Friday, March 10, 2023

Two OSE Spells

A few years ago, when a Wilderlands campaign was being converted from 5e to OSE, I had written up two versions of spells my 5e character (a Tempest-domain Cleric) used a lot. It seemed weird to me for him to just stop casting the spell, so using existing previous-edition spells as benchmarks I converted them to this:

1st Level Spell
Duration: Instant
Range: 15’ cone
A wave of thunder blasts creatures and objects in a 15-foot cone originating from the caster. Any creature in the area of the wave takes 1d4 points of thunder damage per caster level (maximum 5d4), with a successful save versus spells indicating half damage. Unsecured objects and medium or smaller creatures who failed their save are hurled 10ft away from the caster.

2nd Level Spell
Duration: Instant
Range: 60’
An implosive wave crushes things within a 10’ radius sphere originating at a point within range.
  • Damage: Creatures and objects caught in the sphere suffer 1d4 damage per level of the caster (1d6 if they are made of inorganic materials), with a successful save versus spells indicating half damage.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Disconnected Thoughts on Running Medieval Settings

Reposting a reply to someone who asked for tips and advice running a Cthulhu Dark Ages game. These were written with the idea of a medieval mystery game in mind, but I think they apply equally to pretty much anything trying to capture a medieval vibe.

1. All institutions are persons. The level of bureaucracy and institutional inertia we're used to in the modern era could only be *dreamed* of. The rules are *never* blindly enforced, and the systems in place to argue about them are incredibly complex compared to our expectations. 

2. Labour is expensive, and preserving it is everyone's reflexive top priority. As much as the life of a peasant seems degraded to us, the entire system exists to keep people able to make food, and the margins for error for even a king are razor-thin compared to now. 

3. Points 1 and 2 mean everyone is very aware of their debts and obligations in keeping everyone around them alive, and their reliance on the fulfillment of those debts and obligations by others. If one person in a village dies, it's everyone's business.

4. The world is alive. This might seem odd, since we're not used to the idea of medieval Christianity as "animistic," but the reality is that the medieval mind treated the entire cosmos as hylozoic — they describe physics, geology, weather, everything in terms we would reserve for plants and animals. 

5. Life is mysterious, and mysterious forces surround everything. A tree grows from an acorn; a child from its mother; a corpse births the worms and flies of corruption. It is not weird to assume that a child born under a particular star-sign will have some traits, for the fixed and wandering stars scribe the cycle of the seasons themselves upon the heavens.

Free Hexmap Templates

Hey, with the #hexplore stuff going on I figured I should clean up and post some hexmap templates I've had sitting around for a while: H...