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Topics - outlander78

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Hi folks.

I've written a second computer game and posted it on Wargame Vault.  My first game, Old School Computer Game, is an RPG that was inspired by classic goldbox games, and a bit by NES RPGs as well.  This second game is based on another classic, one I used to play a great deal on my old Commodore 64 far too many years ago.

If anyone is willing to exchange testing the game out and giving me criticism and feedback here, I'd be happy to send them a free copy - just email me at outlander78@hotmail.com.  I have to timebox this offer a bit, so I'll say it is open until the end of August.

Here's a link:  https://www.wargamevault.com/product/365381/Old-School-Western-Shootout?src=CommunityForum3

(I hope you don't mind me posting here ... the only tie this game has to this community is the fact I wrote Old School Computer Game a while back, and folks here had kind things to say about it.)

Thanks for reading,

Classic D&D / Magic-Users & Crossbows
« on: January 11, 2020, 09:10:48 PM »
Magic-users can use slings, not crossbows, and even that is an option - the initial rule is daggers only. (I've always wondered why not staves, but that's another topic, and probably one done to death a decade ago ...)

The slings rule is clearly for game balance, because crossbows are much easier to operate. Balance aside, I have trouble with the idea of a klutzy MU twirling a sling whilst unable to understand the complexities of a point-and-shoot weapon.

So - what would be a good trade-off if an MU wants to use a light crossbow? (Strength is a good excuse to block heavy ones.) I was thinking of disallowing XP bonuses for high intelligence - advancing 5% or 10% slower seems reasonable - but I would like to hear your thoughts, as I bet you have much better ideas.


General Discussion / Old School Computer Game Update 18: A New Sound
« on: October 06, 2019, 08:55:59 AM »
I am posting this on a few forums; I am trying to reach the 50% of people who purchased my game but have chosen not to receive email updates from DriveThruRPG.

I purchased some sound effect packages, and have added improved sound effects and some music to the game.  Sound is off by default - press 'e' to turn it on during a game.  I have not yet added sounds for everything I want to, so you will probably notice spots where there should be a sound but is not yet.  I have learned once you start adding good sounds to a game, the gaps become more obvious.  However, I have finally found and fixed the "disappearing dead party members" bug, so I am shipping this release now instead of waiting months until I get the sounds all sorted out.

There is one more tweak I think improves the game - when a creature moves past another in combat and triggers an attack of opportunity, the graphics now properly display when and where the creature was hit while moving.  This has been annoying me for a long time, so I am glad I was able to fix it too.

Your existing saved games will probably work with this new release, but to be safe, before you download and play the new version, please load up any games with characters you want to keep and export them to disk in the manage party view.

I am leaving both last year's release and the new 2019 one available for download, in case anyone finds the new release to be problematic.

Have fun, and please keep posting about defects and desired enhancements in the discussion section.  My thanks to everyone who has suggested an improvement, or patiently describe a bug I needed to fix.

The updated game can be found here:  https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/149082/Old-School-Computer-Game .

General Discussion / Looking for a clone
« on: March 11, 2018, 02:36:19 PM »

Are there any 3E clones that are clean and minimal, similar ti BECMI, but retain skills and feats?

General Discussion / Control undead?
« on: January 30, 2018, 04:40:34 PM »
I could have sworn that evil clerics get a "control undead" version of "turn undead", but I cannot find it in my Rules Cyclopedia.  Does anyone know if that is a BECMI rule at all?  Or, if it is found in a 1E or 2E book?

General Discussion / Thorkhammer
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:29:12 PM »
Has anyone seen or heard of the mighty Thorkie lately?

As for the rest of you ... are you still posting?  If so, where?

General Discussion / Problem with high-level spells
« on: December 15, 2017, 02:41:38 PM »
Hi folks.

Since I was a young fellow, high level spells (7-9) have always given me a love/hate relationship with D&D.

Demihuman level limits block them from getting the cool spells, even the supposedly magical elves.

Humans can get there, but by the time they do, the game is somewhat broken - the risk of low-level gaming is mostly gone, and boredom sets in.  Many people espouse retiring characters somewhere between levels 9 and 14, nowhere close to level 8 and 9 spells!

This drives me crazy sometimes.

Have you folks ever seen a game or house rule that would fix this for me?  Some way of giving lower-level characters access to the highest-level spells, so that whatever level they bump their heads on doesn't deny them the cool end-game toys?

Does 3E fix this?

General Discussion / Everyone okay?
« on: August 31, 2017, 11:46:14 AM »
I know there are a lot of Texans on this board.  I hope you are all safe and doing well in this stormy season.

Other Games / I am fed up with the limited availability of 5E
« on: May 17, 2017, 10:23:48 AM »
More and more product is coming out for 5E.  I only buy PDFs, and am very annoyed that the core books are print-only.  I'm not going to spend $105 to buy the three core books from Amazon in a format I don't like, thanks.  If there were $10 DTRPG PDFs, I'd already be playing them, and buying the accessories they DO publish on DTRPG.

Anyone know why 5E is not being published digitally?  Anyone know when it might be in the future?


Great deal.  Just paid $18.50 for the whole set.  I wanted to buy them for a while now, but held off because of the prices.  Looking forward to reading them now!

Save for Half Podcast / New site, new lease on life for the podcast?
« on: March 15, 2017, 09:08:59 PM »
I miss you folks on Save Or Die dearly.  Thanks again for all you did putting that show out.  The new crew is nice, but I miss the originals.

Does this new site for save for half mean we can look forward to the occasional podcast from you going forward?

Classic D&D / Old School Computer Game Update 12: Happy New Year!
« on: January 06, 2017, 06:51:56 AM »
Hi folks.

I have updated Old School Computer Game (link in my signature). Your existing saved games will not work with this new release - before you download and play this version, please load up any games with characters you want to keep and export them to disk in the manage party view.

The main improvement for this release, and the reason I am publishing it without waiting to develop more new content, is the improved speed with which you can save and load games.  If you play the way I do, you probably save and re-load frequently, and will find the enhancement a very nice change.

New Items: 
 - 70 new magic shields
 - added a new cheat (debugging option) to give all party members good magical weapons, CTRL+ALT+SHIFT to access
 - 10% of laboratory tables now contain magic items instead of potions (perhaps the owner was working on a wand, a ring or a nice pair of boots ...)
 - added more random castle names
 - kobolds no longer have an initiative bonus
 - NPC equipment now matches standard treasure distribution ratios (e.g. you will far find more fighters wielding long swords than tridents)
 - once you know a given pool is a healing pool, simply walking through it automatically heals all living party members
 - performance improvement:  added buffering to the save and load game processes
 - performance improvement:  added multithreading to random quest creation; computers with multiple cores will create new games more quickly
If you find any problems with the game, or want to propose improvements, please post them here or on the game's webpage.

Thank you for playing!

Classic D&D / Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« on: December 15, 2016, 07:52:09 PM »
I have the usual five missile weapons in my game:  long and short bows, heavy and light crossbows, and slings.  Some recent posts about balancing crossbows got me thinking about who can use what, and why.

Thus far, I have given bows two attacks per round and tried to balance crossbows by giving them a +2 attack and damage bonus.  The problem is, it is almost always better to have two attacks than a +2 bonus to a single attack.  I have magic crossbows that given an extra attack, but that isn't addressing the basic weapons' differences.

So, I started thinking about who can use each weapon.  Not necessarily how good they are with it, but just who can use it.

Bows require a great deal of training.  Crossbows do not (that is their strength).  Slings, despite being the weakest option, are not as easy to use as the point-and-shoot crossbows.

Fighters are skilled with all weapons, so they can use all five types.

Clerics spend some time training how to fight with weapons, and as they are stuck with only slings, it makes sense they would practice with them.

Thieves also train with weapons (they must to use swords and bows), so I don't see a need to fiddle with their allowed weapons.

This leaves magic-users.  They have no combat training, and seem to have been given the sling for game balance reasons alone.

I am thinking of taking away light crossbow's +2 bonus in my game, but letting everyone except clerics use them, and taking slings away from magic-users.

Anyone try this?  Anyone run into trouble with giving crossbows to magic-users?

General Discussion / Old School Computer Game Update 11: Merry Christmas!
« on: December 08, 2016, 09:33:16 AM »
Hi folks.

I have updated Old School Computer Game (link). Your existing saved games will not work with this new release - before you download and play this version, please load up any games with characters you want to keep and export them to disk in the manage party view.

I hope you enjoy this update, packed with new toys to play with (some of which require assembly).

New Hand-Crafted Quests:
 - The Flail of Ages (find the components, assemble the mighty weapon)
 - The House Of Stewart's Last Castle (three maps, intended for characters of at least ninth level)

New Quest Type:  Some Assembly Required.  Keep an eye out for components.  These are items that, when assembled using magical forges, form powerful magic items.  Each component's description explains what is required to make an item.  Components are generally all located in a single "dungeon" or set of maps.  Magical forges look like a combination of a camp fire and an anvil ... my lack of artistic talent shines through again.  In this release, there is only one instance of this quest, found in "The House Of Stewart's Last Castle".  I plan to add more in future releases.

New Randomly Generated Map Type:  Mine.  A series of 3x3 rooms connected by long, winding corridors, all tied to a central room ... intended for mines, but it turned out to be a good general-purpose random map algorithm.

New Classes:  Dwarf Arbalist, Elf Archer, Half-Elf Longbowman, Halfling Artillerist, Sniper (all five are essentially a kit applied to existing classes; the kit gives extra damage when using bows and an attack-roll penalty when fighting hand-to-hand)

New Monsters:  Blast Skeleton, Dragons (more challenging age levels for all five colours), Gargantuan Gargoyle, Gargantuan Troll, Gargoyle Golem, Giant Troll, Ice Troll, Hill Giant & King (12HD variant of the classic 8HD), Hulk, Kobold Bomber, Neo-Otyugh, Otyugh, Shambling Mound, Snake Man Mage, Snake Man Priest, Spectral Troll

New Cleric Spells:  Sorry, clerics are getting stiffed in this release.  Bah, humbug!

New Druid Spells:  I tried to add new druid spells, but they complained about affecting "nature's balance" and I had to back off.

New Magic-User Spells:  Confusion, Chaos (Confusion is one of my favourite spells - I am very happy to finally get it into the game.)

New Psionic Powers:  Id Insinuation, Unsettled Minds

New Items:
 - Bastard Sword (and magical variants)
 - Flail of Ages (some assembly required)
 - Headgear (magical helmets, circlets, masks etc)
 - 541 new magical weapons
 - 168 new kinds of magical armour
 - 75 new types of magical ammunition for bows, crossbows and slings
 - 75 new magical rings
 - 32 new staves
 - 5 new shields

 - being 'afraid' (e.g. afflicted by mummy's fear) now gives PC's a -5 penalty instead of paralyzation
 - dragons are significantly upgraded, with improved attacks and defenses
 - maximum natural ability scores are limited to 18 (except dwarves who can have 19 constitution, and elves who can have 19 dexterity)
 - removed smash (fighter ability to add their strength to damage inflicted); this was far too generous, will revisit later
 - new weapon on-hit effects:  sleep, stun
 - rings, weapons and armour that let characters cast spells now have a limited number of uses per day instead of a chance of failing and crumbling
Bug Fixes:
 - when a weapon does extra damage (e.g. extra fire damage), the damage is properly divided between the two types; this means that if, for example, you use an 'icy' long sword against a frost giant, the non-cold part of the damage still affects the giant
 - when using an item (e.g. a wand) to cast spells in or out of combat, only appropriate spells are displayed (e.g. you cannot cast a fireball outside of combat) 

If you find any problems with the game, or want to propose improvements, please post them here or on the game's webpage.

Thank you for playing!

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