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"The Gardens of Ynn" Referee Control Panels

I recently picked up Emmy Allen's excellent The Gardens of Ynn, and I think this will be the next adventure I run. I still have an itch for Alice in Wonderland -esque adventure, and this seems like it will scratch that nicely.

(Side note: Rather than diving into another long, continuous campaign, I think I'm going to run a series of shorter adventures connected only by players keeping the same characters between them. Embrace the picaresque. Work through my collection of great OSR adventures.)

One of the things about running Ynn that looks like it will be a challenge is the amount of random rolling that needs to be done. Everything is procedurally generated (which I love!). At a minimum, you need to roll for Location, Detail, and Event as the players move to each new location. And it's not just the rolling, there is also the time spent flipping through pages to read the result of each roll. After doing that, I think I'd be unlikely to use other information from the back …
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Cards for Into the Odd and OSR Duels

Follow-up to my previous post on dueling rules for Into the Odd

If you're using Emmy Allen's excellent rules for OSR duels or my modification of those rules to work with Into the Odd, it's useful to have a set of playing cards for each duelist to select their actions with. So I made some. Credit for the text to Emmy Allen.


Click here for the Into the Odd version:

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1X9q_c8FAT6m_BQ3KOy0Kdh29tqFAoyHv-KQXYez7pt8/edit?usp=sharing

Or here for the generic OSR / D&D version:

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1jZQpKeZSMmwCeOuWrVAnnN5wxsvoz_2sVBdCjYXAa6A/edit?usp=sharing

For either of these, you'll want to do File > Download as > PDF Document (.pdf), print them out at 100% scaling (i.e. "Actual Size"), and cut along the lines to make your cards. I'd recommend printing them onto some heavy cardstock, blackening the cut edge with a Sharpie, and putting them in standard-size card sleeves like these: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0…

Dueling Rules for Into the Odd

EDIT Re-written and re-posted to remove endorsements of unworthy people.
EDIT 2 I had a chance to use these rules in a recent game. They really worked! Clever selection of actions allowed one of my players to defeat an opponent who -- stat-wise -- absolutely out-ranked him. The amounts selected for the various bonuses seemed about right. The players remarked afterwards how fun that duel was.
Anyways... Recently, I mentioned that I was unhappy with the Into the Odd dueling rules that I made up mid-game. The always awesome Anne @ DIY & Dragons left a comment helpfully pointing me towards a set of OSR dueling rules by the excitingly excellent Emmy Allen @ Cavegirl's Game Stuff. After looking at Emmy's rules -- wow, that's a really good way to have a duel that seems like an event.

And I think I can make them work with Into the Odd rules and stats.
"Cavegirl" Dueling for Into the Odd(A lot of the text below is straight from Emmy's rules, so writing credit to h…

No good words

I believe Mandy. I believe Jennifer. I believe Hannah. 
https://www.facebook.com/amandapatricianagy/posts/10215845527064252
I believe Vivka. 
https://m.facebook.com/VivkaCriesWolf/posts/2478145012257909
The manipulation, abuse, and pain they describe are unacceptable to me. I informed my players that our current campaign is immediately at an end. There was unanimous agreement.
May Mandy, Jennifer, Hannah, Vivka and any other victims be surrounded by genuine kindness, friendship, and love.
This blog is no longer a thing I am proud of. Too much of it reads as an endorsement of a person who deserved none. I plan to delete all of that content. Not to hide my shame at not realizing sooner, but so that no positive word about Zak S remains to influence anyone.

Neural Networks of Carcosa

Something I did for fun over the weekend:

Found a workbook for easily creating a text-generating neural network: https://minimaxir.com/2018/05/text-neural-networks/Took a plaintext dump of the hex contents from LotFP's Carcosa.Massaged the text to make it a little better for neural network processing (make everything lowercase, remove punctuation, remove numbers, etc.)Trained the neural network against the text (ran 50 epochs worth of character-level training)Took the resulting model and generated some sample text using the workbook's default settings of "1 very unexpected token, 1 unexpected token, 2 expected tokens, repeat" to ensure the model doesn't try to exactly replicate the original text.;tldrI tried to create an AI that can auto-generated Carcosa-like hex descriptions. The results are... kind of weird. The neural network was being trained letter-by-letter rather than word-by-word, so there's no guarantee it won't invent its own, gibberish words. B…

"Into the Odd" is "Left 4 Dead"

There was a discussion today on the Into the Odd Discord about how to describe "generic" Critical Damage and recovery. What do you tell players happened to their characters when they fail a STR save? What exactly do their allies do to get them back on their feet?

My response was that I describe it in a very "Left 4 Dead -like" manner. "Generic" Critical Damage knocks you to the ground like in L4D. Later on, your friends pick you up, slap you awake, give you some water and quick bandaging. Not too worried about detail or realism in my descriptions.



My mind immediately went further down this path. The design of Into the Odd really is like Left 4 Dead in a lot of ways.
Critical DamageInto the Odd: Knocked out of action, will bleed out in an hour if not assisted by someone.
Left 4 Dead: Knocked to the ground and largely out of the action. Will eventually die if not assisted by someone.
Recovery from Critical DamageInto the Odd: Somebody picks you up after combat, …

Use Critical Damage to make your critters memorable

Earlier today, I answered a similar, Into the Odd related question asked on both G+ and /r/osr. The question was, basically, how to go about converting old school, B/X style creatures to ItO. My answer echoed earlier advice I'd heard from Chris McDowall -- don't sweat the numbers. Make your creatures interesting in other ways.
This got me thinking about one of the things I really like in ItO that I don't exploit enough -- unique consequences for Critical Damage. Usually, Critical Damage (a failed save after taking damage to your Strength) knocks you unconscious until your allies can assist you. However, some of the example creatures in ItO have special consequences if you take Critical Damage against them. One creature might swallow you whole. Another might crawl down your throat and lay eggs.
This is a really powerful way to make a creature memorable. And requires little thinking over math, mechanics, or balance. The player has already failed their Saving Throw. Now the que…