Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dielevel modern

I wanted to further showcase the flexibility of the Dielevel system despite the fact that nobody seems to care.

There seems to be a trend in roleplaying where medieval games are abstracted, but modern, horror and sci-fi games tend to be skill based and more realistic.

Dielevel modern

These rules can be used for anything from Lovecraft to Star Wars. If any sort of psychic or magic abilities are available, they should be under the Spiritual attribute.


Attributes are the inherent abilities of the character. They only change for in-game reasons (like going to the gym for a while), at the DMs discretion.

At character creation you have to split 3 points among the following:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Social
  • Spiritual


At character creation, you get as many skills as points allocated to the appropriate attribute. This amount should be chosen, but in special cases the DM might rule that you can add multiple points to a single skill instead.

You get an additional skill point to allocate however you like at each new level. You can add one to an existing one, or get a new skill.

Skill examples

  • Physical
    • martial arts
    • sprinting
    • climbing
  • Mental
    • computers
    • driving
    • first aid
  • Social
    • bluff
    • fashion
    • streetwise
  • Spiritual
    • ghosts
    • religions
    • animal ken

Both the attribute and skill bonus is added to the rolls. Skills and attributes can be combined for an action however is appropriate. So you might add physical+bluff to the roll to seem stronger than you are.

Sci-fi race examples

Rookies are a race of 6′ humanoid sloths. They have great strength but can only speak their own language.
Physical starts at 1
Social starts at -1

The homaari are a race of floating jellyfish. They are very religious but have a hard time loosening up.
Physical starts at -1
Social starts at -1
Spiritual starts at +2

The toozhanyo are mentally disciplined race of very strong humanoids. Their logical mind and calm demeanor puts others ill at ease.
Physical starts at +1
Mental starts at +1
Social starts at -1
Spiritual starts at -1


Magic has a simple system, if you know the spell, you have to roll against it with the appropriate skill and attribute. It will resist with it’s level and whatever environmental bonuses that are hindering you. If you succeed, the effect is created. Some spells (especially in a Lovecraftian game) will have a cost, like an item, prayer or even the PC’s health.

Spell examples

You speak the words of the mighty god Ak├írki. Any unnatural abomination who’s Spirituality you rolled over has to flee the room/street/vicinity.
Level 6

You turn the target intangible. Objects pass through them as easily as through air. They are so light that gravity barely has a hold on them as they can literally walk on air like stairs. Hellbound is the same, bit gravity still has a hold on them and they fall into the ground and most likely suffocate unless they find an underground cavity. Length of both effects are until the end of the scene/combat.
Level 10

Ray of clumsiness
A brown streak hits the target who loses all skill bonuses (but not attributes) for the duration of the scene/combat, unless the difference in rolls is smaller then the target’s Spiritual. In the latter case, it only lasts for the next round.
Level 8


Vehicles supplement the characters’ abilities by their speed, abilities (like flying) or equipment (like weapons). Consider them giant portable bonuses.

Vehicle examples

Passengers 4
Health 4
Health bonus +1 for each character inside until the car’s health is depleted
Speed bonus 10 (5 on rough terrain)

Passengers 2
Health 2
Speed bonus 20 (10 on rough terrain)

Using d12 for resolution is suggested, ties go to the players. Characters faint if their health goes under 0, but are only killed by a separate action.

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Posted by on 2012/11/29 in theoretical


Items of the Sword: Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians

Based on Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians

Let’s start with the obvious: NO THEY’RE NOT JUST GUNS! Everybody can put guns into D&D. Hell, everyone already has! That’s boring, moving on.

The Lances are fired with a stabbing motion, at which point they release a small projectile with a thunder crack, that sets the thing it hits on fire (as greek fire or similar, can not be put out, burns underwater). Because of it’s method of activation, aiming the Fire Lances at long distances is all but impossible. The Fire Lances actually have a bayonet attached to their business-end so they’re useful even when empty.

Once the Lance is out of charges, reloading is done by fire aswell. Thrown into a campfire (or fire of similar size) and waiting for the fire to die down will leave the weapon fully recharged.

Fire Lance
Damage: 1d6 + 1d4 fire damage for 1d4 rounds OR 1d6
Range: touch/5’/10′ OR melee
Weight: 10lb

Disclaimer: the “items of” series is in no way affiliated to it’s source media. The descriptions are entirely unofficial and sometimes contrary to the original intention on purpose. No claim of ownership intended.


Posted by on 2012/11/08 in The Sword, tidbit


The Dielevel system and the basics of roleplaying

I was thinking one day, as I usually do, and I reminded myself of one my recently recurring statements: “you don’t need rules to roleplay”. My would-be players argued that you need explicit rules to differentiate classes, otherwise anyone can do anything, and I argued the opposite, that the playing of roles isn’t the function of the system, but the players. Take a basic example: You can play cowboys and indians or cops and robbers with no rules after all. Of course some basics will develop through play, like genre adherence, how you can’t claim to be bullet-proof or that you can’t escape even though your bonds are fake (a rule that I broke, since sitting in the bushes while everyone else gets to play is boring).

Developing rules through play was the norm back in the Chainmail days, and James Maliszewski tested this method in his Dwimmermount campaign to great success. So what is the bare minimum of rules needed to play a roleplaying game with pen, paper, dice and a Dungeon Master? I’m a minimalist, so let’s see how bare-bones I can get.

Introducing the Dielevel system Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on 2012/11/04 in theoretical


PocketMod hack: Lost Dutchy of Gaeleth

Anti Paladin Games produced some one-page stuff that I found very influential and inspiring back in the day. I still carry many of their efforts in my wallet. Hex-Spiders for some versatile baddies, Kedmere for a setting backdrop, and The Lost Dutchy for a hexcrawl. This latter I now present to you as a pocketmod. Enjoy!

PocketMod, letter size PDF (as Google doc)
PocketMod, A4 size PDF (as Google doc)

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Posted by on 2012/11/01 in pocketmod, tidbit