Friday, 2 August 2013

Re-Writing the Players Handbook

As my contribution to the pre-emptive fourth-naissance that I sort of invented I am going through the 4th ed Players Handbook, finding the most boring and tiresome bits and making them better.

The advantage of a ‘clean’ and ‘rational’ system is that you can find everything more easily. This makes scribbling all over it with find-and-replace much easier. If you can find-and-replace an dungeon, why not an entire game?

I will now re-write pages 54 to 55, ‘How to Read a Power’.

Flavour Text

Is to be removed by Patrick when he is done and replaced with something cooler, or incoherent babbling.


At-Will replaced with While-Screaming
Encounter replaced with While-Bleeding
Daily replaced with In-A-Fugue-State

Arcane replaced with Soul-Eating
Divine replaced with God-Vomit
Martial replaced with Hate-Based

The Damage Types are generally acceptable except for the following replacements:-

Force replaced with Destructokinetic
Radiant replaced with GayRainbowBurn
Psychic replaced with Cerebroperv
Thunder replaced with Sonic-Trauma

Effect types

Charm replaced with Mind-Control
Conjuration replaced with Thaumogenesis
Illusion replaced with Special Effects
Reliable replaced with Shitboring
Sleep replaced with Rohypnol
Stance replaced with Dance
Zone replaced with Chaotic

Chaotic powers now effect random places and people. Zones are shit and stop people thinking. Stance is rubbish but making people Dance to hit people in a special way is good. Just keep dancing son. Thaumogenesis just sounds better.


Implement replaced with KnifeWand
Weapon replaced with Two-Handed-Weapon

My reasoning. Wands are cool, knives are cool. Now clerics have to wave a knife at people. Everyone just became camper and more violent. Anything worth doing with a dagger is worth doing with a sword, anything worth doing with a sword deserves an axe. If an axe, why not a two handed axe? Want to use those Hate-Based powers? Now you have to lug around a sledgehammer or something. This makes things better.

Action Types

Standard replaced with Desperate
Move replaced with Frantic
Immediate Interrupt replaced with ‘Actually’
Immediate Reaction replaced with ‘Because’
Minor replaced with Pointless
Free replaced with Useless
No Action replaced with  Irrelevant

Reasons? Interrupts slow down play and annoy. As annoying as the use of the word ‘actually’ in conversation. (Side note, I used to be an ‘actually’ guy. Actually still am. Actually.) Replaced reaction with because to replace an annoying 4th ed artefact with an annoying storygame artefact. You still got hit but now you know why. If you are arguing with the DM over whether your character is frantic enough, congratulations, they are.

Attack Type and Range

Melee replaced with Breathing-Distance
Ranged … think I’ll keep this one
Close replaced with Too-Close (this effects EVERYONE close to you)
Area replaced with In-Sight (This effects everyone you can see, friend and foe)
Personal replaced with Grope (If you want to hang around doing things to yourself then you have to visibly grope yourself mid-battle.

Prerequisite – Fuck
Requirement – These.
No prerequisites or requirements. For anything.

Anyone so no longer relevant. To be removed.

These are not that bad. Rolling a number against a number is ok, however the following replacements will be made in the attack column.

Charisma replaced with Dexterity. You cannot use your charisma to attack, grow up.
Wisdom replaced with Dexterity. Fuck you I don’t like it. Somehow INT can stay, that is alright.
Constitution replaced with Strength. Attacking with CON? Bullshit.

There will be no modifiers or additions of any kind. No plusses or minuses. No penalties. No regaining hit points. You are ATTACKING. Getting HP back from an attack is bullshit unless you are a vampire? Are you a vampire? No.


This is sort-of ok. Having dice is fun. Counting turns is boring. Modifiers are boring unless they add damage.

Every ‘and’ replaced with an ‘or’.

Every modifier or number that is not damage replaced with D6.

Save ends replaced with Forever.

 Ongoing damage goes on until you die and is random. If a hit grants you the ability to compel the target to move … the distance moved will be random and must be accepted.

Whenever you affect a creature with a power, that creature knows exactly what you’ve done to it has no fucking idea what’s going on because a goblins not going to be like ‘oh a divine challenge better change my tactics’. A world where they do is a boring world. To them, you are the monsters, why should they understand you more than you understand them?

Duration and Effects

Powers are either immediate or permanent or possibly both. Its either over in one turn or lasts forever. Nothing in between. No more counting fucking rounds. All area’s are either close, or everything you see, nothing in between.


A miss is a miss. No more half damage blah blah blah, this line to be deleted.

Secondary Target and Secondary Attack

MUST be made if possible against WHOEVER possible. Enemy to be replaced with Target.


Whatever affects your conjuration affects you as if you were it. All environmental phenomena have the usual effects on your conjuration.


Fuck zones. See above.


All use of Sustain to be replaced with Escape. All powers with escape can only be ended under particular circumstances, a save at minimum.

Join me next episode as I cut-and-paste then find-and-replace some basic powers from the players guide. Lets see what exciting new things turn up!