Working on Two Projects at Once

I hit a total stop on the spell building system I was working on. The math did not work at all. I don't mean it was close enough that some handwaving would make it usable, it was just flat broken. I have been attempting revisions over the past couple months, but my core concept is just not going to work.

So, I am going to build off the four by five magic system to re-create the system. Right now, I am up to a six by nine system, but that may change. In short, add the value of the verb and noun to get a base value. Add to the base value to increase the effect, range, or area of effect. The final number will be a Target Number to roll over. Wizards and Clerics add their level as a bonus to success.

For those that use the Emphases System, any related tags will add to the bonus as well.

So, while I am tweaking the new spell building system, I intend to post on my second favorite game at the moment, Dungeon World. I'm in a DW group and I enjoy playing again, instead of running a game. However, I will be running a DW group this fall, so I need to get going on the campaign work now.

I intend to work out the details for a world that is part Qelong, part Nyambe, part Spelljammer, and part Hibernia. I don't own Qelong and I haven't read it, but I mention it because some I have discussed it with feel like it could be in Qelong. I have Nyambe somewhere, but I'll wing it for now. Some of the stuff I've written about previously on this here blog, but with the dynamic of Dungeon World rules, some things will translate differently.

The Spelljammer part provides an Quasi-Imperial British type of feel to the setting. (It may be more Space 1889 than Spelljammer.) Qelong and Nyambe influences the primary culture on a planet that is rich in resources and experiencing a Golden Age. Hibernia, influences part of the cosmology and religion of the world. It sounds like fun in my head, but if it falls flat for the group, well, I may go back to being a player.

Once I get the math worked out, I'll be back on track for the Year of Magic theme for Swords & Wizardry. I just need to keep writing and that is hard after an almost two month long hiatus. Hopefully, I should ping pong back and forth on these two things so that I will keep posting.

And Now, The SW Monster Database

Last week, I mentioned the SW Monster Database project. At long last, it is finished. After the links below, I'll talk a bit about the spreadsheet.

To download an MS Excel version, click here.

To download an Open Office version, click here.

To add your own creation to the database, click here.

After looking around a bit, you may feel a bit underwhelmed.

Gee John, for all the build-up, it's a list of stats with no monster descriptions.

I get that. I struggled with how to get the descriptions in the spreadsheet easily, but everything up to this point would be days of copy and paste. I'm a bit embarassed to say that as someone that has passing familiarity with awk, sed, bash scripting, and VBA macros. Someone with more skill than me should be able to do it easily.

If you can, please do so. I welcome anything that will make this resource better.

Having said that, I believe I can get the descriptions included without manually pasting them into the submission form. We'll see how that goes. The beauty of the project is that it can grow and continue to add features.

What we can do now is make all kinds of useful tables. Some of the most obvious include a list of monsters by Challenge Level. Download and then Sort by CL and then by Num.

Guess what Challenge Level has the most monsters? CL 5. There are 104 monsters in the SRD with a CL 5. After that, there are 98 monsters with CL 8. Here's the full count.

CL Count
0 2
A 10
B 12
1 50
2 77
3 88
4 93
5 104
6 75
7 75
8 98
9 74
10 65
11 48
12 52
13 59
14 18
15 31
16 14
17 26
18 8
19 9
20 11
21 3
22 4
23 7
24 3
25 2
26 4
27 3
28 4
29 1
30 8
31 3
32 2
33 4
34 4
35 1
36 1
37 2
38 2
39 1
40 5
42 1
varies 12

Most of those varies entries are followers of a specific demon or devil. Later on, I plan to publish a few of those, with full stats.

Other possibilities have been mentioned on G+ already, but with this kind of spreadsheet, you can right a pretty good monster generator. Nothing beats writing one from scratch, but sometimes I need something that is "good enough" for right now. After all, a random encounter is truly random when even you don't know what the next monster around the corner will be.

I'll be adding more to this, but I'll be back to the S&W Magic project for the most part.