Wondering Monster

Filed under 'Mechanics'

Some Simple Black Hack Races

Recently while using The Black Hack for a one-shot, my players expressed a desire to get their teeth into race-based mechanics, which are absent from The Black Hack. To that end, here is an extremely simple set of racial rules for The Black Hack (and most OSR games). It’s nothing remarkable, but it scratches the itch of racial mechanics which feel D&Dish. Tell me more

Tweaked Encounter Dice In The Living Dungeon

I’m a fan of the ‘overloaded encounter die’ introduced by Necropraxis, fine-tuned into the beautiful, integrated Hazard System, and extended in other directions by Jones Smith, Meandering Banter, Ten Foot Polemic, and many others. Every OSR rule is a homebrew of someone else’s homebrew, so here’s the encounter die tweaked to my own sensibilities. The D&D dungeon is not just another location, but a living thing, a liminal space slunk down between the rational aboveground world of fealty, farmland, and feudalism, and the inhuman, alien chaos of the worlds below and beyond. Tell me more

A Per-Session Treasure Calculator

When I was recently organising a mega-dungeon adventure for BECMI D&D, I was trying to come up with a simple way to think of the contentious subject of treasure. My issue with treasure is mostly that in XP-for-coin systems like BECMI, B/X and their clones, it’s hard to reconcile a ‘simulationist’ perspective (as espoused by Gary Gygax and the wonderful Treasure by Courtney Campbell, which a lot of the generated items below are derived from) with a balanced perspective which makes players feel like they’re moving forward at an even keel in their adventures - the perspective closer to the XP-for-monsters setup of later D&D. Tell me more

Lessons: A Levelling Mechanic for Class-Less Games

An untested concept for adding a little bit of character specialisation during advancement for class-less games like Knave. When the players are levelling up, ask them: “What one lesson has your character learned from this adventure?” The answers might be along the lines of “turns out dragons can hear real good", or “I must not run into the room without checking the ceiling first”, or “do not make the Dwarf Princess angry”. Tell me more