Monday, April 23, 2012

FU Dice

So I had a realization today. Lately as I've been trying to work on  my OSH/deck idea/ solo rules, I've been getting a little bogged down in the crunchiness of balanced play and making sure that everything pieces together well. This is taking all the fun out of wanting to play my game. It's hard enough for me to find time to play games these days so I might as well put together something that I want to play and that doesn't require too much thinking.

To recap what I'm doing. I build a adventure deck so I can have some creative input in what kind of adventure I play. I randomize (remove cards etc. add random cards) and end up with a surprising unpredictable journey that is (hopefully) fun. The cards are there to prompt my creativity and give a very loose structure to my adventure. OSH is a great little rules lite rpg that I want to use in conjunction with the deck. It's a "beer and pretzel style" game (maybe best after 4 beers).

I stumbled across a link from the Story Games Forums and it reminded me to trust my initial impulse of a simple rules lite, play quickly/don't over think it style of solo play.

Check it out:

FU seems to play quickly and prompts a good active narrative.

Here's a link for FU rules:

I'm not going to use Mythic at all. FU or Free Universal Roleplaying Game is the way to go and is perfect for on the fly solo play and I seems particularly well being used with OSH. I haven't even read all the rules but the basic concept is roll a d6 to answer questions (much like Mythic).

6 - yes, and
5 - yes
4 - yes, but
3 - no, but
2 - no
1 - no, and

Maybe you could decide also on the likelihood of the results of a question. For example - Likely: roll two FU dice, best result stands. Unlikely: roll two, worst result stands.

There will be three simple result interpretations. 50/50, "likely", "unlikely". Very simple. Anything beyond "likely" just consider it done. Maybe for something that is clearly impossible like jumping over a fifty foot gorge, roll three and worst result stands. (nothing should be truly impossible in Old School Hack)

Mythic GM is a great concept but I find that whenever I use it I get a burnt out pretty quickly with all the number crunching. And don't even get me started on the chaos levels. The subject/action and descriptor tables are gold though and I'll continue to use them.

I want to play quickly and get to the good parts faster so my next step is finding small ways to make my sessions play fast.

Here are some ideas for faster play:

When coming up with words for the obstacle and description/location deck I think a list of words as a reference might be nice. Sort of like a grab bag of sorts. Maybe divided into sections like crypts or caverns, or underground city etc. I'll read some adventure modules and gather words and descriptions, ideas add them to the list. The more you add, the more options you have. This will be a reference for building a adventure deck.

The FU d6 dice will be used primarily for asking questions about the world I interact with. Maybe I could roll 20 d6's all at once and keep them in a small box (laid side ways) with easy access without being able to see them. Whenever I ask a question I pull out one of the dice, result side up and place it on the table. That seems like it could speed up play a lot. I have a question so I grab a dice. No rolling - it's already happened.

Monsters in OSH do not require stats. There are 4 types. Maybe some have a +1 or a +2 attack bonus or some kind of special ability. Monster Laws and minimal bonuses that is all that is needed. So combat will not require constantly referencing a monster manual of any kind.

I will adapt the general FU dice result idea for ability checks as well but with a d12(OSH uses a d12 for ability checks). For combat two d10's(again this is what OSH uses).

Modifiers would be added to the role if appropriat. The "GM" or opposition in solo terms would role another d12(again OSH rules). That dice would have bonuses based on difficulty.

the results would be interpreted like this maybe:

Yes and - +6 and above over the "GM" role
yes - +3, +4, +5 over the role
Yes, but -  +1
 and the no's are a negative reverse of this.

I will test this to get a good balance with it and update.

Most tests are a standard 50/50 and would not have bonuses added by the GM role so you don't have to figure that out and be tempted to "cheat". A bonus should only be added for the "GM" role if it obviously should. When in doubt, don't. In fact that seems to be the suggestion in the OSH rulebook if I recall. Makes things pretty random but exciting and creates many twists.

Combat. same idea. If there is a monster attack modifier than that is applied.

Awesome points will be rewarded for a "yes and"(also in some other ways as well). Plus it gives a good chance to have describe actions like "I stab the goblin in the face with my knife and slice open his cheek! Blood flies everywhere!". Or "I leap over the chasm and land in a full body roll and then leap to my feet attacking the closest skeletons"

If you have questions or feedback, I'd appreciate it. Blogger is still being shitty (even though I have all comments enabled, it seems people are still having trouble leaving comments) so feel free to email me at:

solodungeoneer at  (don't want spam so no @ in my email address)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Monster AI

Check out the combat tracker from Old School Hack that I'm using:

Love this thing. It keeps combat from being too tactical and drawn out but also gives a visual representation so its not all in your head. I find that handling monster AI is much easier too. You have 7 options in OSH for combat in turn order:

1. Defend
2. Shoot
3. Focus or Impede (usually preparing to cast)
4. Move
5. Attack
6. Push or Throw
7. Focused effects (basically casting a spell)

I've been messing around with giving Monster's basic AI for combat. They each have a law such as:

Brutal: Attack closest hero randomly (those in the attack hex or move towards those shooting or casting)
 Pack: Every monster attacks attacking character (roll 1d6 to decide who if there is more than one PC)
...and others

 I've been using the Monster AI tactics (or laws as it's called in the rule book) from the free to print board game Dungeon Plungin. It's worth a download to check out the monster laws.

I also am working on a very simple visual flow chart for monster decision. Almost dead - flee?(roll 1d6 yes/no). Shooters are getting there asses handed to them - do attackers rush to defend? etc

Occasionally a monster might act totally randomly as well (roll 1d6 - 1-2 attack, 3 defend, 4 flee, 5 push etc)

Also if anyone is having trouble posting comments let me know. Email me at the address listed in my profile and let me know - that would be appreciated.