Short Takes 02/02/09

A firework in Bratislava, Slovakia, 2005

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Posts I’ve found of use lately:

I voiced my wish to see some chance of spell failure in D&D in my recent post about Fantasy Magic. Having been called out by Bonemaster I have put together my suggestions as to how to use spell failure. – 6d6Fireball

D6 Fantasy, the system I’m using to develop Project Valiant, allows for spell failure but doesn’t really detail what exactly happens when it occurs. 6d6 Fireball posted a table I’ve swiped and modified for my own games. I’ve chosen to use a d10 instead of a d30 because I prefer fewer sides on a die.

I’ve also simplified the table considerably. the D6 Fantasy magic system even as I’ve modified it is different enough from what he’s using that the table as written wouldn’t have worked. I had originally changed it to reflect random spell skill types and colors but just being able to grab a random spell effect will be both faster and easier since I have a program that will give me a list of random effects of that sort.


It had been a bit since I checked into the Grand OGL Wiki. I have to say, it looks like there’s definitely been some positive movement, especially with OGL items from Mongoose. – Zachary the First

How many GMs will grab ideas from anywhere and everywhere they can and either modify them for use or just drop them directly into a game? Most of us and I’m no exception. I have to thank Zachary for that post as I hadn’t even known that wiki existed but now that I do…. Viriatha rubs her hands together gleefully.


This is a simple variant designed to allow heroes to equip different parts of their body with different types of armor, and allow the DM to give out bits and pieces of magical armor as he wants. It also lends itself to the dungeon-delving look of heroes, wearing different pieces of scrap armor. – DiceMonkey

Oh, this is a terrific idea! This post by DiceMonkey is a wonderful system for Mix-and-Match Armor than can work in any game system at all. I’ll be using the body location table from Cyberpunk 2020 since that’s what I have memorized but it’s pretty similar to his table anyhow. I highly doubt my PCs will ever again find a full suit of any kind of armor!


Here’s an old idea revisited and reborn for 4e D&D, reminded to me by this thread over in the Microlite20 forums. – Greywulf

As soon as I read that first paragraph of Greywulf’s post I thought, can I change it so it works for d6 Fantasy? Even without knowing the idea, my little thieving GM brain wanted it. Once I read it, I wanted it more. His idea is adapted from a more complicated idea here but I like the playing cards better and besides, those forums are hard on the eyes.

It’s really a very simple idea for using a set of playing cards in specific ways to create a dungeon. Very quick, very easy. Toss the cards down one afternoon and viola! Dungeon! No adventure prep needed! His tables are pretty system specific (4E) but GMs collect tables like other people collect stamps so it should be pretty easy to use for any system.


So is this sound DMing advice? Probably not. But ultimately it’s what works for me. I don’t think consciously about the mechanics of leadership and control that are implicit in DMing and so I don’t wish to analyze them. – Wyatt

That quote is actually from the end of his post because it illustrates perfectly why I’ll go back and reread it more than once so that it sinks in. Other points of view, especially those very different from your own, will only make you better.  Wyatt and I have very different styles of running a game and I always look forward to seeing what he has to say next, not for any of the things he actually wrote about there, but because he challenges my perceptions and makes me think about what I do and why I do it.

And lastly, links back to those who linked to me: Questing GM and The Lemming and The Spirits of Eden.

And that’s the recent post of useful bits for game masters. I hope you find things you can use and see you next time!

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One Response to “Short Takes 02/02/09”

  1. viricordova Says:

    A short addition, the easiest way to find content to use from the OGL Wiki is this link that lists Open Game Content by Book.


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