I recently picked up the Madness at Gardmore Abbey boxed adventure for 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. It’s better than I thought it would be and looks to be lots of fun. I’m running a weekly game based on Gardmore Abbey at Game Empire Pasadena on Monday nights.

After playing through most of this season’s D&D Encounters, I decided the game would be more fun if characters in Gardmore Abbey had specific hooks into the game, like the character themes introduced in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting book.

So then, here are my homebrewed themes for Gardmore Abbey:

Errant of Mithrendain Questing eladrin knight
Gardrin’s Heir Descendant of Gardmore’s founder
Guild Organizer Field agent for adventurers guild
Iron Circle Deserter AWOL mercenary
Pawn of the Eye Driven mad by a cult
Pelor’s Faithful Devoted to the light
Reclaimer of Saruun Khel    Restoring the Golden Temple
Tigerclaw Seeker Following a vision quest
Valthrun’s Apprentice Student of the prescient sage
Vile Rune Survivor Family was murdered by orcs
Wild Card Crossed paths with the Deck of Many Things
Winterhaven Regular One last mission for the town guard

Complete descriptions for each theme can be found in the following PDF file.

Download Gardmore Abbey Themes Now!

Update: Here’s my post-session-one report on session one of Gardmore Abbey, at meetup.com.

GloopadoopHere are two previews of material from the upcoming release of Wandering Monsters High School (2nd edition):

Enrollment (character creation) chapter draft — 55K PDF

Student Report Card (character sheet) — 36K PDF

Look for more WMHS content here and available commercially in 4th quarter 2011!

Update: Here’s the quick-play character creation guide, letting you create basic WMHS freshmen:

Early Enrollment Application (quick-play character creation) — 314K PDF

 

I’m starting up a home game of Al-Qadim using the 4th edition rules, here in Alhambra, California. These are the download files for use by players in my campaign.

 

4lternity

Hi everyone, my current project is a series of documents for adapting the old Alternity science fiction RPG to 4th edition style of play. My take on the system is modeled in part on the Gamma World rules, and is also designed to keep as much of the tone of the Alternity system intact (and the books still usable) as possible, while using a more familiar rule system.

You can look at what I’ve got so far here:

boldpueblo.com/dazed/4lternity/

I’m going to be running a playtest in Pasadena, CA, next Saturday at the D&D Meetup. I’ll probably be making revisions up to and during the game session. :D

I love the old Alternity game to pieces (and 4lternity reflects that, and my affection for 4e D&D as well), but it’s hard to go back sometimes. (Especially with the rather funky dice mechanic in Alternity.)

03/17
2011

So you need a monster to challenge your uber tier Gamma World characters? Look no further! Adapted straight from 1st Edition Gamma World, here’s the death machine!

“20 meters long, 9 meters wide, 4 meters high, with many knobby projections all over,” the death machine is the ultimate enemy for your adventurers.

Download the Death Machine’s stats here!

 

Download the Uber Tier Characters rules here!

A recent thread on the official D&D Gamma World forum inspired me to finish writing up my rules for higher level characters.

While the D&D Gamma World game only allows character advancement to level 10, the related Dungeons & Dragons game goes up to level 30 in three tiers: Heroics (1 to 10), Paragon (11 to 20), and Epic (21 to 30).

These house rules expand D&D Gamma World to level 20 by introducing the Uber Tier (11 to 20).

Uber tier characters:

  • Continue to advance in level as before, gaining 5 hit points per level, as well as level-dependent increases to attacks.
  • Gain permanent Alpha Mutations which don’t change at the end of rests or due to Alpha Flux.
  • Gain additional Uber Feature choices while advancing in level.
  • Continue to gain Vocation Feats. Uber tier characters invariably have multiple vocations.
  • Do additional damage with basic attacks.
  • Pick a Survivor Path which gives them access to Survivor Path powers – novice, utility, and expert powers that aren’t based directly on their origins.
  • Gain Survivor Path traits including critical hit benefits at 13th and 17th levels.
  • Increase one ability score – based on Survivor Path – at 12th level and again at 18th level.

Survivor Paths in Uber Tier

Download the Uber Tier Characters rules here!

The D&D Gamma World book doesn’t give much advice on when to give out rewards to players, apart from experience points.

Non-experience rewards in Gamma World can be several things: a draw from an Omega Tech deck, one or more rolls on the Ancient Junk table, ammunition, or other useful items.

The D&D Essentials Rules Compendium provides a model for a reward system, and that forms the basis of the rewards table for Gamma World.

Download the Gamma World Rewards Table!

For my current Saturday game of D&D Gamma World, I needed some pirates. Yarr! So I spent some time making up stats for them, from the simple (cyborgs who pew pew you from a distance with laser eyes) to the complex (Captain Zanzibar Sirocco kind of scares me). I also found some nice CreativeCommons-licensed artwork, including a bear pirate. Yes, you read that right, a bear pirate.

So in this PDF you’ll find stats for a complete crew of mutant pirates along with their ship and their raiding skycycles. And a mutant bear sky pirate. Enjoy!

Download the Sky Pirates here!

The D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 introduced the concept of monster themes – groups of statistics that can be used to flavor “stock” monsters to give thematic unity to an encounter.

You can use the concept of monster themes to adapt D&D monsters from various sources – such as the D&D Essentials Monster Vault – for use in your D&D Gamma World game.

Choose an appropriate theme for the monsters you want to use, and then select one to three powers or traits from the list for that theme.

Here are three themes you can use in your campaign: cyborg, radioactive, and alien.

Download GM Advice: Mutating Your D&D Monsters here!

Here’s a new origin that uses the vocation rules from Legion of Gold. Or maybe I just liked typing “Expert Expert” for the expert power.

EXPERT

You’re the best there is at what you do.

Other people have luck. You have skill. Or rather, skills – more of them than the average inhabitant of Gamma Terra, that’s for sure. You could be a beast-riding bounty hunter, a spice-trading naturalist, a storytelling mad scientist, or a marauding soldier of fortune. What you do doesn’t matter as much as how well you do it – and there are none who do it better than you.

Download the Expert Origin now!