The G+ Exodus

If you’re a refuG+ and finding yourself on MeWe, give me an add!

The Swartz on MeWe


D&D Survey

Wizards of the Coast has released a new survey. It is a fairly comprehensive survey of player interests.

I’d encourage people to complete this survey, so that they get an accurate response from real players.

Some of the questions are very interesting… I’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to what they are testing here:

  • Being a powerful hero that defeats villains and monsters.
  • Leveling up my character as quickly as possible.
  • Campaigns with elaborate narratives and plot.
  • Being disruptive and contrarian to make things more interesting.
  • Learning about the different cultures/customs/locales in the campaign world setting.
  • Creating unique characters that express my individuality.

Towards the end, there is a question regarding “would you recommend D&D to others”. Afterwards is an opportunity to enter free text for “why did you answer this way”. I’d encourage others to submit how they feel as well (whichever way you feel, positive or negative).

#GenConHaul 2018

This year’s Gen Con is over. Yes, I had to wake up early to fight for parking and it was a crowded, chaotic, mess. And yes, I had to wait in line for a whole fucking hour (from ~00:15 AM to ~01:15 AM!!!) to pick up one ticket purchased late for will call pickup. And, yes, there were some crazy controversies this year. But.. I had a good time. I met some cool people. Played some good games, all with good DMs. Got a couple books signed by authors. Sat in two really good panels. Met some creators that I really like. Ate yummy food truck grub. Drank a bunch of caffeine during the day and beer in the evening. And, I judged my first convention games; and that, was a TOTAL blast! Definitely doing more of that!

First stop after the exhibit hall opened, was to the Goodman Games booth where I picked up some of the new/updated or convention exclusive stuff. Later, I came back and picked up program guides I didn’t have and turned in some tickets for some swag 🙂

Second stop Thursday morning, was to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Booth. I would have bought more (I intended to buy one of everything they’d had!), but… they weren’t accepting digital payments? So, I could only pick up what I could afford with the cash in my pocket at the time. Very disappointing actually.

Over the rest of the con, picked up some dice (Gamescience, Impact Miniatures), and pins (Flying Buffalo, Norse Foundry), and stopped by the Dwarven Forge booth to pick up a snake man mini for mentioning that I’ve been a KS backer. Lastly, picked up a Paizo button. Only because I was surprised to see big bowls of them all week. They always seemed to have disappeared in the past. Didn’t seem to be so popular this year? I thought that was a little funny, so I took one! Mathfinder 2.0 anyone?

Picked up some shirts and a onesie for my daughters 🙂 they both like cats, and the one loves foxes!

Welcome to Gen Con and to Indianpolis

Indianapolis, INTo anyone traveling to Indianapolis for Gen Con. I want to Welcome you! I’m serious.. keep coming to one of the biggest events in Indy every year and keeping my state (and hometown) all that more nerdy!

FYI: Indiana is #11 on “The Nerdiest States in America“.

Badge Registration for Gary Con XI is Live

Badge Pre-Registration JUST went live for Gary Gon XI, to be held March 7-10, 2019 in Lake Geneva, WI.

Within 5 minutes; all Platinum badges and 150 out of 250 Gold badges are sold… But you know you want one of the two remaining $1,000 Diamond Badges!

Update: 3 hours later and all Diamond, Platinum, and Gold badges are sold out! Still 1,500 Silver (Standard) remain.

IndyGaming Logo

IndyGaming Logo
IndyGaming Logo

Created a logo. Damn proud of it 🙂 Just have to share it with the world!

Index of Gods, Demigods, and other Supernatural Patrons found within published official and 3rd party DCC RPG products

I’ve just started this, but I am creating a basic index of all supernatural patrons and gods referred to (or detailed) within DCC resources. There are A LOT! and it’s a great resource to further DIY detail these figures for custom patrons or gods.

The index will be listed in the menu at the top of this blog and I’ll continue to update the table as I read more modules. I’ll also start linking the index to product pages. Some are fully detailed, some are only mentioned by name, and at least one so far is only referred to as “so and so’s patron”. It will remain a simple index. You need to go to the source to read what’s already been written!

DCC RPG Patrons

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Sale on RPGNow

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

North Wind Adventures (Jeff Talanian) is having a 25% off sale for everything PDF in the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea series. I got the update  from the recent Kickstarter which looks like it’s about to send to the printer! Right when I was just looking at their website last night about picking up some of the other modules!

I posted a review of AS&SH awhile back on I have to admit, though, that I’m a little embarrassed by the review. I’ve learned so much more about this product (and it’s history) since then and I don’t think I gave it proper credit. I refer you to this post regarding a question I had about the setting. There’s some other good videos on YouTube, but this was a great interview of Jeff Talanian by Matt Finch.

Hardcore Fan!

DCC Tattoo Brett
DCC Tattoo Brett

I really appreciate hardcore fans, even if it’s not in a fandom I’m into. Well, unless they’re soccer fans, but I digress… So, if it’s something I’m in to, then it’s double cool. So, I present to you this crazy Canadian inking the Doug Kovacs art from DCC #67 Sailors on the Starless Sea on his back! Now that’s just awesome!

From the Goodman Games blog post, he’s just got started, and he’s put up a GoFundMe page to help him get this complete. Give this guy a few bucks! Let’s see what this looks like all inked in!

Converting THAC0 to Hit Bonus

THAC0. “To Hit Armor Class 0”. How does one convert this to a modern equivalent of a hit bonus when looking to use older modules & monsters in a modern game (such as DCC RPG, or D&D 5e)? As a follow up to my investigation into ascending vs descending armor class, I now offer my interpretation on how to simply convert THAC0. Or not… as it turns out, this wasn’t as nearly as easy as I’d hoped..

TL;DR: There is no easy conversion, but as a start, use table 2 below, and assign the THAC0 to the D&D 5e proficiency bonus as a hit bonus and then add your other modifiers (i.e. strength bonus) for either 5e or DCC.

First off, if you want a basic explanation on how to use THAC0, a good blog post is here and some explanation on the origin here. Basically, I refer to one of the comments in the first link to sum up how one uses THAC0 in an original game:

THAC0 – (d20 roll + mods) = You hit anything of this AC (or higher)

But, that doesn’t really help me too much for what I want to do…

So, maybe the D&D 5e conversion guide has something? And I’ll just use that for DCC RPG? Unfortunately it doesn’t mention anything about THAC0. I’m out of luck there.

Swords & Wizardry uses both an ascending and descending AC, and uses THAC0. But I’m finding there are some discrepancies in the math, which I’ll skip over for now. But it may be a start if you want to look at it, and look at Tenkar’s rules of thumb for converting to pluses.

Maybe if I look at the “base” THAC0 and start there? It is 20. Meaning that at level 1, with no modifiers, to hit an unarmored target (AC 10), you need to roll a 10 or higher. So, essentially, this is like having “no” hit bonus. Now,  what happens when a player levels up? This THAC0 sequentially goes down (or is it “Increase” since you’re getting “better”?… so confusing…), and this is linear for the fighter. Based on this, I made a table with a simple inverse, linear, relationship. Turns out this doesn’t really work out; but it’s easier to show than tell:

Table 1. A Simple Inverse Linear Relationship

THAC0 Hit Bonus
20 0
19 +1
18 +2
17 +3
16 +4
15 +5
14 +6
13 +7
12 +8
11 +9
10 +10
9 +11
8 +12
7 +13
6 +14
5 +15
4 +16
3 +17
2 +18
1 +19
0 +20

If you now compare the fighter in AD&D, 2e, and 5e, and the Warrior in DCC RPG, you see that this Table 1 doesn’t really match up. 5e is “flatter”.

Table 2. Comparing Across Editions

Level* AD&D 1e** AD&D 2e D&D 5e DCC*
THAC0 THAC0 Proficiency Bonus Deed Die
1 20 20 +2 +d3
2 20 19 +2
3 18 18 +2 +d4
4 18 17 +2
5 16 16 +3 +d5
6 16 15 +3
7 14 14 +3 +d6
8 14 13 +3
9 12 12 +4 +d7
10 12 11 +4
11 10 10 +4 +d8
12 10 9 +4
13 8 8 +5 +d10+1
14 8 7 +5
15 6 6 +5 +d10+2
16 6 5 +5
17 4 4 +6 +d10+3
18 4 3 +6
19 4 2 +6 +d10+4
20 4 1 +6
* I am using a convention that one level in DCC is equal to 2 levels in any edition of D&D.
** I think... I found this on a thread; I can't make heads or tails of any of this by reading the AD&D PHB or DMG; and the table in OSRIC is a little different.

Looking at table 2, I come to a few observations based on a level 9 D&D fighter (or level 4 warrior) as a test:

  • Whereas table 1 would convert to a +8 hit bonus, the level 9 D&D 5e fighter has 1/2 this proficiency bonus of +4; so table 1 isn’t close to the same; i.e. this is not a simple inverse relationship (I can’t find any links, but I believe Mearls referred to a “flat math” when designing 5e).
  • However, I find it interesting that the level 9 DCC Warrior in ‘some’ ways is similar. That is, if you looked at the maximum possible deed die result of +7 compared to the predicted +8 on table 1. But, of course, with the random nature of DCC RPG, you’re equally as likely to roll a +1. So, that doesn’t really match 1e and 2e either. HOWEVER, it is equivalent to D&D 5e as the average result of a d7 would be +4.
  • Keep in mind that in D&D 5e, proficiency bonuses are the same per level, regardless of class.

To make this even more confusing, the THAC0 tables for all the other PC classes are different, and monsters use a table based on Hit Dice.. and the table in the 2e DMG is confusing on this… God forbid I can figure any of this out in the 1e AD&D PHB or DMG…. and then 1e is different than 2e….. and this THAC0 stat isn’t used for anything else in the game but combat…… I’m sorry but all those comments that respond “oh, but THAC0 is easy, you just subtract this one number from another number….”, you’re missing the fucking point; as a whole, this is confusing as shit!

One more Table

As just mentioned, Monsters use Hit Dice instead of level (and class) to determine THAC0. You might need this table since my whole point of this is to convert weird monsters found in old modules and references.

Table 3. Creature THAC0 in AD&D 2e

Hit Dice THAC0
less than 1 20
1 19
2 19
3 17
4 17
5 15
6 15
7 13
8 13
9 11
10 11
11 9
12 9
13 7
14 7
15 5
16 or higher 5


Based on these observations, I conclude that there is no simple conversion. How’s that for a conclusion! Ha!

However, you can probably use table 2, and just take the THAC0 listed, and then cross reference to the appropriate D&D 5e level and assign that proficiency bonus as the “to hit” bonus. Obviously, you then add any other hit modifiers as usual (i.e. strength bonuses) and I think that will be helpful to start.

This is merely meant to be a simple conversion to create a starting point. I assume that common sense should guide any further modifications. And, when in doubt, I recommend that you should round up (in favor of the monster!).