need to be in Act 1, so I might need to tweak that a bit.

Hopefully I'll get some writing in soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More thoughts on the Witch

I was thinking about the witch class/archetype over this last weekend.  In particular to D&D4 vs. Old School D&D.
One thing that D&D4 (and even Pathfinder) has is a simple basic magical attack for the witch/warlock.  In D&D4 it is Eldritch Blast, Pathfinder has their hexes and since you can cast 0 level spells at-will there is a great one called Daze.  Stun an opponent from far away so the fighter types can take care of them.

The one thing that magic using classes in old-school games lack is a basic magic attack.  Something that is magic, does a little bit of damage and can be used repeatedly.

The Magic-User/Wizard has the infamous "Magic Missile" spell, but at one use per day it isn't the kind of thing I was thinking of.  D&D4 splits MM into two basically two types, one that always hits and does a small amount of damage (like the older versions) and one that does more damage, but requires a to-hit roll.

In the Buffy RPG witches get a basic TK power, which can be used as a basic attack.  In WitchCraft there is a skill called Magic Bolt that is basically a magical attack.

The issue I am having is that a basic attack like this is not very "witchy". Sure it features in a lot of modern supernatural books like The Dresden Files, but I have been wracking my brain all weekend to think of a time when say a witch from fairy tale or myth used one.  Curses, hexes, evil eyes yes, some sort of blast? Not really.  Harry is also a Wizard, not a witch, a difference that I have quite been able to tell in the books, but it has been mentioned.  Compare that to Rachel Morgan of the Hollows Books.  Rachel has a lot of magical fire power, but if she wants an "attack" spell she mixes up a potion and puts it into the balls of a paint ball gun.

I think if I wanted to add witches to any old-school game an attack spell would need to be of a non-active kind, like a curse, hex or even TK.  Wizards would need something similar, but I think theirs would be more damage causing, sort of like an at-will magic missile.

I suppose this is one of the reason I do like newer games, it does give the lower level magic using types more to do.  Sure the idea is that fighters are your low-level fire power and wizards are the high powered ones and that is great; from a group dynamic perspective.  From an individual perspective it means a lot of time "doing nothing" (not really, but you know what I mean) during combats.

So thoughts everyone?
What do you think of an at-will style magical attack for magic-using types (not clerics though)?  Something like a magic missile, but say does less damage, maybe only 1 pt per level?

Not very Old-School I know, but want to see what people think.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

True Spell Casting: True 20

True Spellcasting – an Alternate Spellcasting Rule for True20

I have been enjoying playing with True20 off and on and it has really met my needs in a game, but there are still some things about it that I miss from other games. In particular is magic.

The True20 powers system is a very good one and it can emulate almost any magical system I have wanted to try, but there is one area where it falls short and that is in terms of spells. By spells I mean magical effects that are typically written down and can be learned or taught. Yes, very similar to D&D, but also spells that could be found in Call of Cthulhu or the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPGs.

Why Spells?
Part of it is one of storytelling, sometimes I need a one-time magical effect and I don’t really need a new power to describe it or I need a way of transmitting the knowledge of magical effects in a portable means; ie. in books.
The other the is one of necessity. I have dozens of D&D 3.x/d20 books, many are filled with spells, so all in all hundreds if not thousands of spells.
Wouldn’t powers-as-spells work just as well? Well yes, and in fact it would work for I guess 80% or more of all the spells. With a limited power selection the difference between Adepts are often mostly cosmetic.
Also there are spells that there are not True20 Power equivalents, wish is a good example, and most of the spells in d20 Call of Cthulhu.
And finally, I like to run a magic-rich game. True20 is perfect for this low-magic game I am working on now, but less so to emulate say D&D or my modern horror/supernatural game.

How to Do it?
I do not want to abandon the Power structure in True20, nor do I want to adopt the d20 Spell system wholesale either, but a simple compromise seems to work out well.

To do this I have created a new Supernatural Power called simply enough, Spellcasting. An adept can take Spellcasting up to nine (9) times.
To actually cast the spell the adept uses the Spellcasting power just like any other power.

Spellcasting 1
You can cast spells of the First Level. Read the spell description for effects and it the spell needs to be Maintained and if it is Fatiguing.

Spellcasting 2
Prerequisite: Spellcasting 1
As Spellcasting 1 except now the caster can cast spells of Second Level.

And so on…

Learning Spells
Taking the power at a new level is not enough to cast spells. The adept must first take the power then learn the spell. This allows the Gamemaster to control which spells can be entered into the game. It also allows which spells can or can’t be learned. For example the Gamemaster can restrict Wizard spells or even “Ranger” spells to a particular group of casters, or even by schools or descriptors (Necromancy or “Fire”).
Spells could be learned via enrollment in specialized “Wizard schools” (D&D or Harry Potter), from occult libraries (Buffy) or found in ancient tomes (Army of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu).

To learn a spell requires a difficulty check.

DC = 15 + Spell Level (in magic rich games) or 20 + Spell Level (in magic rare game)

The bonus for this check is like a skill check. A d20 + Bonus
Bonus = Power Level (Adept Level + 3) + Key Ability (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma)

Alternately you can make this a true skill check with Knowledge (Supernatural) or even bringing in the Spellcraft skill.

If the spells can be found the Adept can learn 3 + Key Ability number of spells per Spell level in total, though they can have as many spells in their library as they can.

For example, Taryn, a 1st level Charisma-based Adept takes Spellcasting 1 as a power. She has Charisma +2. She can cast 1st level spells and can learn up to 5 total 1st level spells (3 + 2). Even though she has a library full of 2nd level spells from her mother, they cannot be learned until she takes Spellcastng 2.

Casting Spells
To cast a spell the Adept needs to have appropriate level of the Spellcasting Power.

Casting a spell is not quite the same as using a Power. They often do require the movement of hands, saying special words and the use of material components. Because of this anytime a spell is cast, a spellcasting check needs to be made.

Spell Casting DC = 10 + Spell level
Bonus = Adept Level +3 + Key Ability.

So in our example Taryn our 1st level adept casts Color Spray, a 1st level spell.
The DC for her to cast this spell is 11 (10 + 1) this represents her getting her colored sand and saying the words.
Her bonus is +6 (Adept level 1, +3, +2 for Charisma). So she needs to roll a 5 or more on a d20.

To Save Against a Spell
DC = 10 + Key Ability + Spell’s Level

Converting Spells
D20 spells are not written like True20 powers, but there is enough similarity to allow conversion, for the most part the conversions are dealt with in the True20 book.

Healing or Damage that does 1d6 per caster level has a damage bonus of +1 per level of the Adept.
For the odd case where damage is 1d8 or more then use the follow conversions.
1d6 per caster level = +1 per adept level
1d8 per caster level = +1 per adept level then +1
1d10 per caster level = +1 per adept level then +2
1d12 per caster level = +1 per adept level then +3

Damage the effects abilities is dealt with the conversions below
1d3, 1d4 = 1
1d6 = 2
1d8 = 3
1d10 = 4
1d12 = 5

Converting Spells, Part 2: d20 Call of Cthulhu
The spells in the d20 Call of Cthulhu are mostly d20 compatible. What they lack are spell levels and most cause some sort of damage to the caster, usually damage to an ability, but often damage in terms of sanity loss.

For ability damage divide the listed damage by 2.
For HP damage use the conversions above.
For Sanity use the Mental Health track from the True20 Companion. Sanity damage effects the base Sanity Bonus (page 88, T20C).

To convert Sanity damage take the amount the of d6’s rolled as the loss. For example if sanity damage is 3d6 then the damage to the Sanity Bonus is -3. For any die other than a d6 then add +1. So Sanity Damage in d20 CoC that causes 2d8 would be 2+1 or -3.

Spells in d20 Call of Cthulhu are all considering to be 1st level in terms of learning and casting. But do not let that fool you. The CoC spells are all difficult to cast and often dangerous to both friends and enemies alike. The DCs to learn the spells are often given not with the spell itself, but the books in which they are written in (the Necronomicon, Nameless Cults, etc.)

Alternately you can consider CoC spells to be of level 10, thus requiring another level of Spellcasting in order to cast, but that removes the ability of the regular investigator to cast these spells.

Converting Spells, Part 3: BESM d20 Advanced Magic
Spells in BESM d20 Advanced Magic were another attempt to overhaul the magic system. Instead of levels the spells are given in terms of DCs.
To find the level of any spell take the DC divide by 10 and round up.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cantrips for Original and Basic-Era Games

One of the things that bugged me the most about playing FRPGs of the 70s and 80s was that wizards, supposedly after having all this training in magic and magical philosophy and thought could only do one spell. Per day. While I understand why it was set up like that, it never really made much sense that they wouldn't know more. After all, look at the Harry Potter kids in the first book/movie, they knew all sorts of spells at age 11. We can hand wave it and say it takes years just to master the basics, but it still seems a bit light to me.

So following in the footsteps of the game's Advanced cousin and introduce the idea of cantrips, or 0-level spells.

These spells by their nature need to be simple things, plus they should also be useful to the magic-user in question. Little spells they learn to see the effects of spells in a teaching environment and something they can safely use while practicing. So given that cantrips must satisfy these requirements for me.
  1. They need to be simple effects.
  2. They should not cause damage.
  3. All the cantrips a magic-user knows will be learned in school before 1st level.
The effects should never be anything near the effects of a 1st level spell. They would be "utility" type spells that would work just like all other spells. They would have to be memorized, though the time to do so is minimal and once cast they are forgotten for that day's use. Note: Some Game Masters may allow wizards to use cantrips at will.

Also, given their nature, cantrips cannot be reversed. Unless otherwise stated a cantrip has no effect on a living creature. So a wizard cannot place an Arcane Mark on a person or animal nor can Warm be used to warm up a person. It can be used on a bed or blanket and then the person can use the now warmed bed or blanket.

Magic users know three (3) cantrips before 1st level + a bonus number equal to their Intelligence modifier. So a magic-user with Intelligence of 18 knows 3 + 3 cantrips, 6. This gives this 1st level magic use a total of 7 spells (6 cantrips and 1st level), a magically potent number.

Alarm Ward
Level: 0
Range: 50' radius
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: sets up an area of warning
With this spell the magic-user can set up a area of alarm 50' around his/her person. Any creature larger than a cat entering the radius will set off a mental alarm within the caster. They will not know what sort of creature had entered their area but they will know one has and the general direction.

Arcane Mark
Level: 0
Range: 1 object touched
Duration: Permanent
Effect: Leaves a permanent mark on an object
By means of this spell the magic-user can place a personal mark on any non-living item. This mark is usually a personal glyph or sigil that is recognizable to all other magic users. They may not know who the owner is, but they will know it is owned by another wizard. The mark itself is not magical.

Black Flame
Level: 0
Range: 1 normal fire
Duration: Instant
Effect: Colors one normal flame
This spell changes a normal fire into one with dark flames so it casts no light, but still provides heat. The fire loses some of it's heat. While the flames do provide heat they do not burn, though they are uncomfortable to the touch.

Level: 0
Range: 1 object touched
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Lowers the temperature of one object to a few degrees
The magic-user can use this spell to lower the temperature of any non-living material up to 1 cubic foot. Typical uses are to cool food or drinks or even to cool the air in a room that is too warm. The temperature cannot be lowered to a degree where it would cause anything damage. The temperature can lowered to just above freezing.

Level: 0
Range: 1 object touched
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: cleans one object
This spell can be used to clean a single object. The object can be anything, clothing, armor, weapons or even a area of a home. Unlike other cantrips this one can be cast on a willing living participant. A magic-user casting clean on themselves will appear as they would if they had recently bathed and donned fresh clothing. This spell can clean 1 cubic foot of space or an area 10' x 10'.

Level: 0
Range: Within 10' of caster
Duration: Instant
Effect: Closes an open, un-barred door or window.
This spell creates allows the caster to close one door or window that is not locked or otherwise barred. This cantrip will not lock the door or window unless by the action of closing it naturally becomes locked.

False Glamour
Level: 0
Range: One item
Duration: Instant
Effect: Makes one object appear to be an illusion
This simple illusion will cause a solid object or creature to flicker and blur faintly, as if it were a flawed image. Failed attempts to disbelieve the illusion will appear to succeed, giving the object or creature the false appearance of a translucent outline.

Level: 0
Range: One item
Duration: Instant
Effect: Flavors one serving
This minor spell flavors one serving of food. The flavor can be changed but it does not change the nature of the food item nor does make poisoned food or spoiled food edible, similar to Freshen. The flavor can be chosen by the magic-user.

Level: 0
Range: One Item
Duration: Instant
Effect: Removes wrinkles, flavors or brightens one object
This minor spell allows the magic user to "freshen" one object up to 1 cubic foot. Typical uses are to remove the wrinkles in a garment, brighten the color or some non-living object, or even make bland food more favorable, or polishing metal or glass. All these effects are considered to be a minor illusion. This spell cannot make poisoned or spoiled food edible.

Level: 0
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Slowly lifts 1 pound or less of non-living material
The magic user may use this spell to lift an object via magic alone. The object needs to be non-living and weigh less than 1 pound. The object will remain floating in mid-air for up to one-hour as long as the magic-user is paying at least some attention to it. If the magic-user is distracted at all, say in combat or casting another spell (including a cantrip) then the object drops.

Level: 0
Range: 1 object touched
Duration: Instant
Effect: Fixes minor wear and tear in non-living and non-metal apparel
By means of this spell the magic-user can mend or repair non-living and non-metal material. Typically this spell is used on clothing to reattach a button, fix a tear or rip or other minor repairs. The amount of material mended cannot exceed 1 cubic foot. This spell can also be used on minor household wear and tear as well. It cannot fix a dented piece of armor or sharpen a sword, but it can reattach a leather strap to armor or fix a pane of glass if all the pieces are present.

Level: 0
Range: 1 known person
Duration: Instant
Effect: Sends a quick message to a single person
By means of this spell the magic-user can end a brief message, no more than a dozen words, to a person they know. This person can be any distance away and be able to understand the magic-users language or at least the language of the message.

Mote of Light
Level: 0
Range: Within 10' of caster
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Creates a small mote of light equal to candle light
This spell creates a small mote of light roughly equal to candle light that hovers near the magic-user's head. The spell is typically used for reading or lighting a small area (1 cubic foot). It is not a replacement for the Light or Continual Light spells. This spell cannot be cast into someone's eyes. The spell is not useful for lighting dark passages unless that passage is very well known (such as the magic-users' own home).

Level: 0
Range: Within 10' of caster
Duration: Instant
Effect: Opens an unlocked, un-barred door or window.
This spell creates allows the caster to open one door, window, chest or other item that is not locked or otherwise barred.

Level: 0
Range: 1 small object
Duration: Instant / 1 hour
Effect: the caster can hide one small object
This spell allows the caster to take an object that would normally fit into a closed fist and make it disappear. The item is not invisible, it is simply gone. The item can be recalled up to one hour later. After one hour the item returns to the caster's hand.

Puff of Air
Level: 0
Range: Within 10' of caster
Duration: Instant
Effect: Creates a small puff of air. Enough to remove dust or put out one candle
This spell creates a small puff of air; enough to blow away dust from objects or to put out a candle, but not enough to put out a torch or lantern. The puff can move very light items as would a puff of air blown from natural means. This spell can be used to blow dirt from an item or area 10' by 10'.

Quick Sleeping
Level: 0
Range: 1 willing subject
Duration: 8 hours till woken up
Effect: Puts a willing target falls asleep
This spell allows the caster to make a willing creature fall asleep. The spell will not work if used against an unwilling subject. The caster can cast this spell on herself, but obviously, this will be the last spell that she casts in that day.

Level: 0
Range: Within 100' of caster
Duration: One Sound
Effect: Creates a ghostly moan 100' from the caster
By means of this spell the magic-user can create a ghostly moaning sound that appears to come from 100' from the caster. The moan is not loud nor can it quite cause fear, but any that hear it will know of it's "unnatural" nature.

Level: 0
Range: Within 100' of caster
Duration: Instant
Effect: Creates a small spark, enough to light a candle
The caster can light a single candle up to 100' feet away. This spell is not enough to start a torch, ignite oil or start a campfire unless there is something that burns very easy used; such as paper or old leaves. The effect is the same of a spark from a set of flint and steel. Some magic-users will use this spell to light a pipe.

Level: 0
Range: 1 object touched
Duration: 1 hour
Effect: Raises the temperature of an object a few degrees.
This spell will warm 1 cubic feet of material a few degrees. Typical uses are to warm food or drinks or even to warm the air in a room that is too cool. The temperature cannot be raised to a degree where it would cause anything damage.   

Section 15 Copyright Notice
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Liber Mysterium: The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks is Copyright© 2003, Timothy S. Brannan and the Netbook of Witches Team.
Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2006-2008. Chris Gonnerman.
Labyrinth LordTM. Copyright © 2007, Daniel Proctor. Author Daniel Proctor.
"Cantrips for Original and Basic era FRPGs" Copyright ©2010, Timothy S. Brannan