Draft 1 of the War Game: Combat as I want to run it

This whole thing might get scrapped! But, if not, this is how the combat mini-game, for now known as the War Game, plays out for me in We Mortal Legends. As a note, I'm probably scrapping the idea of no specific game states/procedures in the game; I've grown fond of procedures as both player and GM.

I've decided to play with combat as it's traditionally considered for the following reasons:
  • I want less of a focus on distinct actions.
  • I want more of a focus on the battlefield.
  • I don't like Hit Points as an abstraction.
  • I wanted a way to make combat with more than 10 participants to be able to shift to larger scale combat if needed.
These things can be achieved a thousand different ways without making significant changes to combat. But rule design is one of my favorite hobbies, so I don't really care if there's way to achieve these through whatever strange alchemy one would want to prefer now.

THE WAR GAME

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WHAT IS THE WAR GAME?
The War Game is a dynamic combat method. It prioritizes speed, environmental-based problem solving, and changing combat states from large scale to small scale or vice versa.

War Game Goal: The goal is for all enemies to have fled, surrendered, died, or been rendered incapacitated. As long as there is a single hostile enemy towards the PCs, the War Game continues--or, alternatively, can switch to the Rogue Game. There can be additional goals such as:
  • Protecting someone from death.
  • Destroying an object or something similar.
  • Holding off an enemy force so that a ritual can be completed.
  • Taking over a small territory to create a sanctuary of some sort.
Losing the War Game: PCs fail the War Game if they surrendered, are incapacitated, killed, flee, or if an additional goal of theirs is made impossible to achieve. 

ANATOMY OF THE WAR GAME

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Below are the lingua franca for the War Game:

Hit Dice: Unlike the standard hit dice (HD) of D&D-compatible games, Hit Dice in the War Game dictate how many Maneuvers (see below) a creature can use during their turn. If a creature has no armor protecting it, then when it takes damage from any source, it can expend 1 HD to survive whatever wound it's taking. When an HD must be rolled, it is rolled with a d8.

Maneuvers: Maneuvers are actions that a creature can take on their turn. These can be anything from a single weapon attack, to putting distance between them and the enemy, to attempting to grapple, or even basic movement at length. Performing any maneuver costs 2 HD, or 1 if only a single HD is left. HD spent this way are regained when the next round starts.

Wound: Damage suffered without armor to sponge it up, or damage that overcomes the armor reduction, results in the loss of 1 HD of the attack's target. Sometimes a wound has a special property, which is stated in the property of the weapon or attack being used. If damage is taken and the target has 1 or fewer HD, they are incapacitated or dead, as per the attacker's decision. This lost HD can only be recovered in the following ways:
  • Healing tools.
  • Magical healing.
  • Special features.
  • 8 hours of rest to regain 1 HD.
Weapon: Every weapon is filed into a type (dagger, longsword, hammer, maul, etc) that gives weapons a special property. All weapons deal 1d8 of damage before properties are are factored in. This damage is dealt to armor pools, or to the toughness rating of objects, such as doors or locks.

Armor Class (AC): Armor has a point value associated with it. There are Suits, Helmets, Shields, and Accessories. These further breakdown into things like Full Helmets and Visors, or Breastplates and Gambians, and so on. Total up the armor value, and pay attention to any properties the armor may have associated with it. Add this number to your Dex modifier or the 2nd digit in your Savvy score. This is your armor pool, which can be used to reduce damage when damage is suffered. 1 HD can be spent at the start of your turn to recover the amount of armor rolled, but you can never have more than your maximum pool.

Attack: Attacks are automatic, with no roll needed to inflict damage. Attacked targets can either use armor, inventory slots, or spend 1 HD to dodge away from the attack to avoid it. An attack is considered a maneuver, and the roll of HD (totaled if more than one is spent) spent determines the damage of the attack.
  • Mighty Attack: By declaring an attack as mighty, the attacker removes 1 HD from the target, regardless of how much armor is left after damage is dealt. As a result, they cannot spend HD to dodge until the beginning of their next turn.
Environmental Factors: An environmental factor is a detail on the battlefield that can be used as an aid in someway. It is suggested that every battlefield has at least 3 factors included, with no more than 6 or 7 being in motion for sake of keeping things quick. Invoking an Environmental Factor is considered a maneuver. These can be anything from cover from ranged attacks, boulders to tip over, cliffs to push people over, and so on. If desired, you do not need to define these things: players can ask if X is there, and that can be one of the Environmental Factors. Sub-definitions are offered below for types of factors:
  • Cover: Reduces all damage from standard ranged attacks to 0.
  • Distractions: Such as sand to throw into the eye, chandlers to swing off of, or animals to scatter in front of the target. They can only be invoked once on a specific target and, when invoked, prevent the target from spending HD until the end of the round.
  • Hazards: Boulders or cliffs, flaming pits or vats of acid--these hazards are dangers to anyone who comes into contact with them. When used, the target's armor is reduced to 0 for that round and they lose 1 HD.
Morale: Whenever one of the following conditions is met, a morale check must be rolled for that side immediately:
  • Half of that side's fighters are somehow rendered incapacitated.
  • A goal for that side is failed.
  • A designated leader of that side is somehow rendered incapacitated.
  • Two rounds pass without one side having inflicted any damage or wounds to another.
Should one of these triggers occur, the GM (or players if this is for them) rolls 1 HD. Any creatures with the # rolled or less begin to immediately flee, and cannot spend HD for any other reason unless they are damaged in the fleeing.

Small Scale: Any War Game that features 10 or fewer individuals is considered small scale. These small scale War Games use the above rules.

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Large Scale: Any War Game that features more than 10 individuals is considered large scale. During a large scale War Game, each faction involved takes the average of their HD and the average of their armor into one large pool. Name a leader for these factions. Environmental factors can be used by factions. Below rules are elaborated for the large scale War Game.

Leader: On a faction's turn, members decide what to do and the leader confirms what maneuver the faction is taking. If a leader is incapacitated or killed during the war game, than that faction loses all but 1 HD.

Casualty: When an HD is lost by a faction during a large scale War Game, this represents one wounded member of that faction. If all HD are lost, than the leader of the faction is incapacitated, and remaining members are scattered and surrounded. This either leads to a small scale War Game or an end to the War Game.

Roles (Optional): Factions can have roles, if the PCs or GM so chooses. For example, an enemy faction may have archers and spearmen in it. When an HD is lost, other than the leader, the attacking faction decides which member is taken out. So, if all the archers are taken out of a faction, the faction can no longer make ranged attacks with bows. 

Leader Killing: The leader of a faction can be directly attacked. The attacking faction declares their maneuver as Leader Killing and rolls 1 HD. If the number rolled is 7 or higher, the leader is incapacitated or killed. If it is lower than 7, than for every number lower, the attacking faction loses 1 HD.

PLAYING THE WAR GAME

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Below is offered a listed procedure.
  1. The PCs are either attacked or engage another group of individuals. Total participants are decided and the GM decides if this is a small or large scale War Game.
    • In case of a small scale War Game, everyone rolls 1 HD; the highest decides which side goes first, and popcorn initiative is used from there.
    • In case of of a large scale War Game, both sides leaders roll 1 HD; the highest decides which side goes first and so on.
    • At anytime, someone can choose to spend 1 HD to go right at that moment instead of their normal order.
  2. Goals are established for both side, though this need not be written down, etc.
  3. All participants declare their maneuvers on their rounds and resolve them accordingly.
  4. At the start of every round, the GM is free to introduce or change any Environmental Factors of their choosing.
  5. Once one side has been sufficiently defeated, the War Game ends.
Contested Maneuvers: Whenever a creature does something that a creature would normally resist (such as being grappled, shoved, etc.) the targeted creature must spend 1 HD. The # rolled is added to the defender's Strength or Athletics attribute; the attack's rolled # is likewise added to their Strength or Athletics attribute as well. The creature with the highest total decides the outcome.

Getting Back Into It: If a creature is killed or incapacitated and then brought back into the fight, they go last for the next 2 rounds and cannot spend 1 HD to go sooner.

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d6 Armors

  1. Arming doublets/aketons adds +2 to your AC pool and you can add pieces of other armors to it, increasing it further by +1.
  2. Chain/Scale adds +6 to your AC pool, is loud as hell, and permanently decreases in armor value by 1 point every time it total AC is reduced to 0.
  3. Gambeson adds +4 to your AC pool, can be ignited, and is stiff enough to lower your Dexterity or Savvy score while worn by -1.
  4. Lamellar armor adds +4 to your AC pool, though you can't spend AC to protect your arms or legs from called shots.
  5. Piecemeal armor adds +2 to your AC pool for each piece that covers: torso, arms, legs, and head.
  6. Plate armor adds +8 to your AC pool, is loud as all hell, and prevents dismemberment.

d8 Environmental Factors - Cover

  1. Broken ruin walls, crumbling, can be pushed over onto those near by.
  2. Trees, thick and old, animals flee the canopy when noise is made close by.
  3. Fog, which provides no real protection, but makes it hard to determine your location.
  4. Furniture, easily broken, not big enough for you and someone else.
  5. Building wall, sturdy, easily followed behind.
  6. Other creatures, likely to move and maybe attack if used for cover.
  7. Bushes and foliage, provides no real protection but hides your location.
  8. Pits or otherwise holes in the floor, also provides no real protection but can get you the hell out of the way.

d8 Environmental Factors - Distractions

  1. Sand, ash, dust, or soot, all ready to be thrown into someone's eye.
  2. A crowd of people, perhaps as small as a gathering or as large as a festival, ready to scream and cause chaos.
  3. Flickering lights, likely in a lantern or wall-torch, ready to be struck or put out.
  4. Inclement weather picking up, such as rain turning into a downpour, to allow fleeing.
  5. Nearby animal groups, always ready to be incited into a full blown riot.
  6. Swingable vines or chandeliers or tapestries, to either throw onto someone to confuse them, or to otherwise use to swing off of.
  7. Large, echoing caverns or plates of metal that, when struck, make loud, confusing sounds.
  8. Mirrors that reflect a warped reflection of everything around them when stared into.

d8 Environmental Factors - Hazards

  1. Large, precariously placed objects prepared to be pushed onto someone. Targets stuck in hazard are considered subdued.
  2. Easily-ignited materials close by, and something ready to spark them, such as a match or torch accompanying fireworks or oil. Fire, until put out, keeps AC at 0 for those ignited.
  3. Hardly-covered pitfalls lined with dung-covered spikes. Makes a limb unusable when fallen into.
  4. Cliffs looming over expanses too deep to be survived. Kills whoever is thrown off, as long as falling can kill them.
  5. Lightning storms, hail, or fast moving winds carrying sharp debris. Reduces HD by an additional -1.
  6. Tangling cloth, branches or vines that wrap around whoever is thrown into them. Targets stuck in hazard are considered subdued.
  7. Hidden piles of quicksand or mud. Reduces movement by 10 feet for every round stuck in hazard.
  8. A vat of acid, pit of lava, or other place where being pushed into will cause a very bad day. Destroys 5 inventory slots per round stuck in hazard.

d12 Weapon Categories

  1. Axes strip 1 HD from the target when max damage is rolled.
  2. Bastard swords double damage if wielded in both hands.
  3. Daggers immediately remove 1 HD when a subdued, grappled, or incapacitated is attacked.
  4. Garrote wires ignore AC entirely and instead immediately removes 1 HD.
  5. Guns ignore armor and remove 1d4 HD on a hit.
  6. Lances skewer targets when max damage is rolled and the attacker is riding something.
  7. Mauls permanently reduce a target's AC by 2 when reducing their AC to 0.
  8. Shields (because these are really weapons, tbh) add 2-4 points to the PC's AC pool depending on shield size.
  9. Spears shove enemies back when hit by 10 feet.
  10. Torches light things on fire if max damage is rolled.
  11. Warbows can shoot up to 400 yards and damage HD directly if not blocked with a shield or metal armor.
  12. Whips can subdue a target if max damage is rolled. Targets subdued this way can be shoved to the ground or disarmed at the same time.

d4 Wound Types

  1. Bleeding wounds, left by bladed or skewering weapons, reduce AC maximum by 5 (minimum 1).
  2. Broken bones or ruined limbs, left by crushing or piercing weapons, make either attacking or moving as a maneuver almost impossible.
  3. Burning keeps a target's AC at 0 and removes 1 HD at the start of every round.
  4. Lingering wounds leave a special condition on the player, as determined by the GM, such as being blinded, missing an arm, etc.

Draft 1 of the Rogue Game: A mini-game for running Stealth Encounters

Talking in the OSR discord about new ways to do stealth has led me to want to make stealth into a mini-game, much like combat. So, this is my attempt at what is the Rogue Game.

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WHAT IS THE ROGUE GAME

The Rogue Game is similar to combat--it is a separate mini-game within the greater game itself. If played with We Mortal Legends, just bust these rules out in the middle of gameplay. Otherwise, this will begin a series of actions much like running a combative encounter.

Stealth is the Rogue Game. In the Rogue Game, players will navigate traps, shadows, and guards all looking to catch the players.

Rogue Game Goal: There is a goal at the end of the Rogue Game: to reach an area where stealth is no longer required to progress forward. This can be a treasury, escaping a dungeon, or reaching the apartments of some target of assassination. There can be additional goals as well, such as:
  • Recovering treasure.
  • Recovering information.
  • Killing a target.
  • Planting evidence.
  • Sabotage.

Failing the Rogue Game: The Rogue Game fails if players die, if Guards alert the entire Complex to the players presence, party SD falls to 0, or if the players are somehow captured or incapacitated during the Rogue Game.

The Rogue Game vs Stealth: The Rogue Game is initiated whenever the players need to move stealthily throughout a large space (such as dungeon halls, a large treasury with a dragon in it, or across a field to a castle wall). Normal stealth can and should be used for your appropriate system when doing short-term stealth traveling.

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ANATOMY OF THE ROGUE GAME

The following terms are the lingua franca of the Rogue Game. They will be explained in practical terms further below.

Round & Turn: As per combat. Each round is equal to a minute of time if you need to measure time. It can easily be considered as ten minutes or so as well.

Zones: The tunnels, maps, and rooms where the Rogue Game takes place. Each zone has its own guards, Light Dice dedicated to it, and obstacles. The more zones a Rogue Game includes, the more difficult it is.

Shadow Dice (SD): The entire party has a pool of shadow dice. This is a die whose size can change throughout the Rogue Game, depending on certain conditions. This also decides turn order, as discussed in the next section.

Light Dice (LD): These are used by the Gamemaster, who has either a 1, 3, or 5 light dice. They function the same as Shadow Dice, and are used to set DC's for checks, saving throws, or contested checks between Guards/traps against the PCs. The more you have, the more difficult the Rogue Game. They start at d20 and can vary in size like Shadow Dice. Each zone has the maximum number of LD in it--once all LD are used in a zone, no more can be used. LD can be triggered during any player's turn.

Skulduggery: These are actions a PC can take on their turn. It can be anything from moving forward (at half their normal movement rate), undoing a trap, scanning the area, or setting an ambush. As a default, these things have no roll associated with them. The players, being cautious, simply do them. However, the GM can choose to spend Light Dice to force the player to spend Shadow Dice to impose difficulty on the roll. EX: John wants to peek around the corner and scope out the tunnel. Normally, he does so just fine. The GM rolls one of their 3 Light Dice. John must spend a SD and roll above the LD to see what's down there. In these situations, the GM should always explain what is imposing difficulty on this.

Guards: Guards are anything that can detect a player. How many guards, what kind, their movement patterns--all of this should be thought up in vague terms by the GM. If you need a simple statblock for guards, use this:

Name:
Number: How many Guards are in this specific patrol.
Reaction: A d6 table for the Guards reaction to the players or a single reaction they will try to take.
Movement Pattern: What parts of the zone they frequent.
Special Qualities: Unique stuff.

Obstacles: Obstacles are traps, environmental hazards, area-based spells/curses, and treacherous territory. When encountered by the PCs, these obstacles must somehow be overcome. If the PCs method of overcoming the obstacle is not full proof (such as flying over a pit or using rope to climb a cliff), the GM can spend an LD for free to set a DC for the obstacle.

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PLAYING THE ROGUE GAME

Below is offered a listed procedure. Specifics will be below that.
  1. The PC's enter into an area dangerous that they want to stealth through. The Rogue Game begins.
  2. Take the total Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma modifiers (or the combination of the Savvy+Athletics 10's digits in We Mortal Legends) of the party and add them together. This will give the party their entire pool of d20 Shadow Dice. If using 5E, take the Proficiency bonus of the party and add the highest Dexterity modifier found in the party. Having these numbers on hand before a session begins makes things faster.
  3. GM decides how many Light Dice they have, and how many zones there are, and what is inside the zones. This is best to have prepared before the game.
  4. The following factors are considered for lowering the die size of the SD.
    • More than half the party is wearing medium or heavier armor.
    • The players are in open daylight.
    • There is nothing to hide the players.
    • Guards are already alerted to the player's presence.
    • A PC is dead, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated.
    • Something is actively chasing the PCs.
  5. If all of the above conditions are met, the Rogue Game ends in instantaneous failure.
  6. Compare LD and SD pools to see who goes first.
  7. Each PC can take a turn. Use popcorn intiative or a marching order to decide this.
PCs will encounter obstacles and Guards throughout the Rogue Game. They must use Skulduggery to overcome these obstacles. 

Lowering SD: Shadow Dice decrease by pool size and die size. A single die must be spent in order to succeed against the GM's LD. When an SD is spent, the rest of the party can elect to help, allowing the SD to be rolled twice and the higher number to be taken. If the SD is lower than the LD, the entire pool of dice decreases in size by 1 die step and the obstacle is still overcome. If this occurs when the SD are 1d4's, the Rogue Game is lost. NOTE: Just because failure is mitigated in a way doesn't mean there are no consequences. Losing the SD vs LD showdown can trigger Guard features, call more Guards to an area, or cost hit points, as per GM's discretion.

Recovering SD: If the PCs take a 10 minute breather to regain their composure in between zones, they can choose to either regain all missing SD, or to boost their SD by 1 die step if below a d20.

Lowering LD: If all LD in a zone are overcome, the LD in the next zone are all decreased by 1 die step.

Raising LD: If SD are decreased by 1 step, LD are increased by 1 step in the next zone.

Combat in the Rogue Game: There isn't true combat in the Rogue Game. If an ambush or assassination works, with or without roll, it just works. This can create new obstacles however: all the guards are dead, but now the bodies have to be hidden lest they be discovered. At the GM's discretion, a 2nd LD can be rolled and spent when an ambush or short combat happens, subtracting that many hit points from each PC's maximum hit points.

Changing Zones: Zones are easily changed. Once the PCs reach the end of one zone and enter into another, they are given a chance to take a breather. This does not mean they are safe: guards and other dangers can find them.

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EXAMPLE SCENARIO FOR THE ROGUE GAME:


Stronghold of the Witchmother
Time of Day: Night
Zone #: 3 (fields, castle wall + courtyard, interior stronghold)
LD #: 5

Fields
Guards:
  • 5 patrols of Castle Guardsmen watch with arrows, burning oil, treacherous, and bells.
  • Blink dogs in the fields hunt slowly, seeking anything they can find hidden.
  • Ravens bewitched to flock around discovered invaders.
Obstacles:
  • Pitfalls dug and hidden underneath the field soil. Spikes are underneath.
  • 20 foot wide moat around castle wall.
  • Random moving spotlights on castle wall.

Castle Wall + Courtyard
Guards: 
  • 5 patrols of Castle Guardsmen, same as those watching over the fields.
  • 4 Gargoyles positioned in the 4 cardinal directions.
  • 5 more patrols of Castle Guardsmen who walk around the perimeter of the courtyard.
Obstacles
  • Gravel pathways and dry leaves in the grass to make footsteps noticeable.
  • Statues that, if approached, will sing.

Interior Stronghold
Guards:
  • 10 patrols of Castle Guardsmen, 6 of which are currently sleeping in barracks.
  • 5 Sentient Paintings whom can move from one painting or mirror to the next.
  • The Mother's Daemon, a demon conjured by the Witchmother of the Stronghold. Haunts the doorway between her bedchambers and the rest of the stronghold.
Obstacles:
  • Stairways that, if the railing is not touched when going up or down, rumble and move.
  • Doors enchanted to look false to look like walls behind the doors.
  • Rats that swarm those traveling the Stronghold at night without a charm from the Witchmother.
  • Lamps and scones that shed white light on hallways, making classical shadow-stealth impossible.

Guard Stats

Name: Castle Guardsmen
Number: 3
Reaction: Scream intruder and engage in melee combat.
Movement Pattern: Castle walls; watch over fields; courtyards; interior strongholds.
Special Qualities: Wear a breastplate (medium armor), and have crossbows, long swords, daggers, and spears. 1 HD per guard.

Name: Blinkdogs
Number: 2
Reaction: Scream the scream of a woman being gutted before disappearing and attacking.
Movement Pattern: Fields
Special Qualities: Can teleport a distance of 30 feet and make attacks with claws and fangs afterwards.

Name: Gargoyles
Number: 1
Reaction: Sing the Witchmother's anthem, fly into the air, then swoop in to attack.
Movement Pattern: Courtyard
Special Qualities: Immune to bladed weapons, can fly, and strike with fists that do damage as if boulders.

Name: Sentient Paintings
Number: 1
Reaction: Will jump from painting to painting searching for Guardsmen to alert.
Movement Pattern: Interior Stronghold
Special Qualities: Move from painting to painting at a rate of 3 paintings a turn. Each room or hallway has 1d8 paintings in it. If painting is destroyed with Sentient Painting inside, the Sentient Painting is killed.

Name: The Mother's Daemon
Number: 1
Reaction

1-2: Bargain with the players, offering them assistance if they kill the Witchmother and offer them a blood sacrifice.
3-4: Will engage the players in combat.
5-6: Will wake the Witchmother.

Movement Pattern: Interior Stronghold - Witchmother's bedchambers only.
Special Qualities: Cannot be hurt save through spell or magic weapons. Invisible but has a shadow. Attempts to possess players (free use of an LD). If successful, will only be exorcised through magic or rendering possessed player incapacitated. If struck with Holy Water, hears prayers, or if the doorway is destroyed, it is dismissed.

Creating a We Mortal Legends Starting Kit pt. 1: Bastards and Warlords

There are 2 main legends (a different take on classes) in We Mortal Legends: Bastards and Warlords.

Image result for swords and deviltry [book]
Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser are good to ape here.

Bastards are characters who have an X factor: thief skills, maybe, or flashbacks to set things up with, or a danger sense for when the going gets tough.

Warlords are characters who can force their way through things, lead men to the brink of death and back again, or characters that are just too damn tough to knock over.

I thought for a long time about a third "core" magic legend, one that can fit in any genre of game like these two. But in a game with 8 magic systems and that is meant to run Cyberpuk too and where you only pick a couple for a campaign, it didn't make sense to me. Certainly for each magic system you can make a legend, and I'll make one as an example in the future (when I revisit the Saint project). You can also make all kinds of weird legends for different reasons (the Runner for when I get my Cyberpunk post finished or the Medusa as an example race-as-legend).

But these things aren't ubiquitous enough for me. Having just a "Magic-User" didn't cut it for me either. I actually am not the biggest fan of magic-user/wizard classes or clerics/druids. These classes have X-per-day features when the other two cores have always on abilities. I've never had fun playing a level 1 Magic-User whose used their 1 spell for the day; I can't do cool thief/specialist stuff after, and I can't really fight anything, so I feel like a random NPC. For some tables, that's good, and I don't look down on that. And while I don't want to go to the opposite extreme of Superhero stuff (ala 5E), there has to be a sweet spot in the middle for me.

So, these two legends are my sweetspot. These are the default "If you make a legend for this system, it should be something like this." My biggest litmus test for these 2 legends was: would I enjoy playing both of these for an extended period of time and if someone else was playing the same legend. From a read, my answer is yes. We'll see how that holds up through playtesting.

Note: The bastard has appeared in an earlier blogpost. I'm putting it back here just for the purpose of solidarity, and to do some minor updates to it. Ctrl+f "LEGEND: WARLORD" to skip down to that.

PLAYING WITH LEGENDS IN OTHER OSR GAMES

It's simple. If you want to play a Bastard or Warlord in another OSR game, follow these steps.
  1. Choose one of the abilities from options 51-70. This is the classe's starting ability.
  2. Bastards have HD/saves as a Thief; warlords as a fighter.
  3. Choose an ability 71-90. This ability is gained at level 5.
  4. Choose an ability 91-00. This ability is gained at level 9.
Simple.

If you play 5E and want to convert these, it won't be very balanced, but you can still do it. Just choose a feature between each bracket above 50 (so 5 features in total), and assign them to each of the 5 levels a sub-class gains a new feature. Bastards are Rogue Archetypes, and Warlord's Martial Archetypes.

LEGEND: BASTARD

You're not a good person. You might be compassionate, you might be kind, you might be gentle, but deep down, you will lie, cheat, and steal whenever you have to if it means getting what you want. Some bastards are thieves, and they do well. Other bastards are assassins, or wilderness guides, or snake oil salesmen all. But wise men the world round understand that bastards can be as useful as they are dangerous.

Image result for Harrison Ford art
If Harrison Ford has played it, that character has been a Bastard.

Roll 1d6 on the following tables.

What's Your Game?
Each roll on this table will give you a Legend Feature from your Character Advancement Table (CAT). Reference the table with the appropriate # received. If no options fit, make up your own and choose a Legend Feature from CAT numbers 51-70
  1. Thievery can make a man rich if he knows how to flip his wares fast enough. Start with 57-58.
  2. Lead someone through the dark parts of a city, or some dank forest, and let fortune line my pockets. Start with 55-56.
  3. This here vial, see how purple it is? A sign of God, surely. Drink it, it'll take all your ills away. Start with 61-63.
  4. Fickle, life. Easy to take. Never cheap, though. Never cheap at all. Start with 68-70. 
  5. No games, just good fuckin' times! I go in, see what I can shake up, and dip out. Start with 64-67.
  6. Daredevils like me live for the thrill. I don't care what gets in the way 'long as the adrenaline pumps. Start with 59-60.
Who Wants Revenge?
The NPC rolled on this table is hot on your trail and wants nothing more than to even the score.
  1. I loved them, and I loved a few others too, and now those few others all want a knife in my back.
  2. A whole town in an uproar, all over me? Best believe I'll never go back there.
  3. No, I didn't know they were the child of that crimelord. But I know now, and don't plan on ever seeing them again.
  4. It was a memento, but their lover was dead and I had a debt I needed to pay off. What's the harm of helping the living?
  5. Yeah, I killed them. Was a mistake--wrong target and all that.
  6. It was a lot of money, but there were two of us, and two shares is always better than one. They knew it was all business in the end.
Name Your Contact
Name the NPC you roll on the following table. This NPC is a contact you know will always help you with something specific.
  1. They trade in exotic insects from some strange place. Runs a whole den dedicated to getting bit and tripping out. Says you can see the future, for the right price.
  2. Not quite sure if they're human or not. Blue-green skin, black eyes all around. But they know ways I don't, ways into places and ways out too.
  3. Farmer turned warlord turned fucking city watch. Not the most illustrious career, but when muscle is needed, good hell do they raise it.
  4. Not sure if I'd call them a priest, a cultist, or a monk. Something different, I'm sure. But ask them three questions and give a special tithe, and they'll ask a god those questions and give you back three answers.
  5. I've betrayed this one catspaw more times then I can count. Each time, they help me still. Got a dirty favor and I'll pass it on.
  6. Top to bottom the whole organization is screwed. They owe me two more favors, so long as they involve a prized painting or a ring made out of saint bone.

Starting Equipment
You start with 10d10x5 currency, all of it a loan from someone who wants it paid back sooner rather than later. Additionally, you start with the following:
  • (a) a false identity and supporting documents or (b) 3 vials of poison, one of which robs sight, another speech, and another their memories of a loved one
  • (a) a pair of gloves that make it so your touch can't be felt or (b) a pair of boots that make no sound
  • a dagger (which you have at all times, even if you have been stripped of all weapons), and 2 tools of your choice from any type
  • traveling gear containing the basics for your world, though missing (a) a pillow (b) something to sleep in or (c) an additional set of clothing

THE BASTARD CAT
Below is your Character Advancement Table (CAT) for the Bastard Legend. Spend 1 XP to roll on it randomly, or XP equal to the 10's digit/2 (rounded up) for a specific roll. If the option has more numerous slots on the table, choose the 10s digit of the highest number.


1-20: HD increases by 1. Roll again and add 20 to the roll unless you choose this option from #50.
21-30: Add +1 to all saving throws.
31-40: 1+your level of hirelings are attracted to you by reputation alone.
41-49: When you roll for a keyword, roll an additional 1d20.
50: Choose any of the options between 1-49, then roll again, adding +50 to your roll if it's 50 or below.
51-52: Secret Smeller - You got a nose for secretive and hidden things. When you enter a room, you spot a hidden door, secret chest or safe, or a trap of the Referee's choice. On reroll, you can spot 1 additional thing.
53-54: Contacts on Every Continent - You gain an additional contact of your choice every time you roll this option.
55-56: Dangerphobia - When something hostile or dangerous happens, you can escape it's attention so long as you have a reasonable way to do so and until it starts looking for you specifically. On reroll, you can choose another person to also benefit from this feature.
57-58: Second-Story Work - When you see something you want to steal in a building, ruin, or otherwise guarded area, roll 1d10. If you spend that many days studying the thing's security, you learn both all the details about it and a single potential way to get around them. On reroll, subtract -1 from your 1d10 roll.
59-60: Danger Sense - Whenever you enter into a room, street, or otherwise new area, you know one of the following details: if something is watching you specifically, if something is following you, or if something is dangerous is waiting for you. On reroll, choose an additional option.
61-63: Counterfeit Tongue - When talking to a specific person or an audience, as long as no one in that audience contradicts you, you can convince them that any one thing you have has one of the following properties: is worth a king's crown, was sanctified by a major religious figure, can cure any ill, or can bring good fortune to the buyer. This works 1d6 times on an audience and anyone in it, afterwards they no longer believe you. On reroll, this works +1 additional times.
64-67: An Eye for Debauchery - When you meet someone new and talk to them for at least 10 minutes, you learn one of the following details about this: which of the seven deadly sins they most frequently commit, one vice they are addicted too, or one dangerous act they are willing to indulge in. On reroll, you learn an additional detail.
68-70: Throat-Slitter - When someone or something is completely unaware of you and you know how to kill it, roll a Savvy Check. On a success, you kill that thing. On reroll, roll again on your Bastard CAT.
71-72: Bad Luck Bares Baby - Whenever someone rolls a 13 or a total of 13 on any check, you cause that person to fail their check. On reroll, you can choose one of the following numbers instead: 0, 3, 7, 20, 66, or 100.
72-76: Weird Stealer - You've stolen a single estoery of your choice. On reroll, steal another esotery.
76-80: Archthief - You gain one of the following benefits: you can scale walls or cliffs without rope or handhelds, you can hide inside of shadows as if they were utter darkness, you can open any lock, you can pick any pocket, or you can leave no trace of your passing. On reroll, choose an additional option.
81-82: The Bastard with a Thousand Faces - Create a new identity, complete with 2 keywords. When you adopt this identity, replace up to 2 of your keywords with these additional keywords. It requires at least an hour of makeup and focus to change identities. On reroll, gain another identity with another 2 keywords attached to it.
83-84: Lucky Flashback - Roll 1d4 at the start of a game session. During that session, you can have a flashback that number of times, explaining why you are prepared for whatever situation you are in. The flashback has to include screwing someone over. On reroll, increase the die step by 1.
85-86: Trap God - You can construct any trap of your choosing as long as you have 30 minutes and the materials on hand. Additionally, any trap you come across, you know how to disable it if given at least a single minute of uninterrupted work. On reroll, reduce the number of minutes needed to make a trap by 5.
87-90: 9 Lives Jack - You've got 9 lives, and you've used 1d4 of them. When you would normally die, you can instead fake your death and reenter any following scene in any manner that you choose. On reroll, roll again on the Bastard CAT.
91: The Trick to Every Trick - Roll 1d4 at the start of your game session. You succeed on that many Savvy checks that you would otherwise fail during that session. On reroll, increase the die size by 1 step.
92: One Heist Under my Belt - You have already stolen a veritable fortune. Whoever wants revenge on you knows this, but no one else does. Roll a Savvy check whenever you spend from this endless well of money. On a failure, whoever wants revenge against you has gained 1d6 allies that know about your fortune. On reroll, roll again on the Bastard Cat.
93: Deal With a Devil - You've made a deal with something, not someone, very, very bad. Work out the details of the deal with the Referee. The deal must involve somehow involving the entire party. The thing will always uphold their end of the deal. On reroll, work out another deal with the GM. 
94: They Shot First - When you attack, kill, or otherwise hurt someone or something, you can shift all the blame onto them if less than 1d10 witnesses saw you. If you reroll this, decrease the die size by 1 step.
95: Copycat - Choose another Class Ability from a different classes CAT that is 70 or lower every time you roll this ability.
96: A Twist of Fate - Whenever you die, you can twist the skeins of fate. As a result of your death, all other PCs at the table will critically succeed on their next roll. On reroll, they gain an additional critical success.
97: Death Stealer - When you see a someone or something do damage, you can steal that method of doing damage for yourself. You can use this method, dealing the same number of damage dealt, 1d4 times. On reroll, increase the die step by 1.
98: A Set of Royal Pardons - You have a set of pardons from a regional ruler that is well-respected. You can use these to commit 1d4+1 crimes without receiving punishment. On reroll, you get another 1d4 pardons.
99: Prayer From Their Lips - You've stolen a prayer from someone. When you recite this prayer, roll a d100. If you roll under your total number of HD + Keywords + Spent XP, that prayer comes true. On reroll, you get another prayer.
00: The Bastard's Bastards - You've established a syndicate, mafia, black network, or cabal of followers. You have 1d10+7 followers and a secret headquarters at a place of your choosing. For each follower, roll on the Bastard CAT twice and assign a single keyword. They will remain loyal to you until someone makes them a better offer. On reroll, you gain an additional 1d6 followers.

LEGEND: WARLORD

Violence is your closest of kin and you know that'll never change. Since you were born you've found that your physical strength and your sixth sense for handling others has been your most bless'd weapon. This has given you a unique charisma, one that anyone can fall for so long as it promises hot-blooded action and the chance to leave something broken. Thus, you are a warlord. People will follow you into hell and back. Your hands, blood-stained, mold the world into a vision only your sharpened eye can see.

Related image
Ned Stark, Odysseus, Joan d'Arc, and even Conan are all Warlords to me.

What's Your Strategy?
Each roll on this table will give you a Legend Feature from your Character Advancement Table (CAT). Reference the table with the appropriate # received. If no options fit, make up your own and choose a Legend Feature from CAT numbers 51-70.
  1. Divide and conquer. It sows confusion, discord, and makes my soldiers realize that even the greatest walls are but brick. Start with 51-52.
  2. Brute force. An avalanche cannot be stopped, nor can I. Start with 57-58.
  3. The riskiest play always pays off. I put everything on the line and let the Fortunes guide me from there. Start with 59-60.
  4. Slow and steady slits the throat. I am cautious, gamble nothing, and exploit every mistake I see. Start with 53-54.
  5. Fast and loose, like the wind. We will raid them and run and do it again and again until our belllies are full. Start with 55-56.
  6. War by proxy is the easiest war of all. I use hired help, indirect tactics, and manipulation to pave the way forward. Start with 61-63.
Who Have You Bested?
The NPC on this table has been defeated by you and what you've taken from them has given you a hell of a reputation. It doesn't have to be a single NPC; it can be a warband, a corporation, a pantheon, or something else that you've battled with.
  1. We grew up as family, fought together as family, and won together as family. But in the end, only one could go further, and that one was me.
  2. They took from me everything. I took it all back, and then made sure they'd never have anything sacred again.
  3. It was business. Route them here, break them there. I did what I had to do. I won't say I'm proud of what I've done, but I'm proud at how well I did it.
  4. They were legends and I was not. Hard fought, bloody--but in the end, I was standing and those gods were not.
  5. Peasants, the poor, the sick. Culling them cleansed the streets but left the soul sicker than they ever were.
  6. They hated us and we hated them. Both sides were just. Both sides had fair claims to revenge. And I made sure only one side was left when everything was said and done.
What Are You Now?
The table below tells you what kind of force you're gathering right now. 
  1. Mercenaries. Fighting for a cause is best left to politicians and idealists. I just need to find a way to survive.
  2. Crusaders. There's something beautiful that we want to defend, spread, and empower. Obstacles in the way will be broken.
  3. Raiders. We have to survive, no matter what it costs us. They may need what they have, but we need it more--always.
  4. Heroes. Some say I'm drunk on fables and myth. I say that I'm special, and that those that fight with me will be special too.
  5. Purpose. There's something I need, and I know I'll need others to help me get it.
  6. Militia. We have to protect what we have at any cost, at all times.
Starting Equipment
You start with 6d12x10 currency, gained as a result of a recent battle that you've engaged in. If the number is odd, you lost the battle; if even, you won.
  • (a) the names of 10 violent souls who, if found, will die for you in battle or (b) a small band of 1d4 violent souls that serve you now and are as loyal as your payments are large.
  • (a) a scar that, when revealed to another creature, makes them hesitant to fight you or (b) a medal for your violent efforts that earns the respect of any authority that sees it.
  • any armor of your choice from your current Aesthetic's list and two weapons of your choice from your current Aesthetic's list, one of which has recently been used.
  • traveling gear containing the basics for your Aesthetic, though missing (a) rations (b) something to carry your gear in or (c) a set of undamaged clothing.
THE WARLORD CAT
Below is your Character Advancement Table (CAT) for the Warlord Legend. Spend 1 XP to roll on it randomly, or XP equal to the 10's digit/2 (rounded up) for a specific roll. If the option has more numerous slots on the table, choose the 10s digit of the highest number.

1-20: HD increases by 1. Roll again and add 20 to the roll unless you choose this option from #50.
21-30: Add +1 to all saving throws.
31-40: 1+your level of hirelings are attracted to you by reputation alone.
41-49: When you roll for a keyword, roll an additional 1d20.
50: Choose any of the options between 1-49, then roll again, adding +50 to your roll if it's 50 or below.
51-52: Divide & Conquer - When you and your allies have a creature separated from anything that can help it, or have it otherwise surrounded, you can act twice before it can act once. On reroll, choose an ally: they can act twice as well.
53-54: War Caution - When it is your turn to act, you can choose to instead learn one of the following pieces of information: any places around you that could be used for ambushes or hiding traps, a detail about a threat you're currently facing, if you can possibly kill a potential threat you can see, or a defense that a building, wall, or room has built into it. On reroll, you learn an additional piece of information.
55-56: Death by Wind - After succeeding on an Athletics check, you or any allies can immediately move 15 feet away from their current location. On reroll, you or your allies can move an additional +10 feet.
57-58: Overwhelming, like the Juggernaut - You can perform feats of almost supernatural strength, such as choking bears to death or knocking over large stone pillars. If you are under duress of any sort (combat, trap being triggered, pressure to perform), an Athletics check is required for these feats. On reroll, treat this as a +1 to your Athletics attribute.
59-60: The Dead Fool's Gambit - When you would take damage or fail a saving throw, you can choose to either deal 2d6 damage or to subdue your attacker if it is a creature. On reroll, you can choose to take -1 damage as a result of this, increasing by +1 on every reroll.
61-63: Great War Shout - Your orders, commands, and shouts motivate soldiers far beyond their abilities. On your turn to act, you issue some form of command to 3 of your comrades. These comrades gain 1d6 temporary AC. This temporary AC cannot stack or be refreshed and lasts only until you act again. On reroll, increase the number of allies inspired this way by +1.
64-67: The Rescuer - When someone you consider an ally and that you can see fails a saving throw, takes damage, or is otherwise targeted by an effect, you can move to their location instantly and make an Athletics check. If you succeed, neither you nor your ally suffer any consequences. If you fail, only you suffer the consequences. You can do this 1 time before your next turn. On reroll, you can do this an additional +1 times.
68-70: War-Trainer - Any allies of yours, up to 4 at game start, have been trained by you and increase their Athletics attributes by +1. You can train additional allies over the span 1d4 days to increase their scores by +1. On reroll, you can train men you've already trained an additional time, providing an additional +1 to their Athletics.
71-72: Trophy-Taker - Pick a number under your Athletics attribute. When you roll that number on an attack roll, you can sever a non-vital appendage of your choice from your target. On reroll, choose another number to trigger this off of.
72-76: Weird Warrior - You've learned how to fight with a new esotery of your choice. On reroll, gain another one.
76-80: One-Man Army - After making an attack, you can immediately make a 2nd attack. On reroll, you can take yet another attack.
81-82: Commander of Commanders - You have learned to give orders even in the most stressful of situations through music, banners, or just a damn loud voice. On your turn, you can give up to 3 allies of yours an order to complete right then and there. These allies are then given a bonus turn that they take immediately after your orders are given. On reroll, +1d6 more allied creatures can be given orders.
83-84: All Apart of the Plan - If you spend at least 8 hours planning for encounters in-game, the next encounter that you participate in ends the moment you take your turn, so long as violence is a possible solution. Describe what your planned strategy was and how you executed it. Then, roll 1d4; you and your allies suffer that many points of damage. On reroll, you can end +1 additional encounters this way.
85-86: Viscera Spread - You create grizzly trophies from the viscera of your enemies. These remains rot beyond recognition within 1d6 days unless properly embalmed with tools. You can brandish these remains at any time. Any non-ally that sees them is either shocked, appalled, amazed, or terrified, and will go silent for  make no checks unless defending themselves for 1d4 minutes. Targets can only see the same viscera once; new viscera is required to achieve this effect on them again. On reroll, increase the die size by +1 steps. 
87-90: Take Them All With Me! - When something kills you, you kill or break it in return as long as you could feasibly kill or break it. On reroll, you take +1 creatures or obstacles with you to the grave.
91: He Does Not Fall - When you would normally die, you can an additional turn before actually dying. On reroll, you can take +1 additional turns.
92: Wielder of Legend & Myth - With the GM's aid, create a legendary weapon with 1d4 special attributes to it. This weapon is sentient and can communicate through a single means of your choosing. Whenever a session begins, make a Weird check. On a failure, you are challenged by a warrior with 1d4 HD more than you, and an Athletics skill +1d6 above yours. If anyone aids you with this fight, your weapon instantly is taken by the warrior. If you die or lose, the warrior likewise gains the weapon. On reroll, roll again on your Warlord CAT.
93: Lives Are But Another Tool to be Used - When one of your orders results in the death of your ally, you can choose for their death to either do 4d6 damage to the target, or to subdue them. On reroll, roll again on your Warlord CAT.
94: Might Makes Right - Anyone who sees you physically best or kill another will not only keep the action a secret, they will become loyal to you. If multiple witnesses see you, roll 1d4 and gain that many hirelings. On reroll, increase the die step by +1.
95: Experience of A Thousand Wars - Roll 1d6 and record it. Any encounter you face, the number you rolled is always a viable means of overcoming that encounter in regards to the encounter's Overcome Table. On reroll, you can choose a different number.
96: Dipped in Immortality - The GM chooses a wrist, heel, or ear of your PC in secret. You can take damage no where else except that location. Damage taken to that location is multipled by 1d10. On reroll, decrease the die by 1 step.
97: Hands Deadlier Than Any Weapon - Choose a weapon category of your choice. Your unarmed attacks now have that weapon category's special feature. On reroll, choose an additional weapon category.
98: Avenger - When an ally of yours dies, you can use their weapon to banish, destroy, or kill whatever ended their life. If used against the killer, this weapon deals 1d10 damage against targets with hit points. Upon touching an obstacle that has no hit points, the weapon instead breaks their will and sends them fleeing. The moment the ally is avenged, the weapon loses all magical properties.
99: Standing One Against One Thousand - If you and your allies enter into an encounter against an enemy force that more than doubles your numbers, you and all of your allies gain one of the following benefits: +4 HD rolled immediately and added to your hit points, +3 to your Athletics attribute, or +1 additional turns that you can all take immediately after taking your normal turn. After the encounter has ended, the additional benefit(s) wear off. On reroll, choose another benefit to gain.
00: Vorpal - When you roll damage against something you know you can kill and the damage is 10 or higher, you instead kill your target. On reroll, lower the damage required by -1.