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Fantastic Adventures: Initial Thoughts on Classes

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Last month, I mentioned that my current group wanted to play something more like Swords & Wizardry rather than Microlite74. It turns out this wasn't quite what was meant. They want something written more like Swords & Wizardry, that is more completely detailed than Microlite74, but they don't necessarily want "exactly" S&W. After a month of talking while playing, we've come up with a starting basis for Fantastic Adventures.

It will have the following six major classes (with a brief outline of their currently planned abilities):

Fighter -- Combat Bonus starts at +3 and goes up by +1 per level to max (max not yet decided: either +12 or +15). Combat Bonus also applies to damage for favored weapons. Cleave ability. Leadership and Morale Bonuses for hirelings they lead. Forces morale checks at 4th and 8th level (like heroes and superheroes in Chainmail rules). Stronghold.

Monster Hunter -- Combat Bonus starts at +1 and goes up by +1 every 2 levels to max. Ability to turn undead/demons/devils/supernaturals/things man was not mean to know (similar to D&D cleric but requires different means for each monster). Knowledge of monsters. Smite Evil (extra damage to known monsters). Info gathering. Stronghold.

Scout -- Combat bonus starts at +1 and goes up by +1 every 2 levels to max. Wilderness Survival, Tracking, and trailing. Alertness. Move Silently. Hide in Shadows. Remove Traps. Climb Sheer Surfaces. Open Locks. Sneak Attack/Ambush. Herbalism. Stronghold.

Magician -- like Magic-User but uses a spell list made up of some of the cleric spells and some illusionist spells. Combat Bonus starts at +1 and goes up by +1 every 5 levels to max. Magic Research. Tower.

Wizard -- Like standard Magic-User. Combat Bonus starts at +1 and goes up by +1 every 5 levels to max. Magic Research. Tower.

Sorcerer -- Ritual Magic (only, no spells). Summon/Bind Elementals and Demons. Combat Bonus starts at +1 and goes up by +1 every 5 levels to max. Research. Tower.

You'll note that there is no cleric-type class. That's because religions will be handled by cults (something like in Runequest). Cults serve gods, demons, things mankind was not meant to know, etc. Each cult has lay members, initiates, acolytes, priests, and high priests. Priests and High Priests are full time non-adventuring jobs at a shrine or temple and cannot be PCs.

* Lay Membership costs 1% of income per month. Provides basic benefits (e.g. right to attend services, ability to receive benefits from cult such as use cult items). Can be lay member of many cults (so long as all are allied, friendly, or neutral to each other).

* Initiate Membership costs 10% of income per month. Provides lay member benefits plus the ability to call for minor miracles. An initiate of one cult is automatically a lay member (at no additional cost) of all allied cults. Can be initiate of multiple cults so long as all are allied cults.

* Acolyte Membership costs 25% of income per month. Provides lay member and initiate benefits plus the ability to call for major miracles. One can only be an acolyte of one cult.

Note: money paid to membership costs does not provide XP so cult membership reduces advancement rate.

Just about anyone can be a lay member of most cults as requirements are few (if any). Initiate and Acolyte memberships will have additional requirements to be accepted in most cults. These requirements might be easy or hard to meet, depending on the cult. Miracles are limited by the power level of the cult deity and that deities areas of power. For example, one deity of love probably isn't going to answer a "slay this person" miracle request.

Fantastic Adventures will be an old school game based on 0e/1e/BX but looks like it will definitely be its own thing. This is good because part of me really wants to do something less clone-like than Microlite74, Microlite78, and Microlite81.

City Project I: Outside the West Gate

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This in the first post detailing the City of Alderbridge. While I should be naming streets, planning the city government, and all that background stuff, what I wanyted to do was create some buildings. So I decided to detail part of the area just outside the west gate (just south of the river, see the main Alderbridge map). As this is outside the city walls I don't need to decide all the details of the city yet.

However, just from reading these descriptions, you can see some hints. References to the Twins and the Underlord, for example. The Twins are the twin high level mages who rule the city. The Underlord is a shadowy crime lord who wants to be so much more. The tax on entering the city is apparently high enough for non-residents that many counting their coins closely try to avoid doing so.

On with the local map and the building descriptions. Note I am using descending AC and the nine-axis alignment system for these buildings. This may change after more thought.

Sallie Draven (Human Female F-1 LN HP-5 AC-7 S-11 I-12 W-10 C-13 D-12 K-15 WPN: Dagger P: Owner/Bartender)
Gusten Greentooth (Human Male F-1 N HP-6 AC-9 S-13 I-10 W-10 C-7 D-12 K-8 WPN: Cleaver (1d6) P: Cook)

The Alligator is a tavern marked by a stuffed alligator hanging over the door. Sallie is a retired city guard whose still retains much of her youthful beauty. Gusten is ugly by comparison but cooks great but simple fare. The Alligator is infamous for Alligator Piss, a cheap drink always served hot (1 cp a mug), and its gator stew (2 cp a bowl). Neither have a bit of alligator in them although everyone believes they do. The Alligator is popular with adventurers, caravan guards, and other visitors who don't want to enter the city walls. Staff: 4 slaves (HP: 2) and 3 serving wenches (HP: 2). Rumors: Sallie retains her beauty by bathing in alligator blood.

Whim Grippen (Human Male F-3 N HP-20 AC-5 S-16 I-11 W-12 C-15 D-12 K-13 WPN: Short Sword P: Innkeeper)

The Green Snake Inn attracts adventurers, caravan guards, minor merchants, and other travelers. It's a popular place with 6d6 of its 40 rooms filled every night. Rooms can hold up to 4 people (5 sp/person/night). Basement bunkroom holds up to 40 people (1 sp/person/night). 12 servants (HP: 3) provide room service. The Green Snake does not provide meals, but common grog is available for 1 sp a glass in the common room. Whim is a former adventurer who lost two fingers from his left hand to an owlbear. Rumors: The Lord Mayor is Whim's cousin.

Haddith Blackwell (Human Male F-2 LG HP-16 AC-6 S-17 I-11 W-9 C-15 D-14 K-8 WPN: Great Sword)

Haddith shoes horses, repairs weapons, and does other general blacksmithing chores. His work is average but he is fast and cheap (20% below stand costs). He hates orcs and will not serve an orc or anyone he believes is friendly with orcs. Rumors: Swords will soon require a license inside the city walls.

Marcel Untine (Human Male T-1 N HP-4 AC-7 S-10 I-12 W-10 C-10 D-15 K-12 WPN: Sap)

Marcel supplies provisions to caravans, adventurers and other travelers. Prices for rational and hard rations are normal. 10% chance 1d20 loaves Elven Weybread available. He supplies information on caravans to bandits for a 1% cut of the take.

Dona Sythme (Human Female F-3 LG HP-18 AC-5 S-14 I-12 W-13 C-12 D-9 K-13 WPN: Short Sword)
Matt Sythme (Human Male F-2 LN HP-14 AC-5 S-12 I-13 W-10 C-11 D-13 K-15 WPN: Short Sword)

Matt and Dona and their large staff (15-25 depending on season) supply everything from entire caravans to lone travelers with any goods that can be found for sale in the city. For a markup of 5 to 25 percent (depending on order size and speed at which it must be fulfilled), they will take a list of goods needed and send their staff into the city to purchase them and bring them to their warehouse for pickup. For an extra fee their staff can pack them as needed for their clients. Their main customers are caravans, but those who need to obtain items anonymously from within the city are a profitable sideline. Dona usually deals with clients and money while Matt handles the actual gathering of materials ordered. Rumors: Bandit activity to the north is much higher than normal. Orcs will be driven out of the city. Gate taxes will be raised.

Ted Vigi (Human Male M-4 CG HP-10 AC-9 S-7 I-17 W-11 C-13 D-13 K-9 WPN: Dagger+2)
Horn Didden (Human Male M-1 CG HP-2 AC-9 S-10 I-15 W-10 C-11 D-12 K-12 WPN: Dagger)
Nadali Forsith (Human Female M-1 CE HP-3 AC-9 S-11 I-14 W-12 C-8 D-12 K-13 WPN: Dagger)

Ted and his two apprentices sell everyday potions (medicine, cleaning jokes, etc.) at reasonable prices. They also buy and sell potion ingredients and sell potion creation supplies -- the latter at a good markup. Nadali appears to be CG but is actually CE. She has secret plans to eventually kill her master and inherit his shop. Rumors: Prostitutes at Greta's Girls are upset over new owners of the business.


This open stone structures is a shrine used by all faiths, even outlawed faiths in secret. Many offerings are left every day. These are taken by the gate guards at sunrise and sunset. There is much speculation as to what is done with the offerings. (Suggestion: They are giving to one of the city's major temples on a rotating schedule.)

Jon "Lucky" Starr (Dwarf Male F-3 N HP-25 AC-5 S-17 I-12 W-11 C-14 D-10 K-6 WPN: War Hammer)

Thanks to war injuries, Lucky is the ugliest dwarf you may ever meet. Despite his ill luck at war, he is very lucky at games of chance. He runs a small but popular gambling establishment. The stakes are never very high, but the games his staff runs are fair (but the house odds average 10%). Rumors: Lucky once beat the Twins at dice and has lived outside the gate ever since. Dwarves in the pay of the Underlord are planning a coup.

Long Term Blog Project: Detail City of Alderbridge

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Dyson Logos released a city map free for even commercial use today on his blog Dyson’s Dodecahedron: the city of Alderbridge (click to see the map). I've always wanted to detail a city something like Judge's Guild did with the City-State of the Invincible Overlord. I've never had a city map I could use that I actually liked, however. I saw Alderbridge and liked it, so I'm going to start detailing some of the buildings in the city on this blog: probably one or two buildings a week. I hope to detail about one-third of the buildings by the time I'm done. That will leave a large number of empty buildings both as residences/tenements and as places where GMs can customize the city for their own campaigns. I'm doing this on my blog in the hope that this will make me actually make the time to do this project.

I'm not sure at the moment when I will start writing up buildings as I first need to name the city (if I don't keep the name Alderbridge), name the streets, and come up with a general idea of how the city works and where it is in general terms as these decisions will determine what is likely to be found in the city. The building writeups will be in general D&D terms and so should be easily useable with any TSR version of D&D or a clone thereof (including Microlite74, Microlite78, and Microlite81).

For those who have never seen the City-State of the Invincible Overlord, here is a sample of a short building description I wrote up for one of the empty buildings in the Street of Shadows in the City-State of Invincible Overlord back in the 1970s.

Artfoon Gandal (Human Male MU-6 LE HP-15 AC-9 S-8 I-16 W-11 C-10 D-10 K-12 WPN: Knife)

Artfoon is a snobbish and seemingly incompetent barber. He often nicks those he shaves (50%) and always carefully blots the blood on a new blotter(which he later labels for use in magic rituals against customers with money or power). Artfoon expects a tip but seldom gets one. He can be a bit surly if his previous customer did not tip. Artfoon owns a wand of wonder which he hides in his boot. Shave and a Haircut: 2sp. Rumors: The Orcs of the Purple Claw will soon mount another attack on the City-State. The Overlord is looking to hire a pack of werewolves for a deadly mission.

More important establishments get longer write-ups, of course. I'm interested in feedback on this idea. If there is no interest in this project, I'll push it to the back burner. It shouldn't interfere with rules projects as most building descriptions will not take a lot of time to create and write up.