Tiny d10

The tiny RPG!


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Hiatus

Things have gotten busy for me. As a result, I haven’t achieved what I wanted with TD10. My last resort is to take a break from the publication-end of the game, and focus on the core of the system.

That means, at least for now, this website is more an archive than anything. No more updates on my end. At least, not for a while. If I can make something better of TD10,  I will, and I’ll bring it back here to share.

If not, there will always be this site for anyone still inclined to use it.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed in any and every way to Tiny d10.

Secret text: development will continue here. If you’re interested, stop by and see what’s in the works.


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Monster Manual: The Alpha Release

Note: What you see here will be added to over the next few days, and eventually be edited and formatted to the de facto TD10 standard once complete.

Introduction

In Tiny d10, the word ‘monster’ is a generic term that encompasses all enemies, be they human pickpockets or other-worldly monstrosities.

The Bestiary

For ease of use, monsters are arranged by difficulty level.

Basic Monsters

  • Acrid slime (T4; 8HP; Weapon: Acrid Smoke and Acid) – brown to black in color, acrid slimes lay in wait for their victims in subterranean passages. Once stepped on, they release billows of black smoke, blinding their victims completely for 1d10 rounds and causing 1 damage for every round (or five seconds) the victims remains in contact.
  • Blackscale leech (T6; 5HP; Weapon: sucking mouth; -1 to attacks on land) – unusually large, these leeches average 4-6 feet in length. They are capable of traveling over land (moving as a snake would), but may only be out of water for five minutes at a time. Blackscale leeches are commonly found in subterranean lakes.
  • Black-robed cultist (T6; 7HP; Weapon: simple dagger) – the followers of a mysterious, sea-worshiping cult, black-robed cultists are utterly devoted to their strange and secretive faith. They will carry out any order in the name of their nameless god of the deep.
  • Darkmind mutant (T7; 7-9HP; Weapon: Mangled claws; Ability: Dark thoughts – on a roll of 10, invade targets mind, target must aspect check 6 or lose turn) – hideous subterranean monsters, darkmind mutants appear to have once been human, though their faces are now misshapen and limbs swollen and disproportional. A green florescing  fungus grows on the surface of their discolored skin, glowing brighter when the mutants use their dark thoughts ability.
  • Deepwater monitor (T6; 8HP; Weapon: Primitive spear, throwing sling, or stone club) – these black-scaled, bipedal lizards have the proportions of humans. Their eyes are black as coal, and they can be virtually invisible in their native habitat of caves and subterranean lakes. They are fairly intelligent, and will often stalk their prey in groups of 6-10, striking suddenly and with great ferocity.
  • Direwolf (T10; 4HP; Weapon: Mighty jaws) – considerably larger than common grey wolves, direwolves range from dark grey to black. They are intelligent and vicious pack hunters, but will flee if more than half the pack is brought to or below half their HP.
  • Drunken villager (T4; 6HP; +1P) – brash and vulgar, drunken villagers are usually looking for a fight. Despite their unruly behavior, they will flee battle if things ever get too serious.
  • Fish beast (T6; 2HP) – an unholy alliance between fish and man, fish beasts commonly haunt peculiar and secretive seaside towns. They show little intelligence, and are usually controlled by another, more sinister, entity.
  • Giant Crab (T8; 2HP; +2P; Weapon: Giant claw Ability: Vice grip – on a successful attack, victim must power/reflex save 5, if failed victim is pinned and may not move until successful save)- at four feet tall and eight feet wide, giant crabs are true terrors. They dwell on beach shores and rocky sea cliffs, making nests in the rocky crags. Giant crabs are extremely aggressive and possess one giant claw.
  • Giant Weta (T3; 1HP)- possessing a voracious appetite, the giant weta is a large, carnivorous insect. Measuring two feet long and one foot tall, they are usually found in huge swarms.
  • Goblin (T6; 4HP 1MP; +1R; Weapon: gnarled dagger; Spells: 1. Swarm of evil – causes a horde’s size to appear to triple for 1d5 rounds) – approximately 3-5 feet tall and waifish, goblins are timid in small numbers, but bold and aggressive when in groups of ten or more.
  • Lizard-folk –
  • Rats –
  • Ravenous sea birds –
  • Red-robed cultist –
  • Shrewd hatchling –
  • Villager –
  • White-robed cultist –
  • Wild boar –

Advanced Monsters

  • Blackwater aberration –
  • Dark serpent –
  • Earth giant –
  • Gravewolf –
  • Mayor Alder Marsh –
  • Sea hag –
  • Young green dragon –

Legendary Monsters

  • Horror of the Deep –
  • Rust dragon –

Monster Building

Monsters are comprised of three simple components:

  1. Statistics – the numbers and mechanics behind the monster. This will include things like HP, MP, PP, and attribute scores, but also class and racial abilities.
  2. Weapons – like swords and shields, or natural weapons like fangs and claws. These don’t always have special features (like damage or attack bonuses), but should always be included so that GMs better understand how the monster inflicts damage.
  3. Descriptions a description informs the GM what players should know about the monster, ranging from its appearance to its observable behaviors.

As seen in the Bestiary section, there are three levels of monster: basic, advanced, and legendary.

  1. Basic monsters are common and prolific enemies. Their combat skills are limited, so they rely on large numbers to overwhelm their opponents. Average statistics are: 2-8 HP, 1-3 MP, 1 or less PP, and T5-T8; one weapon; may assign a total of 2 points to their attribute scores; if magical, no more than 3 spells. For encounter balancing, their should be 2-4 times more basic monsters than characters.
  2. Advanced monsters are similar to characters, often having names, reputations, or other designators of import. Average statistics are: 8-14 HP, 5-8 MP, 2-3 PP, and T7-11; multiple weapons; may assign a total of 6 points to their attribute scores, not to exceed 4 in any single attribute; if magical, no more than 6 spells. For encounter balancing, there should be 1-1.5 times more advanced monsters than characters.
  3. Legendary monsters are woven into the fabric of the cultures they haunt. Fables and myths shroud their true and even more terrible nature, imposing a great, seizing dread on those who speak their names. Average statistics are: 14-30 HP, 10-15 MP, 4-8 PP, and T10-15; multiple weapons; may assign a total of 10 points to their attribute scores, not to exceed five in any single attribute; if magical, no more than 10 spells. For encounter balancing, there should be no more than .5 times more legendary monsters than characters, though one is usually sufficient.

To be continued…


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Home-brewing Session: Races

Tiny d10’s races are simple, and as such, race design is a simple affair. In this session, we explore the three components of race: the description, the racial advantage, and the racial feature.


Race Description

In order to keep descriptions brief, the recommended format consists of three adjectives which best describe the race. In addition to the examples found in the core rules, some other descriptions may be:

  • Half-giant – big, intimidating, but compassionate, half-giants…
  • Half-elf – agile, bold, and keen, half-elves…
  • Lizard-folk – lithe, perceptive, and ornery, lizard-folk…

Of course, descriptions need not be limited to only three adjectives; however, this formula exists to best describe a race using the least amount of words.

Racial Advantages

Racial advantages consist of actual, tangible bonuses to a character. Each race is granted one racial advantage, which is typically manifested as a +1 bonus to a numerical value like HP, MP, PP, Toughness, or even damage. Bonuses to attributes are also included in racial advantages, but to prevent overpowering a race, should be limited to +1 at levels 1, 3, and 5.

Racial Features

Racial features different from advantages in that they are intangible bonuses that can often be freely interpreted by both players and GMs. They do not add a +1 bonus to any field, instead suggesting an action or ability that the race is especially good at. To take an example from the core rules:

  • Halflings – … can often disappear when they wish.

This feature could be used by different players in different ways. In some instances, it could add a bonus to a hide check; in others (GM permitting) it could add a bonus to a sneak check when trying to disappear in the midst of chaos. Racial features are intentionally written in a way that makes them open to interpretation, encouraging both players and GMs to ‘think fast’ and be creative.


And that’s really all there is to it! Races are fun and easy to create, and using this analysis should help you make a multitude of races that are all culturally and mechanically diverse. If there’s anything you’d like to see here (or if you have suggestions for future home-brewing sessions), let me know in the comments!


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Home-brewing Session: Classes

Tiny d10’s classes are designed to be easily extended. It’s simple to create additional class abilities, as well as entirely new classes. In this, the first of many home-brewing sessions, we explore the principles of class design.

There are three main components of a class: the description, the characteristics, and the abilities. Each component will be explained in detail during this session.


Class Description

The class description, while not a mechanical component like characteristics and abilities, is still of critical importance. In three to four brief sentences, the essence of the class should be summarized. Some information to include might be their histories, strengths, beliefs, or how they are perceived by others.

Class Characteristics

Class characteristics consist of toughness, usable weapons, usable armor, and any bonuses or class specific features (like beginning spells). This is easily the trickiest part to balance. In general, the following are guidelines:

Strong classes (emphasizes physical strength and melee combat, e.g. fighters, wanderers):

  • High toughness (T7)
  • Uses heavier weaponry and armor
  •  few (if any) bonuses

Balanced classes (emphasizes a balance of physical strength and dexterity, e.g. thieves, legionnaires):

  • medium toughness (T6)
  • uses either heavier weaponry or heavier armor
  • some bonuses (usually enhancing weak areas, like HP)

Smart classes (emphasizes high intelligence or dexterity, e.g. magic-users, bards):

  • low toughness (T5)
  • uses lighter weaponry and armor
  • numerous and/or higher bonuses (usually to compensate for weak/ineffective melee attacks)

Certain unique classes (like a ‘spell knight’, for instance) might contradict these guidelines by being both strong and magical. To prevent overpowering the class, consider adding restrictions to its class abilities.

Class Abilities

Class abilities are special skills that are granted to each class a character creation. They generally fall into two categories:

  • Level-amplified – these abilities are designed to become stronger as levels are gained. The amount of damage a certain attack inflicts, the bonus to a certain action, or the amount of targets an ability affects can increase based on a character’s level. Level-amplified abilities are essential to character growth, and should always be included when developing a new class; however, they can also be quite powerful, so it’s best to use just one.
  • Core – these abilities usually express something particularly unique to the class. Their benefit should be applicable in a multitude of different situations, resulting in a more flexible ability than level-amplified abilities.

Canonically, each class has two abilities (though the magic-user has three to balance the low toughness); however, more abilities can be designed and granted to characters upon gaining higher levels.


Hopefully this analysis is detailed enough to make designing classes easy, fun, and balanced. If you use these guidelines to home-brew unique classes (or if anything needs to be more clear), let me know in the comments!