Friday, 18 October 2019

Piracy GLOG ruleset: Jar of Dirt

I sound like a cooking programme on Netflix. "So full of flavour!" But it's true: I'm looking forward to a low magic, high hijinks piracy campaign and especially to using awesome GLOG classes instead of clunky D&D.

Classes don't make the entire game, and so I pulled together all the material I need to run a GLOG game into one document. Here it is. Jar of Dirt steals, proudly, from dozens of sources. It's a work in progress, but I definitely want feedback at this stage, so - board those comments and fire away!

Want a quick bit instead of the entire document? Check out my random tables at the bottom of the post.


>> CHECK OUT JAR OF DIRT <<


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QlMC4qwV3rQtD24OwVIxbE6NaZ92qAoKfZ8LmO91GQk/edit#heading=h.xieycj9pdwpg


WHAT'S DIFFERENT IN THIS RULESET?

  • a roll-over system, because I prefer the "high is good" mnemonic for all rolls. The original GLOG attack roll gives me the heebie-jeebies because it reminds me of thac0. I may (have) know(n ;) university level math & physics, but thac0 is the devil's spawn. (Also I like an uncomplicated roll vs target number, rather than "roll versus your stat, but let me look up the penalty first". Just works faster at my table.) 
  • Cool tables, if I do think so myself (check them out below):
    • reasons why you are down on your luck!
    • tales to make your hair stand on end!
    • unfeasible life goals!
    • magnificent pirate hats!
  • The most important rolls -skill checks and saves- run directly off the ability scores, not the bonuses; if these numbers are so central to the character, they should be central in the rules as well. Added lots of little rule-lets (language slots, quick slots, hireling slots) to put the ability bonuses to work as well.
  • a new trade system to figure out where the high value routes are and what different regions are looking for.
  • backgrounds, professions and skills to quickly flesh out new characters.
  • many classes copied or adapted from all around the Blogosphere: the Artillerist, Assassin, Brawler, Crew, Duelist, Sawbones, Scholar, Scoundrel, Thief and Weather Witch. That's three rogueish classes (Assassin, Scoundrel, Thief) and social abilities in pretty much every class.
  • no exact XP system but a milestone mechanic lifted from Into the Odd.
  • lots of little tweaks and additions: extra ship types, weapons, advanced firearms, ship manoeuvre modifiers and so on
  • two new regions to replace the Golden Isles: the Maelstrom Islands and the Spice Islands (under construction)

STILL TO COME

  • spicier tables to stock merchant ships
  • Spice Islands region and map, based on the Moluccas/Banda islands. I'm now working through the epic load of homework that Richard of the Countercolonial Heist Crawl gave me...
  • world map with travel times and relative positions of regions
  • a group to play this with!


TABLES TO MAKE YOUR PLAYER' LIVES MORE INTERESTING

What's a roleplaying game without random tables to prompt the DM and inflict wondrous misery on your players? (Quiet there in the back, with your "less antagonistic"!)

Here's a couple of tables from Jar of Dirt to spice things up. Seldom necessary, but handy to have around.



We search the drowned guy (d30)

d30
We search the drowned guy
1
deck of cards, marked
2
Valois maid costume
3
enormous sunhat
4
fantastic wig
5
uniform
6
lantern and flask of oil
7
vial of poison (2d6, 50 sp)
8
saw, hammer and 10 nails
9
pickaxe
10
iron pot and cooking utensils
11
penny dreadfuls or erotic pamphlet
12
hammock
13
scissors
14
riding whip
15
3 bottles of rum
16
empty book, ink and pen
17
incomplete island map with warnings
18
pearl earring (50 sp)
19
navigation tools
20
small but vicious dog
21
bottle of indigo (50 sp)
22
bundle of scandalous love letters
23
letter of marque
24
spyglass, wonky
25
hourglass
26
klepto performing monkey
27
rope and grappling hook
28
water flask, 25% diseased
29
packet of opium
30
incriminating papers, 50% forgeries


Magnificent pirate hats (d10)

d10
this hat
with
it is
1
fez
gold stitching
enormous
2
beret
pearl strands
exquisite
3
enormous gem
dainty
4
turban
huge feathers
perfumed
5
top hat
gigantic brim
smelly
6
bicorne
a foot high
worm eaten
7
tricorne
music box
patched
8
bandana
corks on strings
infested
9
mitre
hidden knives
a bad fit
10
veil
smuggling space
collapsing


What's your life goal (d20)

d20
Life goal
1
lead a quiet, ordinary life
2
find true love to settle down with
3
find your father's bones
4
free your brother from Dreadhold
5
restore your family honour
6
retire in a seaside mansion
7
become a filthy rich trader
8
gain a position of political power
9
discover a wholly new species
10
prove that the world is rational
11
discover a new continent
12
circumnavigate the globe
13
found your own private kingdom
14
break the hold of the Old Countries
15
remove the blight of slavery
16
find incontrovertible proof of magic
17
take gruesome and epic revenge
18
find the secret of immortality
19
break the curse on your family
20
create something unique


What's up with you? (d20)

d20
Backstory
1
afraid they'll find out you're not a true hero / explorer / scientist / daredevil
2
framed for smuggling / counterfeiting / murder / piracy
3
2d6 x 500 gp debt to gambling ring / bank / criminals / drug smuggler
4
fell in love with the sweetheart of a cruel courtier / judge / merchant / captain
5
dishonoured your family name / mentor / army / betrothed
6
fleeing ringleader of failed revolution / union / religious reform / free press
7
get support for your crazy scientific theory / political ideas / trade scheme
8
escaped suffocating life as religious initiate / noble heir / bank clerk / farmer
9
exiled after a scandalous affair / raucous play about the king / anarchist pamphlet
10
out of grace after a failed treasure hunt / trade coup / assassination / spy mission
11
just started your job when your master was exiled / murdered / disappeared / claimed he never met you
12
failed as a bodyguard / soldier / guide
13
looking for better pay / religious freedom / excitement / your disappeared love
14
promised job fell through / land turned barren / cargo spoiled / friends left you
15
mistaken identity as a navigator / lawyer / accountant / banker
16
just drafted as a sailor / marine / smuggler / dockworker
17
your ship left without you / robbed you blind / tried to sell you / marooned you
18
you woke up alone in your village / on your ship / on the plantation / in jail
19
unfortunate penchant for gambling / opium use / petty theft / forgery
20
memory loss, but you have lash marks / book in strange language / map of strange island / tattoo, seems to move


Tales to make your hair stand on end (d12)

d12
And they were never heard of again
1
fell in love with a mermaid and chased her around the world to marry her
2
heard the melodies aboard a cursed ship of decadent nobles and ever sought them
3
boarded a derelict ship where all the crew lie died with fright on their faces
4
shot an albatross and wore it around his neck as a lucky charm
5
struck fire on an island where the wood is alive and the ground hates iron
6
vowed to hunt down the great white whale that plagued the Maelstrom
7
from old sea charts and star maps, was convinced of a faster way to Yoon-Suin
8
sailed out to catch a woman beloved by the sea, plagued by wave and water spout
9
dove down to haul up the sea king's gold, always signalling: more rope! more rope!
10
found an ivory statuette adrift and was born by the sea to an underwater temple
11
saw faces in the water in the eye of a hurricane and called out to them
12
swore he would make the fastest trip to the Mehabara. His ship arrived in perfect shape, fully stocked and crewless.

 
Item of Dubious Provenance (d100)

d100
item
d100
item
d100
item
1
alms bowl
35
fine wine, 1 bottle
69
pipe, 3 doses of opium
2
bag of coal
36
fishing rod & tackle
70
pocketful of nails
3
bag of flour
37
flask of oil
71
pot of glue
4
bag of manure
38
flint, steel, and tinder
72
quality cloak
5
bag of salt
39
foppish wig
73
quill, ink, parchment
6
bag of vegetables
40
glass jar
74
3d rations
7
bagpipes
41
grappling hook
75
religious tome
8
barrel
42
grave marker
76
rope, 30'
9
bear trap
43
groin cup
77
scissors
10
bearskin cloak
44
hammer and chisel
78
sealable scroll case
11
block and tackle
45
helmet
79
set of scales
12
bone dice
46
horn
80
silver ring
13
book of poetry
47
iron lockbox
81
spyglass
14
book of star tables
48
iron pot
82
stepladder
15
bottle of fortified wine
49
iron spikes (3)
83
stuffed cat
16
bottle of rum
50
iron tongs
84
tablet with chalk
17
broom
51
jar of dirt
85
tarot deck
18
bundle of rags
52
jar of grease
86
ten-foot pole
19
bundle of wood
53
jar of honey
87
tinderbox
20
bundle of wound wool
54
jar of leeches
88
tiny barrel of beer
21
cake of soap
55
jar of worms
89
torch
22
caltrops (5)
56
lantern and oil flask
90
two yards of linen
23
candles (3)
57
leather bag
91
vials of dye (4)
24
cask of ale
58
loaf of bread
92
waterproof bag
25
chain, 15'
59
lute
93
wax seal stamp
26
chalk, 5 pieces
60
magnifying glass
94
wheel of cheese
27
crow-beaked mask
61
manacles
95
wheelbarrow
28
crowbar, cold iron
62
map (foreign lands)
96
wicker basket
29
cube of incense
63
metal file
97
winter clothes
30
deck of marked cards
64
monk's habit
98
wood bore
31
deer pelt
65
necklace of teeth
99
metal wire
32
devotional statue
66
needles (10)
100
wooden bucket
33
dose of poison (2d6)
67
net (10')


34
fancy clothes
68
palette and pigments




Random books (d30)

d30
title
topic
author
1
Desultory Notes on the Government of Yoon-Suin 
administration
Taylor Meadows
2
De Humani Corporis Fabrica 
anatomy
Andreas Vesalius
3
Locke's Illustrated - art and history of numerous cultures 
appraisal
Theophil Locke
4
I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura 
architecture
Andrea Palladio
5
On the Revolutions of Heavenly Objects 
astronomy
Nicolai Argentik
6
The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries 
astronomy
al-Biruni
7
Exhaustive Index of Herbs 
botany
Sandwall
8
The Complete Art of Artillery
cannons
Kazimierz Siemienowicz
9
The Sceptical Chymist
chemistry
Robert Boyle
10
Pictorial of Tea Ware 
courtesy
Shenan
11
An engine for raising of water and occasioning motion
engineering
Thomas Savery
12
Wapenhandelinghe van Roers, Musquetten ende Spiessen
firearms
Jacob de Gheyn
13
Die Lieder alter Völker 
folklore
Gottfried von Herder
14
Golden Sticks 
folklore
Fraiser
15
Salty and Salacious Tales of the Sea Volume IV 
folklore
Dellwecker
16
Essay on the Theory of the Earth 
geology
Georges Cuvier
17
Von den äußerlichen Kennzeichen der Fossilien 
geology
Abraham Gottlob Werner
18
Der arme Heinrich 
larceny
Hartmann von Aue
19
Treatise on the Origin of Language
linguistics
Gottfried von Herder
20
Principles of the Four Humours
medicine
Avicenna
21
General Chart of the Variation of the Compass
navigation
Halley
22
Journey Beyond the Three Seas 
navigation
Nikitin
23
Rudolphine Tables 
navigation
Johannes Graz
24
The Savior from Demise 
poisons
al-Hasan ibn Tha'labah
25
Opticks
physics
Isaac Pound
26
The Motion of Falling Things
physics
Isaac Pound
27
The Complete Ambassador
spycraft
Walsingham
28
Treatise on the Dissection of Birds and Animals 
taxidermy 
Bentley Reaumur
29
A Short Treatise on the Wealth and Poverty of Nations
trade
Serra
30
Histoire Naturelle des Animaux 
zoology 
Lamarck