The Forge Archives

Inactive Forums => Mystic Ages Online => Topic started by: Nathan on March 13, 2002, 12:11:38 PM

Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Nathan on March 13, 2002, 12:11:38 PM
Howdy folks,

Just letting you know that as of today, Eldritch Ass Kicking is officially available, with great art and 26 pages of PDF coolness. Mighty, crackling wizardry battle has never been this fun! You can get it here:

I am so stoked, and I will let you know what happens with it. As of right now, the game is completely free but I am requiring folks fill out a simple form whereafter I will email them a copy of the game directly (ala Ron Edwards).

Thanks guys -- and let me know what you think.


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Bailywolf on March 14, 2002, 05:36:05 AM
I filled out the form last night... when can I expect to see the gem?

Title: Sorry for the Delay
Post by: Nathan on March 14, 2002, 06:37:55 AM
I sent it to you this morning.

My internet at home was being somewhat unkind.


Title: News N Stuff
Post by: Nathan on March 26, 2002, 11:11:09 AM
You can now download a plain/rugged version of EAK from It is just in html and contains no art.

Also, the playtest on last Thursday went very well. The game is fun -- and a bit over the top. Luckily, we also came up with some more possible changes -- and I will be introducing those in the next change. For the most part, things work -- but I am still not excited about Magickal Constructs and Defending on combat.

So I believe I will transfer Defense into two things -> Dodge and Counterspell. Dodge would be of course escaping complete damage and can use magickal skills or natural attributes or whatever. Counterspells use magick and instead of simply trying to defend, they will counteract the spell and cause harm to the castee. Good stuff. I am working on the exact bits and pieces of that now.

Also, I am still considering splitting the spheres of magick even further. I still had the issue of people doing ice, boiling water, and so on -- which doesn't exactly fall within any of the four elements.

We'll see what develops.

Anyone had any comments about the game thus far?


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Bailywolf on March 26, 2002, 03:25:23 PM
I would go with allowing customized magical spheres.   What if I want to play Demos, master of the Shadow Mysteries?  Or Helos the Lord of Crows?  

Let me suggest this.  Allow players to create their own magical disciplines, but when they do they must also describe the sphere's Nemisis.  This is the school which counters theirs perfectly- like fire to water, the Sutras of Light sit in oposition to the Shadow Mysteries.  

By allows players to build their own unique magical powers (and their oposites) you also build the magical character of the word they inhabit- a character uses the Arcanum Mantalis (mind magic) but in doing so, defines the Arcanum Corpus (body magic)- a discipline an arch rival might wield.  

Also, perhaps you need three modes of defense:

Parry- use the same sphere as the attack to divert it.   I use my skill with Fire to divert the path of my enemy's Hellfire Bolt.  However, the bolt still streaks off to destroy something else (likely some poor village).

Counter- use the sphere's Nemisis to cancel it out one-for-one.  This is the only way to destroy spells or insure they have no effect.  If I instead use a water shield to block the Hellfire Bolt the magics cancel each other out, both failing.

Evade- Get the hell out of the way!  Yank up the hem of your robe and run like a mother.  

The advantage os these three options is that they can also be used for physical conflict- use your Skills to Parry, your Strength to Counter, and your Dexterity to evade (or some such scheme).

Also, is you allow players to make up their own schools they won't be stuck unable to defend against an enemy's weird Noodle Magic.

Also of import:

Rules for Sanctum Sanctorum- evey good magical badass needs his own Iron Tower or Labrynth of Dread.

A Social characteristic- exchanging cutting remarks might be just the distraction needed to slip the ole Bursting Boils spell under your enemy's guard.

Rules for Creatures- wizards should have demoinc footmen, household goblins, hypogryph steeds, dragons in the dongons.  Give them a score to describe how numerous/powerful their creatures are...and how quickly they can recruit more after they get whacked (perhaps basing it on the above suggested social score).

Expanded demon rulles- lesser demons, one-shot demonic favors, demon-brides, being a half demon immortal yourself etc.

Look forward to seeing the revised edition.

Title: EAK- Love and House Rules!!! (Really Looooong post)
Post by: buddha on May 27, 2002, 05:00:04 PM

I love Eldritch Ass Kicking!  It's a cool game and a very cool premise.  (I've only seen the Gaming Outpost version, but I'd love to have the PDF as well!).  Also, thanks for pointing us to Hero Machine, which has absolutely captivated me and my friend!

So, anyway, I've been tinkering, and thinking a bit about what Bailywolf posted, and these are the house rules I've come up with... (some playtested, some not...)  Naturally, these are just my own rambling thoughts, but I figured you might get a kick out of some of them!  (Man, EAK has me so inspired, I want to write fanfic!  Scary!) :

- Renamed Endurance to Body, just to give it more of a Strength and Stamina feel.

- Definitely Use Focus as Mental Hit Points: Mental Attacks do damage to Focus.  When Focus = 0, there is a possible KO.  Roll Concentration vs (15 + # points of damage over Focus) or get KOed.  Even with a success you are still Dazed- all Magic skills at 1/2 for 3 rounds.  At any time, Focus spent on Constructs can be recalled to bolster Mental HP.

- Skills: I added four more Magical Skills, much less Elemental in flavor, but some personal favorites of mine.
   - Shadow: Illusion and Light manipulation.
   - Time: Allows Wizards to see the future or the past, and, only with great difficulty, slow or speed up Time.  Time Travel is right out!
   - Life: Manipulation of flesh and plant matter.
   - Spirit: Summoning bodiless spirits and manipulating minds.

I also decided to allow the creation of new Skills, and I loved Bailywolf's suggestion of having to define a new Skill's Nemesis.  I also wanted to allow players to create more gung-ho characters, so they could take melee skills and the like.

- Naturally, allowing melee skills meant I had to define hand-to-hand combat.  At base, you simply use Speed or a Combat Skill to hit (I still need to think of a way to make a specific Combat skill better than simply having a higher Speed...).  Then you figure Damage based on Outcome, with a bonus depending on the weapon:
   - Small: +0
   - Medium: +1
   - Large: +2
   - Huge: +4
- For a high Body, you also get a Damage Bonus to Melee attacks = to Body/5 (Rounded down)

- Healing: If the wizard can't get a full night rest, simply assume that each hour of rest gained heals about 10% of the total of the wizard's Life Points (LP).

- Fatigue:  If anyone loses 3/4 of their LP in a single blow, they have to roll or get K.O.ed.
   - Also, if you go a # of rounds of physical combat (in a single battle) = to your Life Points, you roll for Fatigue, but aren't KOed, you are exhausted, and can only defend or attack at 1/2 value.  Rest for 3 minutes, or defending for 6 rounds allows you to shake off the fatigue.
   - Magical exhaustion:  too much flinging of firebolts can catch up with a wizard as well, and if you go a # of rounds of Magical combat (in a single battle) = to your Focus, roll Concentration vs. 15, failure = loss of Magical Skills and Flight.  This lasts 5 minutes.  However, the wizard may forgo an action and attempt to roll Conc. again to reconnect, but the Difficulty is 25 the first round, with -1 Diff/2 rounds thereafter (Not sure about this rule...).

- Defending: I liked Bailywolf's ideas, and yours about counterspells doing damage, so I came up with these ideas
   - Evade:  roll Speed or Skill to get out of the way.
   - Counter: Use a Magical Skill (often the Nemesis) to stop the spells effects. (maybe using the Nemesis gives a +2 to Defense?)
   - Parry: Use a similar Skill, or a Defensive Skill (like Earth would deflect most physical attacks) to deflect the attack away from you.
  - Overpower: Use Similar Skill to attack Opponent's Attack, roll to beat their attack for free, as a defense, but the next round, if you don't move and continue to use the same power, you get a bonus to an attack action against that opponent equal to the amount you beat their roll by (Of course, the other wizard can then try to Overpower your attack...).  I think you need some reason not to do this, so I'd say that the intense concentration needed to Overpower gives you a -2 to Defense versus all other opponents (any other suggestions, anyone?).

- Combining Magical Skills: OK, I love the idea of Wizard's using multiple skills to create weird new effects, like Water and Air to get Ice.  Now, you could just pick up the Ice Magick Skill, or you could combine Skills for a more powerful, but slower, attack.  Simply put, Combining two Skills is a two round action, it uses up your first attack and goes off on your action the next round.  This represents you activating two Magickal Skills.  (I suppose 3 Skills would then be 3 rounds, etc.).  By combining the Skills, you get a bonus to your Action roll.  Simply take the highest skill, then add 1/5 (round down) of the other Skills involved as a bonus.  So; Water 10 + Air 5 = Ice Bolts of 11 on the second round.  This should encourage the players to creatively combine skills...  ( I think this works, although you could play with the division, maybe making it 1/3?  Or getting a +1 bonus/Round spent on Combining, up to High Skill + Lower Skill/3 or 5?)

- Creating Permanent Items: Simply take an appropriate Skill, like Enchanting, Alchemy, Sanctum Creation or Summoning (Even Charisma, if you spend the points on creating loyal followers).  Then, you get a number of points = to that Skill to spend on items or creatures.  The items and creatures use up no Focus, they are permanent.  A Creature's Value is = to the # of points you spend from your skill on it.  An Item's Bonus to a Skill/Action is = to the number of Points spent on it (Unless it modifies your Attributes, in which case the cost is +1 Attribute/ 2 points).  These Points are sorta permanently spent on the items and creatures created.  Until the item or creature is destroyed, the points are gone from your Skill.  When it's destroyed, you get back 1/2 the Item or creature's Value to your Skill.  To create Multiple creatures or Items, simply divide up the points the way you want.  For example, Arillion the Atlantean has Summoning of 10.  He creates a single 10 point critter.  His Summon skill is now 0.  If he created an 8 point creature, or two 4 point ones, his Summoning skill would now be 2.  When his 10 point critter dies, his summon skill goes from 0 up to 5, in essence, he loses 1/2 the skill points he spent on the creature.  Now, the best he can summon would be a 5 point creature.

- Create a "Defensive" Construct: if you want to create Armor, or a semi-permanent Defense, simply create a construct as normal, but it has no ability to Attack, only Defense and Life Points.  However, it gets a +2 to the final Outcome roll.  (The +2 does not subtract from your Focus, only the original Outcome.)  I'm not sure if the Construct then rolls to Defend, giving you basically two defense rolls, or if the Construct's Defense is a passive value that must be beat to Damage it.  In either case, beating the construct reduces its LP and it's value.  Once its LP are gone, any damage left is taken by you.  Also, perhaps you can only have one defensive construct active at a time?

- Lesser Demons: Choose the lesser Demon's Power.  The lesser Demon can add its Power to one or more Skills or Attribute (Divvy up the Power total among one or more Skills/Attributes).  You must roll Concentration versus (10 + Demon's Power) or it breaks free of your control.  It then attacks as a creature of a value = to its Power x 2 (although it may wait and bide its time until you are more vulnerable).  Naturally, you lose the bonuses when the lesser Demon attacks.

- Demonology Skill: Summon lesser Demons- spend Skill for Power of Demon.  Also, Roll Demonology or Concentration vs the Demon each day.  If you fail the roll, you may elect to permanently spend 3 points of your Demonology Skill to ignore the results of one roll.  

- Finally, any Magical modification to an Attribute is treated like creating a Construct, but costs 2 Focus/ +1 to the Attribute, and effects cannot be stacked.

Whew!  Ok, I also have a couple of characters, Arillion the Atlantean (created by a player) and Quinn the Bastard (my own).  

OK, if anyone reads this, feel free to make any comments/suggestions of your own, especially if you see something I've overlooked!  Nathan, thanks for putting out such a cool game idea, and inviting amateurs like me to make comments and such.  Hope you enjoy!


Title: Oops! Forgot one thing!
Post by: buddha on May 27, 2002, 05:03:50 PM
Sorry, forgot one thing!  I also made flight cost 2 Focus, making it easy to do, but still requiring some concentration.


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Nathan on June 05, 2002, 06:54:34 AM
I hadn't had time to comment about all of your stuff -- but I like it! I think I am going to pull this off and put it up on the EAK site so other players can download it and look at it. :)

It is true that a new version of EAK is around the corner. This new version includes all the fun defend stuff: dodge, parry, and counterspell / as well as new modes of attack: regular attack, hold attack, and overwhelming attack.... Also, demon summoning and magickal constructs have been completely expanded, very similar to ways you have suggested. The game has really grown into a very cool thing.

Is it okay if I take your comments, edit them a bit, and put them as a PDF file on the site? I will credit you of course.

The new website and for sale version of EAK should go up by Friday.


Title: Not a problem!
Post by: buddha on June 05, 2002, 09:48:02 AM

Feel free to use my comments (and do any editing neccessary!). :)  Is it cool to keep posting house rules and discussing EAK here, or should we start a new thread?  I guess I can wait till the new version comes out... drool, drool. ;P


PS- I wasn't kidding about the fan fic, I'm working on a Quinn the Bastard story as we speak!  But don't worry, I'll keep it to myself unless it's actually any good... :)

Title: We Can Keep It All Going
Post by: Nathan on June 05, 2002, 10:13:56 AM
Fanfic is fine. In fact, I'd love to read it. I think you have absolutely captured the feeling that I am looking for -- the frothing wizards who each have their own plan to become victorious. The new version should clarify this to some degree.

I really am interested in doing some work on a Sanctorum supplement, and that might be my next project of sorts. I was going to include some basic information in the main rules for that, but I cut it because it ended up being too incomplete. It might serve as a springboard to something larger though.

Let's keep this thread going - I will start a new one for info about the new version though.


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Bailywolf on June 05, 2002, 10:30:29 AM
Hey Nathan,

Help yourself to anything I throw out here.  Buddha expanded on some of my nascent ideas brilliantly and complemented them with is own.

Might I also suggest an Eldrich Intrigue suplement dealing with social and political manipulations on the order of some of Vance's Dying Earth stories.  Sometimes mages can get so powerful that they can't touch each other with magic, and have to relly instead on trickery and deceit.

Also in keeping with the basic mojo of your game, perhaps some method of "score keeping" is in order.  Some measure of sorcerer prestige or reputation... even more painful than being shredded by your enemy Duvo of the Cutting Wind's knife-eagle attack is having your ego and repuation shattered by his public defeat of you.  

Perhaps even tying this into a sorcerer's confidence in his abilities and this the power of those abilities?

Hang on....brain bubbling...

How about a floating score called...oh...


It starts out at 0.  When humiliated or defeated, penalties are assessed against HUBRIS, taking it into the negatives.  When victories are scored, it increases.

HUIBRIS modifies magical actions...the more HUBRIS you have, the more powerful your magic

But here is the kicker

HUBRIS is the essence of arrogance, self-rightiosness, conceit...a Wizard is a human who by will and excelence bends the universe against its natural laws to serve his desires.  Wizards don't just flaunt the rules, they break them, they spit on them, they make reality their bitch.  No wonder they fight like wet cats in a sack.

The more HUBRIS a wizard accumulates, the more arrogant, touchy, and difficult to deal with they become.  If they accumulate too much HUBRIS they flip out, becoming the crazy cackling flying-fortress building, army-of-mutant-goblin-snake growing, destroy the world to control it SOB's.  

And worse yet, the more HUBRIS you accumulate, the more powerful you become.

HUBRIS acts as a positive modifier to your magic...but a negative modifier to all social interaction not dependent on intimidation or dominance, to all attempts to reason or think rationaly, and to all attempts to realistly assess risks

How about this:

Hubris                 Tells
-10                       Paranoid Isolation                      
-5<                       Paranoid
-3<                       Cowardly
-1<                       Cautious
0                          Normal
+1                        Brash
+3                        Brazen
+5                        Manic
+10                      Megalominacial

HUBRIS Modifiers

Suffer Personal Defeat -1
Suffer Major Personal Defeat -2
Defeat is public -1 additional
Defeat is to an Old or Hated Enemy -1 additional
Humiliation -1
Fail to Exact Revenge for a slight -1 to -3 depending on severity

Achieve Personal Victory +1
Achieve Major Personal Victory +2
Publicly Achieve Victory +1 additional
Defeat an Old of Hated Enemy +1 additional
Inflict Humiliation on a Hated Enemy
Exact Revenge for a Slight +1

Hated Enemies

Each wizard should have a handful of Hated Enemies who they despise and plot against.  Reasons can vary.  Malcom the Bold always beat the crap out of me when we were at the Glass University together, now that bastard thinks he's better than me still...I'll show that jumped-up gorillia that the true power of a Wizard is in his magics, not in his muscles.  or perhaps something more classical:  Selome Seole the Slayer of Men killed my mother and seduced my father, the bitch must pay for her crimes!

Each Enemy needs a paragraph describing how they relate to the PC wizard.  Each one represents someone to plot against (and score some HUBRIS off of) as well as someone who might try and score it off of you.  Regardless, it means more fun.

What do you think?

Title: Hubris!
Post by: buddha on June 08, 2002, 02:34:51 PM

Hubris is a great idea!  Hope you don't mind if I steal it for my game!  I'm probably just gonna make it from +5 to -5, but here's a question for you, what happens with negative hubris?  Hmmm... Okay, here's an idea.  Low levels ( 1 or 2) of hubris or its opposite (Humbleness? Neuroticism? Paranoia? Suspicion or Pessimism?) actually give you a bonus, either as confidence or level headedness, to both Magick and Social rolls when applicable.  Socially, hubris gives a bonus to extroverted acts; inspiring and charming, and Magickally to Offense.  Suspicion (or whatever) gives a social bonus to leadership and giving orders, and Magickally, to Defense.  Anything above that gives the Magickal bonus, but also a penalty to social rolls, either by being overbearing, or by cutting off all social contact?  

Hmm… actually, there might be some game balance issues, what with defense and offense being bolstered.  Maybe suspicion gives you a bonus to making constructs, for care and attention to detail, while hubris is for pure magickal kick-ass?  

Then again, maybe I should leave well enough alone, and leave Hubris as is?  Anyway, it’s given me a lotta meat for thought.  Cool idea, Bailywolf!

Oooh, here's an idea, maybe negative Hubris gives you (stay with me) Grudge power!  You get your negative hubris level as a bonus to attacks on the person who gave you that level!  Say Magrick the Magnificent is constantly putting the beat-down on your magically inept butt, and you've gone into from a -1 Hubris to a -4.  You now get +3 versus old Magrick when trying to hurt or humiliate him...  Hmm...

Ok, before I sign off, here’s a couple more rules I’ve been playing around with…

1.    I’m thinking of letting you trade a point of skill for a +2 damage bonus, making more powerful, but less accurate attacks.  You could decide before you roll how much you’re going to spend on Accuracy or Damage.  If you hit, do damage normally for your Accuracy, but then add in all the Damage bonuses…

2.    For Shadow (Illusions), Time and other non-elemental magickal Skills, you roll versus a difficulty, then treat the amount you beat the roll by as a construct (we’ll call it Effect).  The effect then rolls against an Attribute, a derived Attribute or a skill as normal to see how "effective" it is.  For example, I use Shadow 10 to cloak myself in darkness.  I roll versus 15, getting a 22, giving me an Effect of 7.  Anyone trying to see me must roll Concentration +2d10 versus my Effect 7 +2d10 to do so.  

I’m sure there are still some holes in it, but I might get a chance to work ‘em out tomorrow, if I can get a player over!

Comments, anyone?  Feel free to point out glaring mistakes, too.  I've got that feeling that I'm missing something... Oh, well.


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Nathan on June 08, 2002, 03:56:11 PM
I love hubris too.

I may include it in the next edition, because it is really a nice idea, and a way perhaps to judge the ability of a wizard.

Of course, I echo Buddha's sentiments. If a wizard dips toward madness, I don't think applying big penalties is cool. Maybe a wizard with lots of negative hubris would get some sort of special abilities -> backstabbing, deceit, or whatever. The same could be done for a wizard with positive hubris -> special defense, more focus, etc.

Good stuff... We should figure out and bang out hubris.. I like it.


Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Bailywolf on June 10, 2002, 04:14:29 AM
For negative hubris, I figure a wizard gets paranoid, insular, perhpas delusional- but instead of delusiosn of power, delusions of persecution.  He takes a bonus to deceptive, sneaky and underhanded tactics... and to preparing loyal (read- brain-washed) creatures to go out and take the risks he is unwilling to take himself.  If forced to put his own ass on theline with direct confrontation, he suffers penalties equal to his negative hubris.  The classic Crazy Old Wizard In The Tower.

For positive hubris, you loose subtlty, get more and more irritable, more manic, more arrogant and impulsive.  You loose the ability to forment plans over the longterm, relying instead on the massive kick-up your magic recieves to deal with problems in the here-and-now (typicaly with huge exploding Razor Storm Strikes).  Your iritability quickly leads to violent episodes of rage or outrage...and the wrath of Jamis the Kind can be just as horrible as those of Murdock the Glutton if he sees townspeople being needlessly cruel...

Get a few bastards with -10 or +10 Hubris running around and you have both your evil schemers whiling away the years in their hidden labrynths preparing for the end of the world and the black spiny armor wearing, soul-sucking-sword weilding, army of demons across the land...

Esentialy, a magical bipolar disorder.

Title: Got Hubris?
Post by: buddha on June 10, 2002, 02:46:46 PM

Very funny... "magical bipolar disorder"... Man, if I'd been drinking milk, it would have come squirting out my nose!  

I keep getting this image of a floppy-hat-wearing, gray-bearded wizard with glowing yellow eyes, raising his staff to the heavens and shouting, "You can't stop me!  Nothing can stop me now!  Bwahahahah!"

Damn those saturday morning cartoons!

Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Bailywolf on June 10, 2002, 05:32:28 PM
Pure THUNDAR baby!

Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on February 07, 2003, 08:41:14 AM
Just came across this.

Dear Gods, yes! Hubris is definitely something to add to the mix, if at all possible. Magic bipolar disorders rule, baby!

Title: House Rules for EAK!
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on February 07, 2003, 09:00:05 AM
Just FYI, I came up with two new magical scholls and their opposites about half an hour after downloading the game. I kept them in traditional element style, just because I thought it'd be cool.

Element of Death: Basic necromancy.
Element of Life: Life magic, so handy for creating dull-but useful brutes and monsters!

Element of Truth: Divination magic.
Element of Lies: Illusion, mind-control, etc.

I also came up with a house rule on Time Travel: Traveling into the past is possible up to the point where Arnhelm was created. They can only go back as far as the exact moment they were cut off from the rest of reality.