Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Fantasy AGE in public, part 2

First time I ever played Fantasy AGE, was in a local gaming store, after we played Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox at all-you-can-eat-pizzeria (here's the write-up). Today with my buddy +Kookko Jaskinen we did it again, now at a grill-lunch joint near my place called Köffi. Laptops spread, rulebook wide open, character sheet in front of me and dice scattered, we continued my homebrew lizardman Cleric's quest to this evil northern tower...

I am wearing my brand new lumberjack shirt (from drift store) which is damn awesome.
Kookko decided to be classy with Spider-Man.
Last time we killed some zombies we found venturing forth the tower, what was used for a kind of a rapture thingie, where dead bodies souls were sent to heaven and bodies left down the earth. Now there are zombies coming out of the tower, and my lizardman Cleric, Styx Purplescale has been sent to investigate.

Last time I found this prison camp, and got few NPCs to follow me. They think I am someone else I don't even know who he is, but it's okay, they follow me. Hah! Have I worried or even considered what'll happen when they find out I am not the guy they think I should be? Nope.

So, more zombies, we kill them. Then we get to the tower. Lots of traces, no clear where zombies come from. About four floors high, upper floor (third, maybe, hard to say) has a faint light inside. Only one entrance inside the tower, but guarded by goblins - small, nasty, stupid, cowardice... We attack them from both side, and soon those who are alive flee!

Next time... inside the tower!

As you can see, we didn't have that much time to play. But it was fun. Fantasy AGE is a good system, even though I still think everything has too many hit points! An average low level monster has over 20 hit points! My dude does 2d6+1 damage with fire blast spell, and 1d3+1 melee damage. One dude does 1d6+1 damage. Well, our two handed sword fighter dude does 3d6+2, but that's crazy (and great). So, average damage of 4-5 points versus 25 point monsters is too much for me to handle. Sure, there are stunts, but you need a pretty decent stunt score to get an additional attack or +1d6 extra damage.

Kookko told me that running the game was a chore, at least this time. I do understand, when you compare stats to OSR (what you need are AC, HD and damage, most of the time for combat). Next time I shall take all NPC info and roll everything for them, and check their numbers myself. This time I did help rolling NPC stuff, but needed to check the bonuses etc. We will play this again, it's quite fun, at least in player's stool.

Friday, 30 September 2016

[Patreon] Purple Of Green Priestess Yolanda Ziggurat + Final Redemption

Been a busy (and awful) month. Now releasing two Patreon things I've been working with past month. Here is a lady who stalks the Monster-Land of Yingvaerd baptizing monsters, evil, and chaotic creatures. She wants to make you evil, too!

Thanks to my patrons, you can download her PDF HERE!

And here is Final Redemption, a religious outpost to Monster-Land.

Thanks to my patrons, you can download the map PDF HERE!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

D-oom Products now sells dice bags, handmade in Finland

Shop HERE!

D-oom Products (read: me) started to sell dice bags. There are 11 of both models available for pre-order. The success of pre-order determines the future with these. So more you buy, more I'll sell them (heh heh).

Anyways, for 25€ one of these handmade Finnish miracles is yours. They are crafted by Sarita Kotkavalkama with over 30 year's experience with needlework and crafts.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Church Of Westra

Church Of Westra by +Kookko Jaskinen 


One of my favorite parts about DMing is the world building. For me one of the most important elements in a fantasy word that feels real and immersive are the religions and beliefs. Whenever I sit down to create a new setting I seem to spend most of the time thinking about the world's pantheon and the Gods individually. This religion is something I came up when I wanted to create a single God religion mostly followed by humans. The setting that I created this into is a high magic setting so I wanted to make this sort of a "simple man's" religion. I think this religion works well outside of the original setting too, as we are using this in totally different campaign and setting with my buddy Thaumiel Nerub. So that being said go ahead and use this in your own worlds if it pleases you. The illustrations are quick and little bit shitty references (drawing isn't my strong suite) trying to help you envision my idea.


"The God of all good things..."

Westra is also known as the "Timeless Wanderer" as he wanders through the realm disguised as an old man dressed in rags. Wherever he went he healed the sick and injured, blessed the crops and granted light for the ones dwelling in the dark. Every time he performed such a miracle he told everyone to have faith in Westra and pray for Westra's blessing. Needless to say that most people thought that he was just another mad wizard. However, there were some people who were so impressed and happy because of this helpful stranger that they started to pray and build altars, shrines, and even churches for him. Many lords and kings felt that their position was threatened by this strange man as more and more people fanatically preached about his miracles. And so these people were labeled as heretics and they were banished from cities and towns. They quickly found each other and formed the original congregation of the Church of Westra, also known as "The Wandering Congregation".
They followed in the footsteps of this strange old man wandering across the realm and preaching about Westra waiting for signs of their God's actual existence. The first sign came in the form of powers and abilities that the most fanatic members of the congregation started to manifest. These members became the leaders of the congregation. Performing miracles of their own they started to call themselves "clerics" (or priests, whatever fits better into your setting). The second sign came when the congregation stumbled upon a cave where they decided to spend the night because of the terrible storm and they were not the only ones with the same plan. The same old man that once told them about Westra had already set up camp in the cave and that night the very first divine service was held. On this service the old man told the truth to his loyal worshippers that he was indeed Westra in disguise and passed his divine wisdom and teachings. The clerics recorded Westra's every word that night and so the "Book Of Wisdom" was created.
During the service Westra told about his vision of a cataclysmic (or apocalyptic even, if you prefer) event looming in the near future. Westra promised that all who follow his teachings would survive that event unharmed. The third sign came when the event that Westra spoke of actually happened, and the people who were part of the congregation survived just like Westra promised. After this event no one could deny the divine existence of Westra and the church quickly established a sturdy foothold in the realm.


The church is alive and well and churches and even temples can be found in most of the major cities and towns. In villages and settlements there is usually an alter or a shrine. Clerics work in these holy sites or as wanderers honoring the origins of their lord. The clerics address their equals as Brothers/Sisters and their superiors as /Fathers/Mothers. Every church and temple has an elder cleric in charge and the entire congregation is led by the High Cleric. All the members address the High Cleric as High Father/High Mother. The overall theme of the congregation is very strict and disciplined and the hierarchy is respected at all times. The average members of the congregation (your simple Jill's and Joe's) are of course at the very bottom of the food chain kneeling before the clerics to stay in good terms with their God. Clerics bend the knee to elder clerics and disrespecting your superior is believed to be one of the most effective ways to be smited by the wrath of Westra himself.
Church of Westra is known the be the "simple man's religion", because of the fact that the congregation never questions their God or superiors. Whenever the phrase "behold the word of God" is spoken (or written) by a superior member of the congregation, all the inferior members must believe, obey, and accept or face the consequences. This means that kings and lords mean nothing to the congregation. This usually creates a lot of tension between the congregation and the rulers of the realm.
The strict code of onedience is not seen as cruel or wrong by the congregation because that's the way it always has been. But people outside the congregation often see this as twisted. The rules of hierarchy are of course more relevant to the clerics serving in the temples and churches than to the clerics wandering around the realm. This is the reason why wanderers are usually people with authority issues or people who prefer the solitude on the road. Wanderers rarely stop at temples or churches, but when they do, the same rules of hierarchy apply for them. Usually wanderers work alone, but some wanderers work in small groups. In a group like this the same hierarchy applies; one of the clerics is the elder cleric in charge, just like in a temple or a church.
Those who wish to become clerics must pass the Path of Enlightenment, a physical and spiritual training known to be extremely challenging. Before one can step on to the Path of Enlightenment, one must be a baptized member of the congregation.

The holy symbol of Westra is fairly simple, but has a specific meaning to it. It is made from any material at hand. For example a blacksmith could make himself one from iron and another peasant could carve one from a piece of wood. The clerics of course put more money into their symbols and usually have them made from silver, or even gold. Jewels are rarely used in the holy symbols, but the center dot might be a ruby in the holy symbol of the High Cleric.
The black dot represents Westra himself looking down to the world. The dark gray part (the carved part in worn symbols) represents the congregation as Westra takes care of his followers and worshippers first and foremost. Finally the light gray part represents the rest of the world and it's inhabitants as Westra looks after all the mortals of the world.


Clerics working in the temples or churches are dressed in white robes with a bright red cloth belt. The holy symbol is always worn on top of the robes. They never wear hats. The outfit of an elder cleric is similar with the exception of a bright red shoulder cape. The robes of the High Cleric are the same as those of an elder cleric with the exception of a holy symbol stitched onto the chest part of the robe and the jewelry worn on top of the cloth belt.


Last, but not least, I wanted to include my vision for domains of Westra, because the setting I created this religion into is being played with D&D 5th Edition* rules.

  • Life
  • Light
  • Nature
  • Knowledge

*Church of Westra has also appeared in The Black Hack and Labyrinth Lord.

Friday, 23 September 2016

[Review] The Super Hack

This is the first superheroes hack (as far as I know) for the popular phenomenom called The Black Hack (my review). TBH is so popular, because the rules are super lite still being very old-school compatible with Dungeons & Dragons, and it is easy, you guessed right, to hack!

There has been several different hacks for TBH core game with variable quality. Some are awesome, some feel just that they're made for easy money to milk from a popular brand (core rules copy pasted only a thing or two of addition).

Before I go to the actual review, I must say that I have not played superhero roleplaying games. Ever! I did own True20 powered Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition, which had a great amount of powers which worked great for character creation and concepts, but point buy character creation was a turn off, especially when you had to use a pool of points to buy everything from stats to gear! I hate that kind of stuff. At the moment in my collection I have Champions 4th Edition, but it is very thick and looks so boring, I've never read it more than a couple of sentences at once! That's no thanks for me.

As a big fan of The Black Hack, which I have ran several times and have played a couple of times and had tons of fun with it always, I am very enthusiastic of this product. Easy and versatile system and the page count is not intimidating at all: the PDF clocks at 20 pages, with 16 pages of actual content (one of those being a character sheet and another a play example, so there's 14 pages of rules and material).

Visually The Super Hack imitates the original source. Instead of ink drips on pages, there are low-ish resolution cracks. The core mechanics of the game are explained clearly, as is character creation. Even better than in the original game! Because this is a superhero game, you choose superpowers determined by your class of choice with some freedom. You can also pick one superpower more than once to juice it up. Characters start with two pieces of (special) equipment, a costume and a secret identity. The equipment list is extremely short, only 12 items! There should be more of them, at least 20 to make at least a decent random table. Items have special rules, which are pretty good and usage die is well thought and adapted in many cases.

The rules are quite similar to The Black Hack, but there are minor differences. One is proficiency, which I don't understand at all. If character uses or wears and equipment that is not appropriate for her class or superpowers, they add their Protection Points to any rolls to attack or avoid damage with a disadvantage. But there are no guidelines what gear is inappropriate to what class or superpower. In addition the rule is stupid; more powerful you are to protect yourself, the crappier you are at using some stuff. Weird and not making any sense to me. If someone can explain this to me...

Majority of other rules are a carbon copy from The Black Hack. A great addition is a sub-table for Out Of Action, called This Is Serious. I really, really like this one! In format one weird thing is, that enemy HD are listed under Initiative section.

There are four different superhero classes, which are quite stupid. They should be more broad and cover different types of heroes. Crimefighter is silly, because aren't all superheroes crimefighters in a way or another. Other's are like a Warrior from the original game without extra attacks, and a Thief who is just good at shooting getting also Warrior's extra attacks. And then there is a guy with just very good saves. Character classes are not that good, they are unimaginative and don't represent different hero stereotypes as they should.

When characters level up, they can in addition to possible attribute increaswes also develop their superpowers further, which is nice. Superpowers have a better effect (actually this is the same table as The Black Hack's damage table). They also have an usage die, which is regained after a rest. There are 20 superpowers (two with variations, so actually 22) and the list is quite nice covering all kinds of powers to combine to create an unique superhero.

There is also a rule, that with advantages and disadvantages (roll 2d20, and pick better/worse), GM can also apply modifiers (this rule wording didn't meet editor's eyes, it's super wonky) which basically change the simple idea of advantages and disadvantages backwards to modifier calculation. Unnecessary addition to The Black Hack rules.

Instead of "Armor Points" characters have "Protection Points", which basically is the same thing; damage reduction that is refilled after rest. One fun thing in combat is that a group of thugs represents one hit die point per a good - so when you score 5 points of damage, you actually stun (superheroes don't kill people, do they?) 5 of the enemies! Very, very fun detail, where you can feel your character's power compared to ordinary thugs! There are only seven different example baddies included, which should be enough for an example, because in super games most of the bad guys and gals are unique anyways.

In my opinion The Super Hack is hastily put together, yet a fun and good little addition to "The Hack" family. There are minor flaws, but they are so puny that they don't make the game bad. Only major problem I have with this game are character classes. Only one of these (The Brick) is good as a heroic stereotype, rest are not at all. With better character classes this would have been super awesome! Now it is "only" super good. Revised edition with better classes would be the bomb! Before that happens (if ever), I need to hack this myself and print it out.

Oh, and in the end the example play scenario is fun and inspiring, even though there could have been a wider variety of game mechanics used in it.

Do I recommend it? Yes! The Black Hack is great fun little system easy to just play and have fun with, and The Super Hack is quite as good, only if you make the classes better yourself. If you like superhero games, this is a pocket version of the genre. If you don't own any superhero games, this is an inexpensive place to get one.

Get it from RPGNow, available in both PDF ($2.00) and print-on-demand ($6.00).

EDIT 09/25/2016:

I've had discussed with the author, and here are his responses to two points that rubbed me the wrong way, the PP affecting inappropriate equipment use and the character classes. Simon Purley wrote:
"In terms of rules - it's TSH version of TBH having different character classes being limited to specific types of armour. I couldn't limit the character classes as rigidly as he did in TBH but I wanted it in somewhere."
"In terms of genre - It means to stop people buying Superpowers. The first ever SHRPG Superhero 2044 had a "Superhero shop" and, as soon as they made money, people went and bought weapons and armour and flight rings etc. The game just didn't resemble the comics. Basically why doesn't Captain America take out Iron Man, steal his armour and put it on? If he did, he wouldn't know how to use it."
"BTW: The character classes are Superhero tropes. The Brick is your classic brawler (The Hulk, The Thing, Luke Cage). The Blaster is your classic ranged attacker (The Human Torch, Cyclops). The Crimefighter is your classic human who can go toe to toe with the super types (Batman, Captain America, Daredevil). The unique is your weirdos (The Vision, The Sacrlet Witch, Jessica Jones)."
"A design choice I went for in TSH was to keep the rules stripped down without loads of explanation or examples - in keeping with the philosophy of TBH. When I moved from PDF to print it created a couple of extra pages which I could have used for more explanation or example scenarios ("Superheroes vs. dinosaurs" doesn't take much space to explain.) It was a definite choice not to do so"