Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Savage Hall of Bones part 1

What follows is a re-counting of my on-the-fly conversion of Hall of Bones for my co-workers. I was asked about how the the OSR-style setup converted to Savage Worlds and wether or not the styles were mismatched. Its just reposted here on the blog to keep it from slipping away into the G+ stream. Theres a great bit of back and forth in the comments and you can find the original post here.

Anyway, the on the fly work I did is leading me to want to dual-stat things in SW and in LL / Swords & Wizardry...more about that later I believe. Here's my reply to Jack that turns into a re-cap & reflection on my GM style...which seems to be a position statement that is emerging form my time running, and playing lately:

+Jack Shear  I did my best to be a lazy GM and read the module bit by bit as they explored. I rounded out their party with a starting "healer" and "mage" from the template list in Deluxe. First thing I ran into was the dilapidated village, its got a map (as +Erik Jensen  points out) for very little reason. I think maybe I'll recycle that map for a combat above ground post-dungeon. The two players were very cautious, and Tork's player was enthusiastic and battled with being too cautious and being "the brick" but he did it with gusto. They explored and started running into a conversion problem (ie making good "notice" rolls but getting little information.) So I just began with surface details / obvious things and your roll would give you a second level of detail, and a raise would give you accurate information. I'm a big fan of +Courtney Campbell's work, so I kept trying to bounce the decisions back on them with some ideas, kept trying to summarize etc. though I'm not sure I'm super good at hewing faithfully to the ideal on that. (hey, its all practice right?) 

They ran into puzzles first, and since the fighter was ironically and sufficiently suspicious of the button he'd pressed they found the stair trap. He also set off the moldy room trap, but the other player was thinking quickly and dragged his sleeping form from the doorway pretty quickly. There was some great ham acting on his part and the two of them bantered with my two extras a lot, and had a good time. Since they thought to ask the "healer" and the "mage" about the mold after activating it they were able to get info on disabling it, and spent an "hour" with faces covered, burning out the mold with torches. They faced a bunch of "do you get discovered by dungeon monsters checks" and never had an encounter. They discovered the sanctuary room, beyond the mold trap and just before the end they faced down my re-skinned "ghouls" in the big, trashy ghoul den. I simply re-wrote "goblin" stats from the SWDX and gave them an extra power. Because they were super scared by the purple mold, I played that up in the description of the little, toothy dead-things with purple-ley patchy beards and body hair. I also doubled the number monsters in the room, and just gave the first two "surprise" THEN I had to react to the first initiative card dealt (a joker of course) to the Archer. So, I declared my actions, and then let him decide to interrupt or not. Then started the first round.

Rules I made up or may have mis-used:

Purple Mold: 
vigor -2 or fall asleep for 2d6 rounds; the end of the round you fall asleep it settles on you, colonizes and you make one more vigor check @ -2 save = fatigue, fail = 3d6 damage. If you're asleep then someone else has to take actions to help you, or the mold eats you. Mold continues to eat you every round as before.

Two ghouls in this room just get automatic surprise. Fine. If someone pulls a Joker, let them in on the first round before everyone else goes, then go in order of the initiative as the cards dictate.

"Groovie Ghoulies": (goblins by the SWDX)
These four-foot undead have been colonized by a strain of mold or fungus that grows on their bodies and so just add a paralyze to their attacks. Any shaken, or wound they cause also gives a Vigor check. Fail = lose actions (not very sexy, but its how I translated it on the fly) for 2d6 rounds. Second thoughts about these monsters is that they should have 2, maybe 3 attacks since they're basically fighting d6 and are not likely to hit the fighter's 6 parry. Then maybe rework the paralyze by going to look at other examples of paralyze in SW products. If they are "purple mold ghouls" you could just use a the Vigor vs Sleep rules from the mold entry I guess, but I was going quickly and thats just hindsight...

The combat was quick and they did well. I'm going to have to do some kind of work on the spell casters that makes them easier for me to use...ie I need to know the Power Points system better or give them a set number of spells or something...

All in all, I felt like it was Fast for what we were doing, and we definitely had fun, I'm not sure about Furious but I can include that later. This was pretty good for a ZERO prep game though.

Thats everything I've got on it right now. I plan to take some down time and actually prep some of the module so I'll report back on that if anyone is interested. I should also get out the NPC pdf and see what kinds of personalities the "healer" and the "mage" have...right now, its like a 4 person buddy cop movie in there...which is also good.