Category Archives: Random musings

Thoughts on the Index Card RPG

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I don’t actually remember how I stumbled upon the Index Card RPG CORE by Runehammer Games. It could be someone mentioned it in a chat, or I just saw it on sale at RPGNow. Eventually I picked it up, since it looked as if I could like it. And in fact, I do love it. It’s one of those games I wished I came up with.

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At its core the Index Card RPG CORE (no pun intended) is an ultra-light variant of D&D. It uses the same attributes, but in form of their bonuses instead of the regular 3 to 18 attribute scores. There are no levels, advancement is fully equipment based. Characters’ and monsters’ hitpoints are rated in “hearts” with each heart being 10hp. Difficulties for rolls are not set on a per case basis, but there’s a common threat level for each scene, which the GM can adjust as they see fit.

One of the coolest changes to regular D&D is Effort. In cases a simple check on whether you succeed or not is not enough, you roll first if you succeed on your task (d20 + attribute vs. threat), and then – if successful – you roll effort. It’s a d4 if you use your raw wits or bare hands, d6 for weapons, d8 for magic, and d12 is your Ultimate which comes in play when your action check was a natural 20. Some items may also allow you to use your Ultimate effort. In this system things you have to overcome (a cliff to climb, a trap to disarm, a chest to open) also have hearts. Cracking that lock open is mechanically more like attacking it with a lockpick. you could even use this for social conflicts.

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In a way the Index Card RPG CORE reminds me of Into The Odd, another ultra-light D&D clone. It strips away a lot of what people usually consider sacred cows but retains what makes the game exciting to people. By the way, I forgot to mention why it’s called Index Card RPG. The game doesn’t rely on the use of index cards at all. But the creator of the game is a fan of the “Index Card Method”. I’ve included a video about said method below.

So the game more or less was created with said method in mind, but you actually don’t need to employ it. Overall the Index Card RPG is full of great ideas for the busy game master with a full-time job and a family. Everything is kept as simple as possible while feeling awesome at the same time. The book is full of creative ideas and just makes me want to run it ASAP.

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The Index Card RPG comes with a bestiary, a lot of examples for obstacles to overcome, two settings (a fantasy and a space opera one), and paper miniatures for monsters and characters. It even includes materials to use with online services like Roll20.

Even if you don’t want to make use of the rules included the Index Card RPG is well worth it. Its advice on how to run exciting games and the print-out-and-play material alone is worth its price of $16.50. POD options are also available. And did I mention that I adore the artwork in this book? It’s awesome! I could go on and on about how much I adore this little game, but I think it’s way better if you check it out!

Orctober 2017 – Days 7 to 12

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Welcome back to my second post for October 2017. Like on my previous post,  This is a collection of my posts on social media celebrating all things orc in the month of October. I’m taking my cues form  a piece of art by the talented Mr. Claudio Pozas on Facebook. These correspond to weekend entries and the four so far, this week. I’m writing these on my phone, at night, without power, to stay distracted from all the chaos of the post-Hurricane María reconstruction. Apologies in advance if these have a few more typos than usual. I hope some of you find this interesting. I’d welcome your comments and critique. See you all soon!

#Orctober days 7, 8 and 9: Orc Bard, Orc Archer and Shadowrun Orc

Back from the weekend! I had intended to post over the last few days, but no power and iffy Internet connection post Hurricane María means you get a triple post today. And what a combination it is! I’m going for a narrative here, and today’s entry kind of throws me off for a loop. But Like I did for the Warcraft Orc, I have something in mind.

Don’t forget to visit the very talented Claudio Pozas’ FB page because he’s killing it with his daily orc drawings. He’s the reason I’m doing this. And now, on with the orc.

“Here drink this. Yes, we are in a wagon. How about that? You get hired as a porter and end up traveling in style. I know it hurts. Drink it all. It will take care of the cough. Let me continue my tale. Where were we? Oh yes!”

The gathered tribes lusted for battle. The orc army, unlike any the south had seen since the time of Kurgen Bloodbathed, marched upon the fields of Rose Garden. Across the fields waited the army of renowned military commander Hortense Gevalliene, the Duchess of Roses. Her cavalry had crushed her brother’s forces, her footmen taken the last garrison of her nephew in Sunfrost Bay, and the mercenary forces her vast treasure troves afforded her had made sure her father’s vassals knew their place. She was confident, sure of her victory over the largest orc army in human history.

But human memory is fickle, and the Duchess for all her education and knowledge, did not remember the Orc Wars of the past. Before the crowning of the King in Gersania, even before the construction of the grand cathedral to the Great Founders in Serissen, or the election of the Grand Master at the Library of Tesalon, humans fought side by side with the dwarves in the Orc Wars. Continue reading Orctober 2017 – Days 7 to 12

Orctober 2017 – Week 1 (Almost!)

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Just what is Orctober? I asked myself that very same question! The Urban dictionary defines it as a celebration of all things orc in October. I honestly have no idea of its origins beyond that. I follow the talented artist Claudio Pozas on Facebook and he posted a piece of art about #Orctober. It invited people to draw, sing or write about orcs. I found it an interesting challenge! Orc have never been my favorite fantasy species, so this was an interesting exercise for me. Also, I needed something to distract me from the post Hurricane María woes.

Once I had decided to participate then there was another problem. I can’t really draw that well (look at the following image and you’ll know!), so drawing for the challenge was out of the question. My singing is even worse. What else could I do? Write!

My version of an orc!

For the past six days (at the time I write this post), I’ve been sharing my #Orctober 2017 in social media. I’ve collected my first six contributions to #October on this post. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll collect the following days in a similar post. I welcome your feedback and invite you to join in in this month long orcish celebration. Continue reading Orctober 2017 – Week 1 (Almost!)