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Archive for October, 2012

And now for a lesson in Norse mythology…

The following is excerpted/adapted from Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

In Norse mythology, Ymir is a primeval being born of primordial elemental poison and the ancestor of all Jötnar. Ymir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier tradition material, in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, and in the poetry of skalds.

One stanza relates that the dwarves were given life by the gods from Ymir’s flesh and blood (or the earth and sea).

After Asgård had been built, and the gods assembled on their thrones and held their things. There they discussed where the dwarves had been generated from in the soil and down in the earth like maggots in flesh. The dwarfs had taken shape first and acquired life in the flesh of Ymir and were then maggots, but by decision of the gods they became conscious with intelligence and had the shape of men though they live in the earth and in rocks.

Maggot dwarves, eh? Oh those wacky old Norse! So how can we use this in Dwarven Glory?

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Runecasters are masters of arcane secrets and are able to scribe a greater number of increasingly powerful runes as they advance in level. However, they are limited in their combat ability, and are restricted to light armour. Experienced runecasters are able to craft enchanted items of great power and are themselves able to wield a wide array of magic devices.

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Thieves have a range of unique skills associated with their profession that make them very handy companions in adventures. However, thieves can be a bit shady and they sometimes are not trustworthy. Because of their need of stealth and free movement, thieves seldom wear heavy armour. They are proficient with light and ranged weapons, and experienced thieves can make deadly backstab attacks.

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Fighters – as their name implies – have extensive training in the arts of combat and war. They are specialists at dealing physical blows, and they generally approach problems head on, weapon drawn.

Of all the classes, fighters have the best attack bonus, the highest hit points, and the greatest damage output.

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While surfing the blogosphere tonight, I came across a post that caught my interest on The Alexandrian about D&D Next. (I had previously blogged about the Advantage / Disadvantage mechanic, and ended up incorporating the concept into Dwarven Glory.)

The bit that got my attention relates to the “Hazard” mechanic and reads as follows:

Essentially, if you fail a roll by 10 or more you suffer the hazard. This immediately gives you a consistent mechanical framework for all kinds of stuff: Fail a climbing check and you don’t make any progress; but if suffer a climbing hazard you fall. Fail a check to disarm a trap and you didn’t disarm it; but if you suffer a hazard on the check you’ve actually triggered the trap. And so forth.

This seems good; consider it swiped.

In practice, whenever a player wants to try something “cool” (and the referee agrees) they can attempt a relevant skill check (Athletics, Subterfuge, or Lore). Succeed a check against “Target 20” and your awesomeness is assured. Fail against “Target 10” (or roll a natural 1), though, and you could be in for a world of hurt.

I wouldn’t want to punish characters by inflicting automatic suckiness – a saving throw should be allowed to avoid an embarrassing outcome – but there is always a risk when trying to think “outside the box”, and I think the Hazard mechanic models this reasonably well.

Once again, I must give an unexpected thanks to D&D Next for supplying a useful rules mechanic…

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This post intended for use with my Vancian Spellcasting rules variant for Dwarven Glory. See that post for more information.

The spell list for white magic is modified from the AD&D cleric list, split into one spell grade per class level. (Note that I’ve swiped some spells I like from later editions, and that white wizards only get the ‘good’ version of some reversible spells.)

If I get ambitious someday, I may link to spell descriptions.

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This post intended for use with my Vancian Spellcasting rules variant for Dwarven Glory. See that post for more information.

The spell list for black magic is essentially the AD&D magic-user list, split into one spell grade per class level. (But note that black wizards only get the ‘evil’ version of some reversible spells.)

If I get ambitious someday, I may link to spell descriptions.

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