Archive for House Rules

ACKSian Combat Rules

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 08-Oct-16 by K-Slacker

Adventurer, Conqueror, King

I’ve played a lot of ACKS (Adventurer, Conqueror, King) in the past year or two and have grown to approve of its approach to weapons and combat styles – which I now intend to integrate into Tempora Mutantur.

I don’t want to go back to edit and repaginate all my one-page rules, so I’m posting these “House Rules” for my TM Roll20 Campaign.

Expect to see some additional changes and/or updates “real soon now”…

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Descriptive Traits

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 19-May-16 by K-Slacker

As a follow-up to my previous post, here’s another option for character customization…

As an alternative to SPECIAL Abilities, the referee may consider using more general “Traits” in his campaign. A Trait is a free-form descriptor of something notable about the character. PCs can have two Traits, and players are encouraged to write a short narrative (30 words or less) incorporating these Traits into their character description.

Traits can be inherent capabilities (SPECIAL Abilities, for example), crafts/skills (either self-taught or trained), specialized knowledge (history, science, and/or the occult), etc. Traits should not replicate specific class abilities, and referees must take care to ensure that Traits are realistic and that this narrative system is not abused.

Like SPECIAL Abilities, Traits can provide an advantage to Adventuring Feats. The player must describe how the Trait applies before rolling the dice.

Here is an example of a character stat block with descriptive Traits:

Stassen the Blunt. Human Enforcer 1, 12 hp, AC 3 (scrap metal plate), MV 6″, SV +6, metal I-beam (hvy melee Atk +1, 1d10). (XP 0, +10%.)

Stassen is simple, both in thought and action. A dedicated bodybuilder of exceptional STRENGTH, he also possesses unexpected WILLPOWER.

The referee might choose to grant this character advantage to deeds of raw power and on will-related saving throws.

Descriptive Traits are definitely more of a “new-school” system than most of the Tempora Mutantur ruleset. (See, for example, the Aspects approach in FATE RPG.) However, the referee is recommended to check out Blood of Pangea by Olde House Rules for a narrative implementation consistent with OSR principles.

SPECIAL Abilities

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , , on 09-May-16 by K-Slacker

_5227741_origA few months ago I picked up Pits & Perils from Olde House Rules. It’s modeled after the numerous war games-turned-fantasy RPG campaigns that proliferated during the early 1970s.

Pits & Perils uses a really simple approach for character abilities. Instead of ranking each attribute (e.g., Strength 9), a character either possesses the ability or does not. In Pits & Perils you might, for example, have a Strong Fighter or Intelligent Magician. (Or maybe an Intelligent Fighter or Strong Magician – potentially more interesting as characters.)
This suggests a way to incorporate abilities in a minimalist game (like Tempora Mutantur) without adding a lot of complication…

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Tribal Defenders

Posted in Campaign Info with tags , , , on 05-Apr-15 by K-Slacker

Got hit with a dose of nostalgia this weekend… Was thinking about my old Ground Zero PBeM – and the Tribal Defenders game in particular.

This campaign suggestion was included in the Genotype Summary, but I never wrote it up as a post.

Tribal Defender

For a more significant departure from the default campaign model, the referee may allow players to portray primitive surface-dwelling Mutants. An entire campaign can be based on such a “Tribal Defenders” approach.

Mutant PCs possess all the genotype traits as given in the Genotype Summary. Such characters are considered Primitive-Tech (except for thinkers, who are Retro-Tech).

Since they are born and adapted to the wastes, surface Mutants also possess the Creep-Resistant trait. This allows the character to re-roll a failed fortitude save vs. Creep. Due to previous mutagenic exposure, however, the PC will start with Mild Creep contamination.

In addition, all Tribal Defenders start with mutations. You may possess up to four mutations of any grade (as given in the Mutations supplement). For every mutant perk of a given grade that you possess, you must also have a mutant flaw of the same grade. The player may select one of these mutations (either the perk or the flaw), but must randomly roll for the other.

(If the referee agrees, a character who is not disfigured and has one or fewer major mutations may instead be a rare surface-dwelling Near-Human.)

Class Options – Survivalist & Stalker

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , on 27-Dec-14 by K-Slacker

Here are two more class variants – the survivalist and stalker. Each fills a role partway between that of enforcer and scout, acting as hardy skirmishers.

(The survivalist presented here is an update of a previous post.)


Survivalist (Enforcer Variant)

Survivalists are hard-bitten adventurers who are too strong to culled by ordinary dangers. The survivalist goes where others dare not and lives where others can only die.

Unless stated below, a survivalist is identical to the enforcer in terms of rule effects:

Combat Ability: Survivalists add their full rank to attack rolls with light or medium weapons; with heavy weapons they add ½ their rank (rounded down).

Adventuring Feats: Survivalists add ½ their level (rounded down) to all adventuring feats, with +2 to Might and Skill checks.

Saving Throws: Survivalists have a +5 bonus to saving throws, plus their rank. (Humans and Near-Humans gain an additional +1 bonus.)

Enforcer Abilities: Survivalists do not get the Weapon Familiarity or Combat Specialization abilities of the enforcer. Survivalists do have the Guardian ability (starting at 1st rank) and gain Cleave at 5th rank (instead of 3rd).

Scout Abilities: Survivalists get the Tracking and Foraging abilities at 1st rank, and Creep Detector and Elusive at 3rd rank. These abilities work in the same manner as described in the scout class description.


Stalker (Scout Variant)

Stalkers combine swift movement and tracking skills with additional fighting ability. Stalkers tend to engage in combat more frequently than scouts, but are not as tough as enforcers.

Unless stated below, a stalker is identical to the scout in terms of rule effects:

Combat Ability: Stalkers add their full rank to attack rolls with light or medium weapons; with heavy weapons they add ½ their rank (rounded down).

Adventuring Feats:: Stalkers add ½ their level (rounded down) to all adventuring feats, with +2 to Might and Skill checks.

Saving Throws: Stalkers have a +4 bonus to saving throws, plus their rank. (Humans and Near-Humans gain an additional +1 bonus.)

Scout Abilities: Stalkers get the Increased Movement, Scout Ahead, Tracking, and Foraging abilities at 1st rank. They gain Sneak Attack at 3rd rank (instead of 5th). They do not gain the Creep Detector or Elusive abilities.

Combat Specialization: Stalkers gain the Combat Specialization ability at 5th rank. This ability works in the same manner as described in the enforcer class description.

Class Option – Slayer

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , on 14-Dec-14 by K-Slacker


Another variant class, this time an alternate to the enforcer. Slayers are based on a Dwarven Glory class option.

Slayers are warriors dedicated to hunting a particular type of foe. Different types exist – mutant-slayers, beast-slayers, human-slayers, robot-slayers, etc.

Slayers often fill a prestigious role either as elite soldiers and protectors or as far-ranging hunters who spend years at a time wiping out as many enemies as they can before returning home.

Slayers are an enforcer sub-class. They may serve as common soldiers, but are most effective against their chosen foe.

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Class Option – Dog Handler

Posted in Game Rules, Minimalist with tags , , , , on 13-Dec-14 by K-Slacker

I picked up Mutant: Year Zero this week and one unusual class caught my imagination…

Dog Handler

Humans are not the only inhabitants of Tau. Your ancestors brought their canine companions to the vault, where they survived alongside your people. The dogs breed constantly and can survive by feeding on refuse and – when needed – each other. You can’t even remember how your sorry excuse for a dog became yours, but now it’s worth more to you than any human. You live in a symbiotic mutual dependency – you give your dog grub, and it will tear the jugular off anyone who stands in your way.

This class is similar to the scout, though weaker in ability. Their disadvantages are compensated for by the handler’s canine companion.

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