Aug 29, 2008

RPG Carnival #2 - THIS IS HOMEBREW!

Good day folks! After being passed the proverbial carnival torch, I have decided to choose a topic that is guaranteed (I hope) to get some cool posts. Homebrew, I choose you!

What exactly is homebrew? I have deliberately left the field wide open for this. In my many years of gaming, I have come across many different games...I daresay not a single one has had any resemblance to the next, even when running the same adventures!

THIS is what makes our game so unique. As such, I want to hear about what you do differently from the "established" canon or fluff. Tell me about your gameworld. Tell me about your unique BBEG. Tell me about your characters, classes, or even spells. Doesn't matter. I just want to hear about what you do that makes the game yours. I challenge all participants to bring your weirdest, craziest, most "only in your world" stuff they got.

To start, I want to share a story (and some fluff) about the first game I ever played in. It was an existing homebrew world called Paetheon. It was the most ludicrously high magic game I have ever seen, then or since. In fact, I will specifically tell you about the high magic part.

In Paetheon, the gods are intimately involved in many aspects of day to day life. As such, their "closeness" gives their worshipers special "power words" that can be used by ANY class that chooses to tithe 10% of their earned xp to them. Here is an example of a typical worshipper of Abyssia, goddess of murder and betrayal (think Cyric meets Takhisis minus the dragons)

Power words: NOTE - These powers are all available at first level! They gain power as you you.


  • Damn - Essentially a doom spell before it existed. -1 to all rolls per level of the user.

  • Wither - As the withering effect from the staff of withering - doing CON damage.

  • Rot - Instantly destroys all non-sentient organic matter in a 10'/level radius. Damages sentients based on relative level/hit dice. Survivors are diseased.

  • Die - renders unconscious or kills ALL creatures (friend or foe) within a 10'/level radius.

  • Pact - The source of power for most evil characters. Summons an infernal being that witnesses a blood pact between the summoner and another willing participant. Excellent role-playing element!

  • Raise - Raises undead in the local area, level dependent as to type and number.

  • Smite - self explanatory

These are most of them, and they were shared by a couple of other gods in that part of the pantheon (Death, Disease, etc.). The oddballs were the dragon gods that allowed ascension to dragon form, and the opposed olidmarra clones (light and dark side of thievery) that had a bazillion powers related to daggers in specific. Note that these powers ALL scale with level. I remember the GM saying several times that a deathmaster of Hageth (god of death) could climb atop a mountain and whisper die - killing every living thing as far as the eye could see! Needless to say, my "red folder" has about 15 or so PC's that died quick deaths in that world.


So here we have an example of a most definitely NOT typical fantasy gameworld. Wood elves were close to 9 feet tall, and fired bows as big as they were (for x4 dmg at close range!). It was an incredible experience, and I feel richer for being involved in it. Sadly, I haven't seen or heard from those folks in over a decade, but the memories remain.


How about the rest of you? Have a completely (or not so completely) homebrew schtick that you'd like to share? bring it on....no, wait wait wait...This ain't sparta!


THIS IS HOMEBREW!

36 comments:

Jonathan said...

SWEET! I've got at least a hundred things I could write about on this... but I have one question: when is the closing date on the Carnival? Last friday in September? (like the first one was last Friday in August).

Looking forward to this - i hope we are able to up the ante and get some bigger fish to contribute _specifically_ to this RPG Blog Carnival #2: This is HOMEBREW.

snap! I already know what I'm going to write about...

Reverend Mike said...

Hmm...I think I just might have something to toss into this pot...

Donny_the_Dm said...

Sweet. I am ear to ear knowing that the subject is well received. Thanks for making my weekend!

This Carnival will end on Friday, Sept 26th. Take the homebrew and RUN with it!

Bob said...

Hmm... How big or small should be written about. I'll get this one written soon but I can see me ending up with far more than just the one entry for the carnival :)

Donny_the_Dm said...

I have seen nor made any statements limiting this to one post per blogger...all we have is a time limit before turning it obver to the next blogger. Far as I know.

Thanks for coming Bob!

faustusnotes said...

I ran a couple of homebrew worlds (and a rule system) for years. The first was a post-apocalyptic Europe dominated by the Catholic Church; the second was a Victorian Infernalist world. I am describing the latter, piecemeal, on my blog.

All of my worlds are high magic, and I try to make it so any character can use some magic. It's the point of fantasy campaigns, right...?

Donny_the_Dm said...

Fun is the point. And if having your rogue shoot magic missile out of his fingers a couple of times a day is the price, how can anyone refuse?

Tomcat1066 said...

I think I'll have some fun posting tidbits about the homebrew world I'm developing right now. This should be fun :)

Ishmayl said...

Question if you don't mind. Maybe I'm missing something, but is this something where we can provide *any* original homebrew aspect, whether it be class, race, magic, or entire world? And do we post here, or send you an email. Sorry, this is the first Blog Carnival I've wanted to attempt, so thought I should get my facts straight!

NiTessine said...

Well, according to the first one's rules, we were supposed to link our posts to the carnival post so they can be easily compiled, so... here's me explaining why I no longer do homebrew settings and why the world is likely better off because of it:

http://nitessine.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/rpg-blog-carnival-2-homebrew/

Graham|ve4grm said...

Well, you've inspired me.

Here you go.

Donny_the_Dm said...

Holy crap! I've apparently touched a nerve! Seems gamers like to talk about their games :)

@Nitessine - I hear that! I've played in some pretty awful genre mashes.

@Ishmael - Just link back, and write as many as you want, about whatever you do. I've found that RAW games simply don'y exist. You have to start making it up somewhere, grapple homerules are as valid as a campaign journal or Narrated historical event.

@Graham - here 2 help :) Nice story of your own. Generica, the Rifts-killer. Reminds me of a homebrew some guy was cooking up on ENworld a ways back called Coreline.

jatori said...

Great idea, Donny. I plan to contribute to this round too.

However, I foresee problems with administering the carnival in the future. I discuss a possible solution here: http://tenletter.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/carnival-critique/

j

ChattyDM said...

@Donny: Damn man, you change your blog's name faster than I change my mind about my posting schedule!

I really like the Blog Carnival concept but I'm too swamped to participate with a specific post for it. I'd like to passively participate by submitting last week's Campaign Prep Post


And this week's 2 Campaign Log posts as they all occur in the Homebrewed world I've been using since I was 13 (i.e. 22 years)

Campaign Prep Post

faustusnotes said...

The outline of my "Compromise and Conceit" homebrew is here.

I am in the process of rejigging (mostly just thinking about rejigging) the d20 system to fit it.

Jonathan said...

@ Donny : Seems like not everyone who is participating is leaving comments here in this post - so, I've made a Google Blog Search RSS FEED to track it..

CLICK HERE TO GET IT

You probably already have something like this; but for those who don't - hope this helps.

Dave The Game said...

Yeah, also going to throw in and saying great to see that the Carnival is going to keep going and very looking forward to this next one, but that I'm too swamped at the moment to commit between my regular blogging and RPG Bloggers.

If I muster some free time, I'll throw in because it's an issue I have a lot of opinions about.

Donny_the_Dm said...

@Jonathan - your geek-fu humbles me. Thanks for your help, I have been gaining a lot of respect lately for HTML coders in general, still makes my brain hurt though.

@Everyone else, THANKS! While I am oerfectly content to write for the sake of writing, the comments make it all worthwhile. All of you have a moment of peace - on me!

Jonathan said...

@ Donny : 'geek-fu' .. haha!!! lmfao! well, you know you can email me if you have any other questions. Anything I can do to help the RPG Blog Carnival to keep flying, I'm in for it. here my address: jonathan DOT jacobs AT gmail DOT com.

cheers!

madbrewlabs said...

Here is my submission for the Homebrew edition of RPG Carnival.

Reverend Mike said...

This is but the first of a few I'll be tossing out there...

Meet James...

greywulf said...

Love this! Here's mine: http://blog.microlite20.net/2008/09/05/blog-carnival-homebrew-and-me/

jatori said...

Since I belong to a multi-user blog, two of us have contributed to the carnival here and here.

Ishmayl said...

Here's my Homebrew Alignment System, based off Deontological Morality:

http://tatwd.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/a-deontological-alignment-system/

Questing GM said...

I'll be compiling mine into one comment when it's almost time for the due date.

Scott said...

Just made a homebrew post about my own alignment system, since that seems the hot topic of the moment.

http://abutterflydreaming.com/2008/09/10/virtue-a-homebrew-alignment-variant/

Donny_the_Dm said...

Keep em coming folks! Some great stuff here. So...has anyone given any thought as to how we go about passing the torch?

In any event, the 26th approaches...game on!

Jonathan said...

Yeah.. the RPG Blogosphere is on fire with your topic pick of homebrew.

As far as the torch and passing it on to the next host for the next topic: Technically Bryant over at Imaginary Vestibule is the next in line; at least according to his comment in the original announcement for the first carnival (he was the second person to raise the hand).

Other people should volunteer though to see who will be next - especially in case Bryant decides he doesn't want to host the carnival #3. If noone else volunteers; then I'll throw my name into the hat as a 'fail safe' to keep the carnival going.

Also, once the Carnival closes up for this round and you post your summary (with links!) here on this site, we should also publish a copy over at the blog I set up back in August just for the carnival itself: RPG Blog Carnival. The idea is that that site will be a permanent record for the carnivals, even if our blogs go byebye for some reason in the future. Once you post your summary, I'll send you an email with a special link so that you can post a copy of it over on the RPG Blog Carnival site.

Also... (sorry for the comment book)... should I make a public list on the site (linked above) for signing up to host the carnival? That way there wont be any confusion in the future?

and.. HATS OFF TO EVERYONE who is participating in this carnival!

Storyteller said...

Homebrew post accomplished!

http://beneaththescreen.blogspot.com/2008/09/gunslinger-35-homebrew-class.html

Posted on a homebrew 3.5 D&D class I made!

Gomez said...

Here my contribution:

http://atoolongurl.blogspot.com/2008/09/4e-rules-mages-familiar.html

Jonathan said...

Wohoo.. looks like you have your work cut out for you Donny!

Links to this Carnival so far.

I'm REALLY looking forward to the write up for this - its going to be a F'ing classic; there's like 40 or 50 articles about homebrew in out community now. WOHOO!!! Talk about getting people to work!

So... for RPG Blog Carnival #3, will it be me or Bryant? is anyone else interested in hosting the next one?

jatori said...

50 articles? Good luck, Donny!

jatori said...

50 articles? Good luck, Donny!

Ravyn said...

My contributions. Or at least, the post written specifically to the topic.

http://exchangeofrealities.today.com/2008/09/11/homebrew-seeing-stars/

Questing GM said...

Whoops! I think it's already times up for me. Didn't get to write as much as I wanted to but here's my contribution(s)!

1.http://questinggm.blogspot.com/2008/09/homebrewing-in-roleplaying.html

2.http://questinggm.blogspot.com/2008/09/homebrew-vs-published.html

3.http://questinggm.blogspot.com/2008/09/simple-homebrews-mix-and-match.html

4.http://questinggm.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-much-do-you-love-your-homebrews.html

5.http://questinggm.blogspot.com/2008/09/all-we-ever-need-is-homebrewing-system.html

Gregor LeBlaque said...

Crap! Almost missed it! Been swamped in RL.

I wanted to submit the 4e monsters I did in the middle of the month.

The originals:
http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-thats-pyrosphynx.html

http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/wait-where-are-webcrawling-spiders-in.html

http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/spider-monsters-for-4e-part-5-spider.html

And the ports from earlier systems (though feel free to reject - may not be strictly considered "homebrew"):
http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/spider-monsters-for-4e-part-2-aranea.html

http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/spider-monsters-for-4e-part-3-narleth.html

http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/spider-monsters-for-4e-part-4.html

And if homebrew can be stretched to include "house rules", throw this one in. I think everyone should know about the fun-amping properties of full-party initiative:
http://neartpk.blogspot.com/2008/09/full-party-initiative.html