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Recent Ramblings

Potted Plants in Peril: Planted TRPG PITCH Review

Recent posts

P.I.T.C.H. Review Primer (What, How, and Why I Want to Review in the First Place)

I have been thinking about making review for short and small rpgs since last year, originally as part of a Patreon offering. But circumstances arise and I didn't get to make a Patreon before it made changes into tier packs. I was advised not to make one unless I have a grandfather account, so I postponed the idea.

There's always new rpg projects and works coming out, but I think it gets drown out with the powerhouse works, indie darling releases, and rpg discourse takes that we see in blogs, discord servers, and twitter. I asked twitter about interest for this kind of thing, and people are quite positive about it. So I'll make mini-reviews for those works I find noteworthy from, drivethrurpg, or from personal blog/sites. And I'll call it a P.I.T.C.H.

Premise - the theme or premise of the game, adventure, or supplement.  Impression - the aesthetics of the project; less technical about layout and design and more about how captivating or stylistic the work is  Toolki…

Troika Background - Shapeshifting Chicken of the Night

So I made a collection of chicken-inspired backgrounds for the other world's favorite rpg. It is also my submission for Chicken Jam. I called it Life of the Poultry, because I don't want to stretch people's mind about what to expect in the pack.

One of the backgrounds in it, which I have been teasing in my twitter timeline, is based on Filipino monster lore* about black chicks (itom nga piso) that can be ingested, so a human becomes an aswang. This will cause them to crave for human flesh but to gain the ability of chimeric transformation. It is said that you can make an aswang regurgitate the black chick, potentially turning them back to human, by making it extremely dizzy so it starts vomiting. You then hang the individual by its feet and light a pile of rice straw beneath it. The smoke will make the aswang vomit more, flushing out the black chick. 
But this black chick says fuck it, I'm not gonna go another person's stomach. Here is a reveal of that background.

4E D&D Hack: HP costs on Powers

I made a twitter post about this, and I decided to blog it as well for posterity. I'll also adjusted some theories and numbers, expound the reasoning behind this hack, and showed what to expect in game play. You can check the original twitter thread here.

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So first, I'd like to point out the idea of HP from 4E D&D, seen on page 293 on D&D 4E PHB.

So we're extending the meaning here of HP as stamina and mana as well. It's more than just health points. Hit points help you stay alive and able, and will now fuel your strongest of powers.

Now the key change is that you still play 4E DnD as is, except powers with Encounter and Daily keywords now have HP costs, regardless of power type (class, racial, utility, theme, etc), and you are no longer limited by their casting limits. These are some new rules:

You can now cast any powers many times, as long as you have enough HP to do so. No limits.Encounter powers costs power level times 2 HP to use. Encounter (specials…

Dex-Int Initiative - d20 Initiative System Hack

Something I have thought of a few months ago, but I keep forgetting to write about. If you want to add a small layer of variance in your d20 initiative system, but still want the predictability of a tracked initiative list, you might be interested in this.

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When rolling initiative, create two sets of initiative track for combat, one for odd-numbered rounds and another for even-numbered rounds. For the odd-numbered rounds of combat, add Dexterity modifier to the initiative roll to determine the result. For the even-numbered rounds of combat, add Intelligence modifier to the roll. Note that each combatant still rolls one initiative roll, they just have a different ability modifier for the two tracks of initiative. Any additional modifiers from other sources (features, feats, spells, etc) still apply to all rounds.

Why do this? 
1. A chance for Int-based characters to act fast, after seeing the first round. A good way to promote anticipatory play from people who likes to see what o…

Troika Background - Marooned Field Researcher

So it's recently announced that there will be a Troika Backgrounds Jam in itch, hosted by Jared and Cartwheel.

Aiming to post at least 6 backgrounds, here's a draft of one of the backgrounds I plan to submit. Another H2G2 character, this time it's the savvy drunk journalist that got stuck in an utterly insignificant little blue green planet for quite some time.

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Marooned Field Researcher

You were investigating a remote little blue green planet as a submission for a galactic space guide, but you ended up getting stuck there for more than you've intended. You coped by drinking and partying with the locals to subside your existential dread. Eventually, you were able to hitch a ride from a bypassing spaceship and escape, but you realize the galaxy has changed since you last ventured it.

a satchel
a large bath towel
an electronic guide to space commuters
a portable spaceship detector
a basic signal transmitter (emits simple messages)
a notepad and pen
a hand…

Troika Background - Gurren Lagann Notables

Because of a friend's influence, I decided to watch Gurren Lagann's momentous scenes last weekend as a hype-feel watch for the incoming Session Zero event. I've finished one of my games, "May Project na Naman si Kapitan?" (see previous blogpost), and cut losses on my other game that is not going well, development-wise.

This feels-trip watch inspired me to do Troika backgrounds for 2 notable characters, Simon and Viral. Check them out below.

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Spiral Digger of Heavens

You were once a mech pilot and warrior, wielder of a metaphysical energy called Spiral, who helped liberate your world against a universe-threatening force. Along the way you have lost many of your comrades, your mentor, and your lover. Now that life and growth have been restored in your world, you understand that you are no longer needed there. You wander around the cosmos helping those who have need help drilling through the walls and ceilings that oppress their lives.

Your Spiral energ…