Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Kickstarter -- d6xd6 CORE RPG by Lester Smith

Lester Smith, veteran game designer, has launched a Kickstarter to publish a slick new rules-light RPG d6xd6 CORE. Character creation is quick and easy, skill resolution is elegant, and the combat system can be as tactical or as story-oriented as the GM and players prefer. In addition to Lester's sharp skills as both a designer and world-builder, the game will feature settings and adventures for use with the game created by great writers such as Douglas Niles, Steve Winter, James Lowder, Bruce Heard, Scott Hungerford, Angela ScottWilliam Massa... and yours truly, NUELOW Games' own Steve Miller. 

Over 30 different writers are lined up to contribute settings to the final product, and more are joining every day. As with all Kickstarters, however, the number of them that actually end up contributing to the final book depends on the level of support from the audience by way of funding.

I am thrilled that Lester chose to make me part of the d6xd6 CORE RPG Kickstarter project. I will be providing a pulp superhero setting titled Masked Avengers that will feature some of the characters that have appeared in NUELOW's comics projects over the past year, gathered together in a single universe. You've seen this universe hinted at in numerous books, and it will come into sharper focus when my settings chapter d6xd6 CORE RPG book is released.

Assuming it is released. You see, my chapter is part of a "stretch goal"--additional content that gets added to the book as various funding levels are reached. It's part of a secret stretch goal, no less, that will be revealed as the project is funded. 

Click here to see some of the stuff that will be in the d6xd6 CORE RPG book and to see that the Kickstarter is already well underway. The basic book with four settings, including the Dragon Dice world as an RPG environment--finally!--is already happening. Now, there just needs to be enough support to bring all the settings into play.

Lester will be unveiling more exciting announcements as funding goals are approached and exceeded. Take a look at the pledge levels and the rewards. Consider chipping in. Personally, having had the priveledge of gaming with Lester several years ago, I wish I had at least $1.666 to contribute so he could come out to WA and run for my game group. The $24 and $99 pledge rewards are pretty sweet, too. 

I hope you'll consider supporting this very worthy Kickstarter. As little as $1 can be pledged!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New OGL d20 rules: Feather Charms

This entire post is presented under the Open Game License. It may be reproduced under the terms described here. Copyright Steve Miller 2014.

Game Design: Steve Miller 
Copyright Steve Miller 2014

When we published Warrior Maiden Starlight, I wanted to include some Native American themed OGL d20 rules in the book... but no ideas I came up with felt right, or even worked. Eventually, I gave the impatient editor something I felt was worth publishing and we released the book. I continued to mull over ideas... and then it struck me: Feathers!
   The symbolism of feathers is central to many traditional Native American cultural beliefs and practices, and they are referred to in Warrior Maiden Starlight several times as valued badges of honor and symbols of accomplishment. Incorporating feathers as magic items and as part of the awards system seemed like a fine idea for some game rules. After a little tinkering and back-andf-forth with Hundal, it still seemed like a good idea, so here it is, presented for your consideration. (Feedback is welcomed... that's why there's an email address listed at the bottom of the page and why there is a comments section.)

OGL d20: Feather Charms
These rules are loosely inspired by traditional Native American belief systems, in which birds are generally viewed as messengers from the spirits, bringers of change, and symbols of freedom. Feathers are also important symbols, and they are worn as badges of honor by warriors and leaders who have defeated foes through strength or cleverness, and who have been of great service to their people.

General Information About Feather Charms
A feather charm never detects as magical, nor do they grant any benefit for anyone but the character to whom it was awarded. Feather charms looted from dead foes are little more than cool looking headdresses and armbands.
   Feather charms can be used by members of any class.
   When interacting with members from a culture who recognize the inherent authority of the powerful beings who grant feather charms, wearers of feather charms have instant status and respect. For each feather charm worn, the hero gains a +1 bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks, up to a maximum of +8, directed at these people. For allies, he also enjoys a one-step positive reaction adjustment. See "Using Feather Charms" for additional details.
   Feather charms must be attached to armbands, boot cuffs, headgear (such as bonnets, helmets, or masks) melee weapons, polearms, or staves. An unlimited number of feather charms can be worn or displayed on a hero's melee weapons at any time, but their game effect is limited.
   The bonus granted by feather charms varies with the type of feather. They follow regular stacking rules. See "Using Feather Charms" for details.

Gaining Feather Charms
Feather charms are not made using magic item creation rules--they are granted by the spirits and the gods. PCs acquire them as rewards at the end of adventures or key encounters, either from an NPC or directly from the GM with the feather falling to the ground near the player it is being rewarded to.
   They can replace any +1 magic item in a treasure reward, or they can be given in addition to listed items. The feather rewarded should always related to something exceptional or impactful that the PC did during the adventure or encounter.

Starlight earns her first feather in a scene from Warrior Maiden Starlight.
(Script by Ann Adams. Art by Ralph Mayo)

Using Feather Charms
Feather charms must be worn openly by the hero to whom they were granted for the benefits to be enjoyed. When not worn, the feather charms must be carefully placed in some open area where they can be viewed by all; the hero will continue to gain the benefits from them so long as he is within line-of-sight of the feather charms. If they are ever placed in a chest or a closet or otherwise locked away in a small and confined space by their owner, all magic is permanently drained from them.
   If NPCs have reasons to think a hero is wearing or displaying a feather charm that he did not earn, they may demand the character tell the tale of how it was awarded to him. The hero gains a +1 bonus to the appropriate skill check when relating his deeds, and if the check is successful, he gains the full Charisma benefit going forward.
Specific Feather Charms
Here are the specific feather charms and the bonus they grant. Similar feathers stack with other feathers to a maximum of +5. If two feathers give bonuses to the same skills, their effects stacks.
   Crow Feather: Represents skill and cunning. Grants a +1 bonus to Disable Device, Hide, Move Silently, Search, and Sense Motive skill checks.
   Dove Feather: Represents the more gentle side of humanity, such as love, kindness, and nurturing.  Love and gentleness. Grants a +1 bonus to Animal Handling, Diplomacy, and Treat Injury (Heal in some OGL d20 versions).
   Eagle Feather: Represents bravery and strength of will. Grants a +1 bonus to Will saving throws, as well as a +1 bonus to Diplomacy skill checks.
   Falcon Feather: Represents speed and agility. Grants a +1 bonus to Reflex saving throws, as well as a +1 bonus to Tumble skill checks.
   Hawk Feather: Represents strength and protection through force. Grants a +1 bonus to Fortitude saving throws, as well as a +1 bonus to Intimidate skill checks.
   Heron Feather: Represents grace and confidence . Grants a +1 bonus to all Perform skill checks, as well as a +1 bonus to Concentration and Disable Device skill checks.
   Owl Feather: Represents a mind capable of keen insights and the ability to see things as they truly are. Grants low-light vision of 12 feet (increases 10 feet for each Owl feather, up to a maximum of distance of 60 feet at five feathers possessed), as well a +1 bonus to Search, Sense Motive, and Spot skill checks.
   Raven Feather: Represents creativity and knowledge. Grants a +1 bonus to all Knowledge and Craft skill checks.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A 4th of July Safety Tip from the Fighting Yank
(plus a d20 Modern Talent Tree)

Listen to the wise words of the Fighting Yank. And remember, the phrases "Hey, watch this!" and "Hold my beer!" should never be uttered when you are setting off fireworks.

From Fighting Yank #29. Art by Mort Meskin

Here's a talent tree (designed by Steve Miller, from a suggestion by L.L. Hundal) that numerous people probably will wish could apply to real life come July 5. (Everything in this post past this sentence is Open Game Content. It may be reproduced under the terms of this license. Copyright Steve Miller 2014.)

This talent tree is available for Charismatic Heroes, Fast Heroes, Strong, Heroes, and Tough Heroes,or other classes that have access to their talent trees. Whenever the character may select talent, they may choose one from this tree instead of those featured in the rules for their class.
   Feel the Burn: Damage from acid electricity, and fire is reduced by 2d6 points after all other modifiers have been applied, to a mimimum of 1 point of damage.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence or Wisdom score 8 or less. If the hero should later increase the attribute score, they retain the benefit of this talent.
   Gravity-shmavity: Falling damage is reduced by 2d6+2 points after all other modfiers have been applied, to a minimum of 1 point of damage.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence or Wisdom score 8 or less. If the character should later increase the attribute score, they retain the benefit of this talent.
   Just Drive She Said: Impact damage suffered while in a crashing vehicle, or upon being hit by a vehicle, is halved after all other modifiers have been applied, to a minimum of 1 point of damage.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence or Wisdom score 8 or less. If the character should later increase the attribute score, they retain the benefit of this talent.
   That Blowed Up Real Good: Concussion damage and other damage suffered from explosions and devices or magical spells that cause area of effect damage is reduced by 2d6+2 points of damage after all other modifiers have been applied, to a minimum of 0. The reduction applies only to the hero with this talent,
   Prerequisite: Feel the Burn, Intelligence or Wisdom score 8 or less. If the character should later increase the attribute score, they retain the benefit of this talent.
   Watch This!: Whenever the hero fails a Acrobatics skill check, Climb skill check, Disable Device skill check, or Demolitions skill check, any damage he suffers is reduced by half before any other modifiers are applied.
   Prerequisite: One other talent from the Too Dumb to Die Talent Tree.

Celebrate Independence Day weekend with Pat Patriot!

With Pat Patriot, NUELOW Games shines a spotlight on one of comicdom's earliest female costumed comic characters, as well as being one of the first and most sincerely patriotic series. Debuting in June of 1941, the series predates Wonder Woman and only slightly trails Captain America.

In addition to the four best Pat Patriot stories, the book features a complete ROLF! supplement that in which Pat meets the Bronze Terror and battles the nefarious Mayflower Man. Click here to see previews or to get your own copy.

You can see more previews of Pat Patriot at our sister blog Shades of Gray by clicking here.

Monday, June 30, 2014

NUELOW Games is observing Ramadan

It has come to our attention that we've done Christmas Specials, Barak Obama Birthday Specials, and Chinese New Year Specials, but we've never done anything to mark a time honored by billions and billions of people.

Well, before we re publicly shamed for our lack of inclusiveness, we're fixing that by offering the Ramadan Collection!

The NUELOW Games Ramadan Collection contains historical fiction set during the Crusades; comics featuring Kismet ( the Nazi-busting first Muslim superhero), and lots and lots of ROLF! rollplaying game material--including the core rulebook! It's a total of eight products--including four of our best-sellers!--for just $5 (55% off full retail price).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's a Party in the CIA with Madam Zero!

Some parody songs are more amusing and entertaining than the source they are based on. A perfect example of that is Weird Al's "Party in the CIA." It's got better lyrics than the original and its video even makes more sense.

It's a favorite of the NUELOW Gang, even if L.L. Hundal's Significant Other has banned it from their home, because Hundal would play it over and over while singing along as she searched through comics for us to republish.

I'm bringing it up here, because it also seems like a perfect theme song for the most recent release for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters...

ROLF!: Zero vs. One is a full-fledged ROLF! supplement with two battle scenarios, four pre-generated characters, and a number of new Battle Maneuvers and Traits. In addition, it features the complete run of Madam Zero, an obscure back-up series from Fiction House's Fight Comics that featured one of comicdom's most mysterious heroines. And Madam Zero is exactly the sort of character that "Party in the CIA" is about.

Click here to see previews of ROLF!: Zero vs. One, or to get your own copy.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's the First Day of Summer AND Free RPG Day!

To celebrate the first day of summer and Free RPG Day, we're offering three of our roleplaying games for free!

Until Midnight when June 21st turns into June 22nd, you can download Fists of Foolishness, which contains The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard RPG and a dozen short stories to get you the proper mood to run adventures with it; You vs. Me, a  crazy two-player, GM-less RPG by L.L. Hundal;; and Dyvil: First Edition by the legendary game designer and author Jeff Grubb, free of charge!

Additionally, the NUELOW Games Summer Special is still on sale at a reduced price. In addition to half a dozen summer-themed comics, it features a scenario compatible with both The Violent Worlds of Robert E. Howard and You vs. Me.

Check out the free games and summer deals before they are gone!