Saturday, June 12, 2021

Updated Gnome Class (OSR D&D-BECMI)

The next character class on my update list is the gnome. The experimental version I'd posted back in March was a bit controversial. Some readers didn’t like the idea of a gnome illusionist, so I’ll split the class into a simple warrior and an illusionist version. If you want something else entirely, you have the tools to create a class option that meets your goals. Again, there’s plenty of room for options!

Art Credit: D&D Gnome fan art by Sam Rowan -- ImaginaryGnomes on Art Station

Background: This is part of an ongoing series of articles about level progression mechanics. It all started with experimental updates to the magic-user and cleric spellcasting tables posted last January. A number of updated or new character classes followed. Feedback on those was useful—thank you! Suggestions will be incorporated in later updates wherever practical. This led me to create a user-friendly Excel spreadsheet to help put numbers together quickly and easily. This spreadsheet is particularly useful in making sense of the math used when creating homebrew character classes, and in ensuring some degree of consistency across the board. Click here for info on updated saving throws.


The Updated Gnome

I compiled the various features and abilities given in the source article to obtain a simple warrior class, and another with the magical abilities described originally. You’ll have to go back and refresh your memory about the initial design.



1. Gnome Fighter: Chop up the magical skills and feed them to the wolves. Keep all the racial and fighter abilities, and you end up with a Base xp 1,800. The saving throws are the same for both gnome classes.

2. Gnome Illusionist: Keep all the racial abilities. Reduce the fighting skills and related combat abilities to those of a cleric. Weapons and armor permitted are those of a standard magic-user. The original article describes magical skills (abilities rather than traditional spells). The gnome illusionist ends up with a Base xp 1,700.

Resulting experience tracks based on the Excel spreadsheet are listed below. If you're looking for the author, he fled south of the border.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Alfdaín Ascendant


Calidar’s upcoming Series 3
project focuses on the elves. Barring unforeseen production changes, the author is pleased to announce the participation of Thorfinn Tait, master cartographer, and of Jeff Easley tentatively for the cover art. Joseph Garcia will provide internal illustration (b/w inks) and Janet Deaver-Pack line and text editing. Calidar gamebooks are intended for use with mainstream RPGs. As established in the two previous series, the new project will include:

  • A Gazetteer: 132 pages color, PDF format or printed (hardcover or softcover). This book is already written and most of its maps are in their final states as of mid-May 2021.
  • A Players’ Guide: About 24-28 pages, color, PDF format or softcover
  • An Adventure Book: 24-68 pages, color, PDF format or softcover. Final page count will depend on stretch goals during the crowdfunding event. The more backers, the greater the adventure for the same price.
  • Two Conversion Booklets: About 24 pages each, color, PDF format or softcover. They provide all game stats from the previous three titles specifically for use with Labyrinth Lordtm and Osrictm.
Click here for the preview page on Kickstarter, and select the "Remind Me" button near the upper right corner. The launch date will be June 9, at 09:00 am CST.  

The Cal3 Gazetteer

The Queen’s Gift: As with previous releases, this campaign book’s opening chapter is a novelette running 18 pages. It is the third episode of the Star Phoenix adventures, a skyship exploring the Great Caldera. The story is told in the style of the Voyage of the Princess Ark originally published in Dragon Magazine in the 1990s. The Queen’s Gift features a mysterious living skyship.

History: The Gazetteer’s main body goes on to unveil the history of the elves, covering events in their ancestral moon, Alorea, and in the Confederacy of Alfdaín on Calidar itself, a former colony of Alorea. The history tells of a bitter rivalry between the old elven empire and the younger, independent nation.


Geography:
This chapter focuses on Alfdaín, describing the lay of the land, the people, the economy, and the region’s climates. More than 12 full-page maps are featured, including a monumental 9-page atlas based on Thorfinn Tait’s topographical artwork and an overview of Undersea, the world of the sea elves, along with a map of the marine floor.

Riddle of the Woods: A sinister event, care of the old empire’s nefarious machinations, corrupted some of the forests covering Alfdaín. The evil plot lies behind this magical plague, threatening to overtake the whole of the confederacy. Each tainted region’s effects receive a detailed description.


The Law and the Sword:
Alfdaín features an alliance of three sovereign realms. Who holds the power in each dominion, how they interact with each other, what armed forces they possess, how the traditional clans work, and what laws are in effect comes through in these pages.