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Troika Background - Shapeshifting Chicken of the Night

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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…

One Shot RPG - May Project Na Naman si Kapitan?

I've made a micro-rpg based from John Harper's Laser+Feelings contained universe format and Blades in the Dark's fortune roll and vice-stress system. Posted it as my entry for the DREAMJAM in 
It's a one-shot investigation of concerned citizens about a dubious local project. You can check and download it here as a PWYW product.

UPDATE (Aug 29, 2019): I have updated the product to its release version, and now costs $2.50. You can still download the demo version, which is the same game in text form, without any layout nor image.

It's in Tagalog-English though, as a good part of its humor and style is based on the language. Not sure if I'll make a full English version. 
This is just a playtest document, so no guarantee that everything will be the same. Will showcase the final version in the upcoming Session Zero rpg event.

UPDATE (Aug 29, 2019): I have released the game in the said event! It was mildly successful, and final version is up now in 

Your Initiative System Tells The Game You Are Playing

Rolling for initiative is such an iconic part of RPG. Almost every RPG has one, or at least a version of it to know who's acting first in the situation or encounter. With the various initiative systems out there, I think...

1)...we should scrap it and let fiction decide whose turn is it. 
Unlike turn-based video games, we don't need an indicator when a risky encounter is about to happen. The fact that we use a "roll for initiative when we encounter something" system in our games like a Pokemon trainer who just encountered a wild pokemon puts people into the notion that combat has to happen. At the very least, the other side is hostile or not on the same side as the players, so our actions has to become turn-like to facilitate the exchange of blows or actions. But most of the time, the group knows who should really act first due to how the situation played out. Sometimes rolling for initiative kills that moment, and puts things into a turn-based video game perspective.