Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DriveThruRPG.com Weekly Newsletter

If DriveThruRPG has an online archive of their newsletter, it's not easy to find. So I decided to archive my own contributions to their newsletter and, for context, the articles around mine.

From 8/19/2010:

[SYSTEM: Eclipse Phase]
We here at DriveThruRPG want to extend our heartiest congratulations to Posthuman Studios for their taking of the Gold Award for Best Electronic Book with Eclipse Phase!

Bring It to the Table
Actual game content from our various publishers and fellow readers; stuff for you to use in your games, or perhaps simply to inspire your own creative pursuits.
This week's installment comes from Scott Casper, who's about to release a new support quarterly for his game. I'll let him explain from here -

"The following is a preview from The Trophy Case newsletter for HIDEOUTS & HOODLUMS (the SWORDS & WIZARDRY-compatible golden age superhero RPG)."
Evil Eyes
[SYSTEM: Hideouts & Hoodlums/Swords & Wizardry]
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 7+3
Attacks: 1d3 tentacles (1d10)
Special: see below
Move: 180 (flight)
HDE/XP: 12/2000

While floating eyes observe the world of man to watch justice being meted, evil eyes are there to kill people so they can watch them die. An evil eye appears to be a giant human eyeball floating in a mass of slimy, gray tentacles up to 7 ft. long. Like floating eyes, evil eyes are never surprised and can communicate telepathically, but there the similarities end.

(Image from clip art; not supplied by creator)

When encountered, an evil eye will attempt to grab and constrict up to three people in its tentacles at a time. A constricted foe can be freed by a Superhero wrecking things vs. cars, a Magic-User magically compelling the eye with a spell such as Charm Mobster, or another class of 9th level or higher. Once per turn, the evil eye can turn one of its victims to face into the eye. It is impossible to resist looking into the eye and it can be seen even if the victim closes his eyes. The effect of looking into the eye is based on the Intelligence score of the victim, as follows:

INT / Save against
3-5: Death
6-9: Feeble mindedness (as per the Feeblemind spell)
10-12: Madness for 2d6 weeks
13-14: Comatose for 1d6 days
15-16: Paralyzed for 1d4 hours
17: Stunned and unable to act for 1d6 turns
18: Confused (as per the Confusion spell) for 1d4 turns

The save is further modified by Alignment, with Lawfuls saving at +1 and Chaotics saving at -1. A Magic-User with an active divination spell cast on him receives a +4 bonus to save and the mental feedback forces the evil eye to save against magic or be stunned for 1d3 turns.

A Hero driven mad by an evil eye will be terrified to ever be stared at – anyone spending a whole turn looking at the Hero must make
a morale save or flee for 1 whole turn.

The evil eye is content just to know its victims fail to pass this test, it does not need to observe the effects. So it will still
be trying to kill the victims, even if unconscious in the eye's grasp. This would count as a deathtrap and can be lethal for Heroes.

As if that were not bad enough, evil eyes are also resistant to magic. The spells of 1st-level casters do not affect them, and
against higher-level casters they are 50% immune to all spells (before saving throws).

Treasures of the Net

I've talked a little about this before, but I wanted to go ahead and specifically call out Obsidian Portal as a real Treasure of the Net. In part, this is due to their winning an ENnie Award for Best Web Site for gaming.

In the greater part, however, is that I've been very successfully using the site for managing my own campaigns (including The Unending War).

With an opening tutorial video and omnipresent guidelines in view, the management of a campaign wiki is something I've finally managed to grok. It's also amazingly easy to upload images, post character sheets, and communicate with your players.

In other words, Obsidian Portal is a GM's - and a campaign's - best friend.


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