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Pendria--God Fall

Here's the intro to my play-by-post game. It can be found on the Swords & Wizardry forum at Smoldering Wizard.

I'm looking for some additional players...give it a read and consider joining!

"Two years after God Fall and people are just starting to dig themselves out of the rubble. Long, difficult winters have passed, but this year's crop has finally come in, better than the last. Every village and town has had to fend for themselves during this time of survival. If starvation and cold hasn't done many in, the evil lurking in the night has.

This is a time for heroes. Most of the old heroes have fallen fighting the evil that came out of the darkness during the first days of God Fall. You are all that is left to stand between the darkness and humanity. Others may stand with you, many races, even some that at one time might have been your enemy. These are difficult times indeed.
May the gods be merciful."

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Here's a version of a post I made over at the OneDice g+ community.

Thoughts and rules for quarterstaff fighting in medieval and fantasy games.

First, some history.
The quarterstaff, is a stout wooden pole usually around seven feet in length. Sometimes iron shod (and known then as a tipstaff) the quarterstaff was the self defence weapon of choice in England for centuries. This was especially true in rural areas and for travellers. Night watchmen were issued with staves and cudgels even when swords were readily available. Even into the Twentieth-century, travellers carried staves (In fact it it still possible to earn a Scout badge in genuine quarterstaff fighting!). The quarterstaff was relatively easy to make, cheap and multi-purposed. In Medieval England the quarterstaff was a well regarded weapon. Contemporary writers state confidently that an experienced quarterstaff-user could easily hold off two or even three sword armed men. Note the phrase, 'hold off'. Although more expensive and sophisticated weapons could do more damage close in, they were useless if their owners could not close with the enemy. This was where the quarterstaff came into its own. It was a pole weapon with reach, an arm's-length weapon capable of breaking limbs and cracking skulls but could also be used up close in a defensive fight against a dagger. As a clue to their capabilities, a Fifteenth Century County record from the South of England shows that in around 70% of the eighty plus homicides in one year, the weapon used was a quarterstaff. The famous 'Angry Villager' rule in Original D&D becomes a little more real when you know a bit more about this humble weapon's real power. And don't think that it is going to be snapped or cut in two by your hero wielding a broadsword- there are no records of staves being smashed in this fashion. The quarterstaff was an extremely fast weapon in use. In common with a true spear, a warrior holding a quarterstaff with one hand at the butt and the other a foot or so further up the shaft could, with only a small move of his hands, shift from attacking an opponent's head to his feet almost instantly. A swordsman attempting the this would too readily expose himself to attack should he try the same move. A staff can be as effective as a shield against all but missile attacks and even without a spear point, a seven foot wooden pole thrust forcefully into an opponent has the strength of a metal bar of the same diameter. Don't say that isn't going to knock a man down (to say nothing of rearranging his face if he doesn't have a closed helm). And a round-house swing aimed at legs was very difficult to counter and could easily knock an opponent to the ground where he could be comfortably beaten to death from a safe distance. Combine this with the longbow and you can see why the English Yeomany were a force to be reckoned with- as Crecy and Agincourt remind us.

So, the rules.
Firstly, quarterstaff vs. other weapons. To cause damage just treat them as any other weapon. To use as a defensive weapon the user must state that he is doing so, opponents must roll twice to successfully hit, the first roll to get passed the defensive field of the quarterstaff guard and the second to actually hit.
Quarterstaff users may attempt a sweeping attack to try and trip an opponent. To do this they must first state what they are attempting. If they hit, no damage is caused but the opponent must roll vs Dexterity or similar, to stay on their feet.
Finally (and most fun) to recreate quarterstaff to quarterstaff fighting each round of combat is played as a game of paper/scissors/stone with the 'paper' gesture retitled 'sweep', the 'scissors' gesture (with both fingers together) is retitled 'thrust' and 'stone' being retitled 'chop'. Appropriately dramatic movements can be made with these! The results of this game are the same (ie paper-sweep beats stone-chop etc). The names don't really matter as its the actions which tell you who has won. All damage can be real or 'friendly'. In either case, successful sweeps require a Dexterity save or the wounded party will trip. Successful thrusts require Strength saves or result in a push back. Successful chops require a Strength save or the loser is disarmed.
Referees will need to make judgements as to what defines a quarterstaff. Does a Wizard's Staff count? A spear could be used in just the same way as a quarterstaff but perhaps more interestingly, what about that versatile old favourite, the 10 foot pole?


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I have started a new g+ community called 'Community Megadungeon' wherein folk are invited to create a system agnostic megadungeon one room at a time. I've already dug a little hole. Come and join me and get diggin'! 

Good Golly, how have I missed this g+ community? Looking forward to reading through the postings. My dull evening just improved mightily. 

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Got this in the mail today! Looks great. Cool job, +Charlie Mason. It will be my go-to teach-Classic-D&D-quickly system. 
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Just a heads up. There's a new RPG product at RPGNow, Wyverns & Warlocks Player's Handbook, that uses the same dragon cover that WhiteBox is currently using. http://www.rpgnow.com/product/214142/Wyverns--Warlocks-Players-Handbook

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Here is the new B&W cover art by +Michael Clarke​ for White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game!

The books should be available within a couple weeks.
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Preview of the new B&W cover for White Box by +Michael Clarke​
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I learned of this adventure from Bryce O'Lynch. It is called BROKEN GOD'S PAIN and it must be read to be believed...

Cannot wait to run this.

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Another awesome +James V West​ creation.
Did a new sheet for +Charlie Mason's White Box. What evil plans does he have for this?

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