November 7, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery - Part V

Whew! That game was a lot of fun. I wanted to post a few notes about the mechanics of pushing Donnybrook to such extremes. As I've said many times, the core rules of Donnybrook are something I've been using for years before we published them, often making up new rules as the game went along to cover situations I hadn't planned on.

In this case, I needed to be able to cover rules for magic, monsters, and freaking machineguns!

Let's start with the last bit first...

Rifle - Range 24", -1 armor save
SMG - Range 12", d3 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once)
Pistol - Range 6", Close Combat (as per Donnybrook)
Light Machinegun - Range 36", Move or Fire (unless mounted on vehicle), -1 armor save, d3 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once)
Autocannon - Range 48", no armor save, d6 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once)
Panzerfaust - Range 12", Move or Fire, no armor save, d3 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once), one shot

These are simply designed to be relative for game purposes and not meant to realistically mimic real world weapons. In Donnybrook, Muskets get a range of 24", so modern rifles would obviously be better, but 24" works well on the tabletop so everything else was worked to that. In a game that might include modern weapons and muskets (Darkest Africa) I would simply reduce the range of muskets to 16" to maintain the relative table top abilities of the weapon. If I were to go all out and make a Donnybrook WW2 system, I would a little more effort in representing the variety of modern weapons, but the above chart worked well my my game.

So, vehicles. Each vehicle has a card in the action deck just like other units. Wheeled vehicles may move up to 18" if entirely on a road, but only 6" off road, and woods and other rough terrain are impassable. Halftracks move 12" in all cases, but again rough terrain is impassable. Tracked vehicles move 6" in all cases, but may also power through rough terrain, including woods. Again, nothing specifically scientific. The rules work well with the fact that the other side has trolls and orcs.

Attacking vehicles was handled simply. Each was assigned an armor value (civilian/light 9, armored transports 11, tanks 13). Weapons are assigned a Strength value and a successful hit means rolling 1d6 plus the weapon strength. If the total is higher, then the armor is breached and you roll on a damage chart (I just used a Warhammer 40k chart). If the total equals the armor, the vehicle is marked with a pin marker simply meaning when the vehicle card comes up, the crew must make a morale teat before they can act on the card. The pin marker is automatically removed regardless of the test.

In the case of my game, only the Magician's Fireball (STR8) had a chance of damaging the vehicles at range. I gave the brutes (Ogres and Trolls) a chance to damage vehicles in close combat as well...

Ogres and trolls! These monsters were rated as d12 combatants. Both had the special rule Brute, which means their d12 is only used for combat and actions relying on strength or savagery. A non-combat action of another sort (say climbing a wall) would be tested using a d6. In addition, trolls can regenerate wounds so are allowed to roll on the character wound chart unless the wound is caused by fire (or Panzerfaust). For this game, I also allowed the Brutes to have a chance to damage vehicles. If they hit, a second d12 roll was made and applied in a manner similar to the process listed above (only the d12 roll, not +1d6).

Sample other monsters...
Orcs d8, -1 die type in sunlight, +1 armor saves
Mummies d10, Cause Fear (enemies must make morale test to fight in close combat), Relentless (move 4" but immune to non-heavy weapons)
Giant Scorpion d10, Scuttling (ignore linear and rough terrain for movement purposes - NOT water), Fast (move 8", may make two attacks in close combat), Poison (enemy make wound tests at -1 die type)

Spells were based on oldschool games...

Cleric d6 - no spell, but may TURN UNDEAD
Cleric d8 - 1 spell
Cleric d10 - 1 spell
Cleric d12 - 1 spell

Magician d6 - 1 spell, cannot wear armor
Magician d8 - 1 spell, never rolls more than d6 in close combat
Magician d10 - 1 spell
Magician d12 - 1 spell

All levels are cumulative, so Cleric d10 has turn undead and two spells or Magician d12 has 4 spells, can't wear armor and never rolls more than d6 in close combat. The spells were simply chosen from Chainmail (an ancient wargame and the precursor to D&D) and 'Donnybrooked'. To successfully launch a spell, the caster needed to roll a 6+ on his ability die (roll of a natural one means the attempted spell is gone from the caster's mind and may not be attempted for the rest of the game). Range was dependent on ability as well with 6" per level...

Curse - target suffer 1 die type penalty. Curse ends on End of Turn card
Fireball - d6 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once), STR 8 vs vehicles
Sleep - d6 hits (targets must be within 2" of primary target, no target may be hit more than once)
Summon Swarm - character or unit must pass morale test when their card comes up. Failure roll a d6, 1-3 do nothing, 4-6 full move in a random direction. Remains in play until morale test is passed.

Right! That's just a sample. I'm working on a fantasy version that includes Fighters and Thieves for oldschool dungeon bashing and many more monsters. This might see the light of day at some point (Donnybrook Dungeons), at least as a PDF if nothing else. I really just wanted to show how you can really push the envelope on Donnybrook to make it fit any sort of game you can come up with.

November 2, 2016

Sturmgeshutz and Sorcery - Part IV

At long last, decades in the making...

Whew! The Germans still had powerful weapons with the machineguns mounted on the halftracks and probably could have wreaked more havoc yet, but the magician was still stalking around south of the river and he had the potential to damage the vehicles (though he was hiding, now being the ONLY target left for the halftracks south of the river). There was more that happened, but either I didn't have photos or it ended up not being relevant to the story.

  • There were two trolls south of the river, and the SS managed to blow one to kingdom come with a panzerfaust, but I failed to capture the moment. 
  • The squad on the bridge riddled the archer with bullets reducing him from his starting d10 skill to d4, making him virtually useless.
  • The Evil High Priest successfully cast Summon Insects late in the game (after failing the casting rolls earlier) and followed up with Curse which made it difficult for the AC crew to shake the effects for several rounds.
  • There were two mummies that got shot to pieces by machineguns.
  • The Germans had a medic with them on the bridge that allowed rank and file soldiers to use the Wound Save chart, but all three victims of arrows failed and were killed anyway!
So how did all of this work with Donnybrook? Actually great. I'll offer some ideas in a follow up next week, though I'm considering the commercial aspects of publishing supplements so I'm not sure how detailed I should get. Let me just say if you are an experienced gamer, working out mods for Donnybrook is not all that difficult. The vehicle rules are the hardest part and I'm not sure they are right yet, though they worked very well for my solo game.

In any case, it has been a near lifelong dream to play this out on the table and I had a blast! I'm looking forward to a second round with some of my friends.