View Profile: Primitive Screwhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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About Primitive Screwhead

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About Primitive Screwhead
Long time strategist player and DM who enjoys grim-n-gritty ala CP2020
About Me:
Favorite characters:
- Shawn Odessa, aka 'Savior of Innocence' from Drew's WEG Star Wars campaign. A pure 'take no prisoners' bounty hunter whose connections often enabled the group to get what they needed when they needed it.

- Blain Deathedge, originally a PC in Shadowrun (1e) and translated to CP2020 before becoming an NPC in CP2020 and Star Wars. He was an elite second story thief...who ended up succombing to cyberphychosis and my group had to hunt him down.

- Cutter, my first 3e character and a stress test of the multi-class system. Barbarian 2, Fighter 2, Bard 2, Deepwood Sniper 2, Rogue 1 .. with plans on being the first illiterate Arcane Archer at level 10!

Favorite campaigns:
Drew's Star Wars. I hope our group eventually gets back together so we can defeat Exar Kune before he obliterates the New Republic!
Ira's Aliens campaign (FASA).
Critter's GURPS Western!
'Head-Hunters Club' Top-Secret campaign. The ultimate 'kill the informants and interrogate the hired help' blood bath disguised as clandestine operations' game!
Twin Cities, MN
Age Group:
Over 40
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Friday, 15th April, 2016

Saturday, 3rd January, 2015

  • 02:24 AM - the Jester mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post Advice regarding 'Skill Challenge'
    Oooh, I love skill challenges- I'm actually in the middle of writing up what I think is going to be the final arc of my epic level 4e campaign, including separate SCs to summon Charon while on the banks of the River Styx and then persuade him to reveal information that was wiped from the memory of the universe via an epic ritual using the River Styx and an artifact as foci (but as Charon is immune to the River Styx' effect, he still knows). Anyway, to begin with, I love the 'various levels of success' thing, and for the record, I consider this to be a 'proper' skill challenge; the base mechanics are better when tweaked to suit the challenge, as we saw over the life of 4e, so I think this is a legit SC. So then- I think Primitive Screwhead has the phases right. Personally, if I were doing this skill challenge, it would be an extended one that took a good hour of real time and mixes in some elements that do real damage/cost surges. So starting with Phase 1: Thar's a storm coming!, here's what I'd do. During this phase, things would kick off with a Nature check from whoever the lookout/crow's nest guy/whatever was, to determine how much warning the ship had. Then maybe some kind of Navigation check to see how well they avoid or enter the storm. Running from it, given the pc's status with the storm god, seems like a way to never, ever reach their destination, so I suspect they will have to enter it eventually; even if they find shelter from this one, another will come when they try again. So yeah, some kind of Navigation check as they enter the storm and again periodically as they move through it. Phase 2: The Storm Hits I'd start with terrific winds and sudden waves; maybe require a check (Athletics, Acrobatic...

Monday, 22nd December, 2014

  • 02:21 AM - Morrus mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post Spell Builder
    I've made a basic spell builder to help speed up the process. Folks like Primitive Screwhead will hopefully find this very useful. The upcoming playtest document has the newly revised spell building rules (which used to be called Elements of Magic). Every spell in the game is built using those rules. The rules are slightly streamlined and easier than the original EoM stuff you've seen in the books previously; all the options are still there, but the verb-noun layer has been removed. You can simply choose any options to build a spell. Access to spell-paths is instead handled at the tradition level, not the spell level. So this builder uses the two basic stats tables - duration, range, target, damage/healing, attribute checks, creature level, SOAK, DEFENSE, conditions, and gc value. Basically all the stuff that operates on a scale. Using just those you can create a surprising number of spells. You'd have to add the one-off enhancements in yourself afterwards if you want them. It's really simple. For example, if ...

Monday, 8th December, 2014

Wednesday, 3rd September, 2014

  • 01:54 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post Encounter design and world building
    Primitive Screwhead Here are some more ideas, even split of combat-exploration-interaction, this time for a "spooky moors" themed environment... Combat A wicked treat or twig blight made of moor-petrified wood in foul hues of ochre, copper, red, and blue attacks the party savagely, possibly lunging from murky waters. A will-o'-wisp imitates the sound of a child crying for help, luring the foolish into a trap with more will-o'-wisps and their master, the ghost of a witch executed in the moors. A band of trolls searches for particularly gifted and charismatic men and women for their hag masters, and the leader of the trolls wears a hag's eye charm around its neck letting its masters see thru the charm. A pack of dire wolves feast on halfling corpses among whom a torn third of a treasure map can be found; the wolves will attack anyone getting within 50 feet but won't pursue fleeing creatures. A gnarled ironwood tree filled with ravens and hanging nooses looms on a hill, and any approaching are attack...

Sunday, 31st August, 2014

  • 01:40 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post Encounter design and world building
    Primitive Screwhead I'd be happy to contribute, but I really don't have a sense of what you're looking for. Your request seems exceedingly broad. Can you give an example of the content (and style and length) you're looking for?

Thursday, 5th June, 2014

  • 01:09 AM - Sniperfox47 mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post More questions on Magic - May 30th game
    Primitive Screwhead Transform: I can't find that mention. The only mention I can find to elementals in transform at all is that turning a fire elemental into a thoqqua or water elemental is fairly easy. Charm Earth won't charm an earth elemental though, you're right. Then reason why is because charm earth doesn't exist. Charm targets creatures, not elements. Musketeer: it doesn't say anywhere that it grants you the trick, just that if you use it you get said bonus. Barbarian IV doesn't grant charge does it? I thought it was +5 mental defense? Recklessness: this was mention in another post. You're right, it doesn't make sense for it to increase low defense, but I can't remember if Morrus gave an official fix on it. Overwatch: can't be done with a melee weapon because its meant for stuff like snipers spotting targets behind cover, or a machine gun laying suppression on an area. A melee weapon wouldn't gain any benefit from it. If you're throwing daggers maybe, but then they're (for all intents and purpo...

Wednesday, 22nd January, 2014

  • 04:00 PM - Morrus mentioned Primitive Screwhead in post New playtest document [Wed, JAN 22]
    This will be the last one for a couple of weeks. Playtesters can download it from the usual place. New in the Jan 22 document (247 pages): - Special skills summary page - All derived statistics corrected - Minor change to contacts - Standardized difficulty values throughout - Added space travel details - Illnesses & disease - Reformatted combat chapter and added details - Changes to environmental properties - Space combat clarified and new Excalibur class battleship - Borians are now red - Change to New Weapons Generator - Quality prices standardized throughout - Civilization advancement levels tweaked - Minor corrections throughout Note we have 16 playtest groups, but only 3 have been posting anything. Some of them are new in the last couple of days, though, so I can't wait to hear their thoughts! balard, Bynw, DarkHerald, Darth Quiris, Dire Wolf, Domokete, exile, HollowBone, imagineGod, LucasC, Primitive Screwhead, Rugult, Scorpio616, sololuca, Sunsword, Thomas Bagley, Umbran (just included Umbran for reference since he kindly offered to check the science parts for me!)

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Thursday, 28th April, 2016

  • 05:14 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Dice Pools, Grades, and Difficulties
    Actually more like the 2e approach with high/med/low save progressions but turned into a cap. My reasoning behind using 'roles' is that AGI is king resulting in high melee defense and high ranged defense. With the roles applied you ensure that each monster has the rock-paper-scissors built in for players to adjust their offensive tactics against. Each role has a weakness to attack. Most of the monsters in the bestiary are Melee {with some Brutes} and the high/med/low caps often only trim the highest defense in much the same way your scrub of the bestiary results panned out. Yes, I understood it. I hope I've managed to successfully explain why I feel it isn't appropriate for this game, and how DEFENSEs are derived stats. If you want a "Brute" you need to design a creature with "Brutish" attributes and skills, not just create a monster and slap a "Brute" template on top. It's a very different design philosophy. Of course, you can play the game how you wish. But that's very different to the basic granula...

Sunday, 24th April, 2016

  • 11:46 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Dice Pools, Grades, and Difficulties
    Then Fantasy Core, just downloaded, has the same example benchmark table error. Yeah, that was in layout ages ago. Too late to change in time. But it'll go into the errata pass before the hardcover compilation.
  • 11:45 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Dice Pools, Grades, and Difficulties
    re; Psionic Armor and the Monk/Mook battle. He was pumping 15 points into Biofeedback each turn gaining SOAK 10. The Cultists had Pack-Attack, used Feint, flanking, and every trick could think of. The first round looked heroic. The fourth round was just silly. The only damage he received was a lucky Critical that pushed him on the Bleeding track. That's fine. He gets an encounter fighting some weak mooks and feels awesome. He can't keep it up forever though - PSI point deplete! It's really OK for that to happen sometimes. As a GM, you can either use more powerful foes, or view the encounter as a resource depletion. Remember that every 6 does 1 damage anyway. It's impossible to completely SOAK all damage all day. One thing I think it's important to do in adventure design is make the 15-minugte workday impossible. Those PSI points have to last all day.

Sunday, 10th April, 2016

Friday, 1st April, 2016

Tuesday, 29th March, 2016

  • 09:18 PM - plarfem quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Add some Dread to your Curse of Strahd Campaign with Depths of Dread!
    Haven't downloaded {not wanting to set up yet another account}, but wanted to ask how your mechanic for 'Dread' differs from the 2e implementation of power checks and the terror track? So, from what I remember, the old rules had fear and horror as a separate thing from a powers check, and each powers check was a percentage chance to be noticed by the dark powers based on what evil act you performed. The terror track was the path you went down on once you were noticed by the dark powers that described your transformation into a horror creature. My mechanics are a little more unified. It uses the fear and horror checks from the 5E DMG, and has ways for players to select specific terrors and weaknesses that are harder for the PCs to resist. When characters are overcome with fear, give in to their weaknesses, or perform evil acts they gain corruption, and at the end of the session (or long rest, or whatever interval the DM selects) they make a check to see if they accumulate Dread. As they accumu...

Saturday, 26th March, 2016

  • 03:25 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post WOIN-d20 Conversion Guide (Monsters)
    Magic. An option would be to convert select spells on the list to exploits usable x times a day. MP cost for 3x spells is pretty close to spell level * 2 and some spells can simply be used as is {shifting the targets saving throws to defenses} Is that so? If it is, it will be an incredibly convenient tool. WOIN would suddenly have thousands of pre-written spells!

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016

  • 02:40 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post WOIN-d20 Conversion Guide (Monsters)
    Okay, ran into my first conversion challenge question... related to 4e specifically but also an issue with D20 > WOIN in general. I don't think it will work with 4E that well. I was using 3.x as the base. 4E has a different math structure and will need a different conversion document. The problem revolves around the attack bonus. In D20 the characters level is the primary driver behind ability to hit while in WOIN the characters level/grade is a limiter and the stats are the primary driver. That's why they get combat skills equal to their CR and defence skills equal to half their CR. Speaking of the size chart and health. I prefer that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and have Tiny listed with a x0.5 Health mod. Finally, I prefer that defenses do not have the "No Defense score can ever be lower than 10" and instead have an "Attacks must exceed a value of 10 and exceed the targets defense score" Those are core WOIN rules, not just the conversion document. I don't plan to change t...
  • 01:46 PM - Angusto quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Creating Magic Items
    Caveat; I am using my knowledge of EoM and the material on the WOIN website.. so I might be off... Key point is that the Enduring Object enhancement is not 'permanency'. The spell you described would create a set of High Quality boots that would, for the first minute of existence, provide a boost of +2 to the wearers speed. In order to do this by the current rules on the website, you would have to add 21 MP for permanency ... If I recall the EoM rules on creating magic items {and they have not changed significantly}, the requirements are a duration of 10 minutes on the spells { +2 MP} and an XP and gold piece cost. As mentioned, it is much cheaper to build a x-times a day than it is a permanent. I don't want to go into too many details as those details will probably have changed :( edit: ninja'd'.. and wrong :( Thanks Primitive! We were discussing similar points when this came during the game but we were unclear on the exact details since the website didn't seem to agree. We hadn't looked at Fantas...

Saturday, 5th March, 2016

  • 06:48 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post New: Confusion over PSI vs power points
    I am not really tracking how psionic powers work with regard to PSI costs and boosts. Correct me if I am off track on this: I have a PSI attribute of 10, which gives me 100 power points and a 4D6 dice pool. I spend an action, spend 4 power points and gain SOAK 11 {1 base + 10 PSI stat}. Next turn I can spend another action to maintain this. No, you spend 4 power points and gain SOAK 5 (1 base plus + 4 spent). Where it says "per PSI" that means "per PSI power point spent". A few people have asked that, so I think I'll come up with a new term to avoid confusion. Can I pump more power points to increase the SOAK provided? Drop 54 points to gain SOAK of 61 for one turn? Couple of errata following: 54 points would get you a lot of SOAK briefly, yeah. Wouldn't last long, though! Though you can't spend more than your PSI attribute on any single power, so you'd need PSI 54 to do that. Looking at the book, it seems that line's not there. Question; out of combat power usage: Is this a once per day thi...

Sunday, 31st January, 2016

  • 04:18 AM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Spell casting matrix in WOIN statblocks
    Also, I would add a couple {perhaps a number equal to the creatures INT dice pool} of spells that the creature relies on the most. All magic-using monsters have one or more pre-designed spell exploits in their stat block. The idea is that you can completely ignore the spellcasting matrix and just use the exploits. But if you as the GM somehow find yourself in need of exploring the critter's overall magical abilities because the players went off-base, the information is there. And if there is room, a line describing the casting style.. for those people who use that variation. Just a line? Monsters have pages of description! :) The greatest challenge for a DM running the verb-noun build-as-you-go spell system is that NPCs and monsters are very short lived, which means you have to have either a high level of system mastery or 'cheaters' list spell paths and stock spell cards. That's exactly why monsters explicitly don't have an MP budget. All their spells are at-will, and enough commo...

Saturday, 9th January, 2016

  • 07:03 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post OLD: Char Gen questions and possible errata
    Last night's session was a character building session. My group has participated in the playtest but took a break to play champions. My turn in the GM seat came back around so its time for some more OLD! Which of course, led into a bunch of questions. Some of which I am sure comes from having learned the playtest rules. General input: One of the things that caught us by surprise was the loss of the career tree concept... which is okay but has some unintended consequences. The careers never were balanced against each other in detail, but more a gestalt sort of approach where a Rank 4 Ranger is as cool as a Rank 4 Cleric.. and getting to Rank 4 was cool. Often times a career tree meant taking a sub-optimal choice in order to advance to the super-optimal choice at a higher rank. Without the career tree concept, there is no reason for taking the suboptimal choice. For example.. the Ranger. You take Ranger once to get wilderness concealment, then take Druid which gives you better versions of the Rangers e...
  • 06:52 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Old: Magic confusion
    Okay, will dig through the website for the magic rules. On the character generation worksheet from your website, page 2 reads: NATURAL DAMAGE 1d6 + 1d6 for each size over Medium; Felans +1d6; +STR dice pool which I misinterpreted as adding the dice of the dice pool, not the count of the dice in the dice pool. That worksheet just has a shorthand reminder on it. You should read the rulebook for the actual rules. :)

Saturday, 5th December, 2015

  • 03:03 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Anyone waiting for OLD?
    Those pages look good! I am back in the hot-seat for DMing and will be returning to OLD after a bit of a break. I was hoping to find an updated playtest document to download... ;) Playtesting is mainly over, I'm afraid. The only thing left that needs testing is the OLD magic system. That's a fairly untested section, as I was concentrating on getting NEW ready. The rest of OLD is all tested though, and already in layout.

Tuesday, 29th September, 2015

  • 02:18 AM - osarusan quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Evoking Para-Elements
    RangerWickett; if you are working up the Elements of Magic Re-Revised for 5th edition I would recommend you include the below recommendations in that as well!. My god... a 5th edition version of Elements of Magic would make my head explode. I and my players adore EOM. It is the best magic system I have ever seen for any RPG, and we still used variant cobbled-together versions of it in 5th edition and most other games that we play. An updated version of the rules... I would be first in to buy it!

Friday, 2nd January, 2015

  • 09:48 PM - Celebrim quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Advice regarding 'Skill Challenge'
    Color: This is going to depend alot on your players and what sort of game they like. I was thinking of color mostly along the lines of the individual events in the various phases you mentioned in broad terms earlier. Lightning strikes, waves, whatever. I'm interested both in the range of things I could have as events, and the number of them that would be good to have. I would love to dig into the details of running a ship and get the PCs directly involved in handling the lines, deciding which sails are furled or pitched. My group would be more inclined to leave that to the sailors and just make major decisions. If I still had a nautically themed PC, I'd probably more likely directly involve the PC in the details. As is, the issue is that for these decisions the NPC's are more skilled in handling the details. So I'm mostly interested in ways the PC's could be useful beyond taking the wheel of the ship and giving orders regarding sails and the like.

Saturday, 13th December, 2014

  • 12:28 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post New DEFENSE calculations
    Question: mages focus on LOG to the exclusion of INT and WIL. This means that they are more susceptible to magic than other traditions? I hadn't listed all the tradition changes in the post above. All the casters should have a minimum WIL +1 in the next update. Note also that non-sentient creatures are immune to attacks which attack MENTAL DEFENSE and semi-sentient creatures get a +5 bonus to MENTAL DEFENSE.

Thursday, 11th December, 2014

  • 06:42 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post Monster Creation Guidelines
    Other way around, I had spec'd the Wolf based on a previous published Wolf in the NEW document and was using that as my of 'is this critter stronger or weaker than a wolf' to estimate what level the new creature was. Why were you estimating it, rather than calculating it? Incidentally, here's the latest version. New dinosaurs, giant, gorgons, templates.

Monday, 8th December, 2014

  • 07:49 PM - Morrus quoted Primitive Screwhead in post O.L.D. Playtest Document: Book II - Playing The Game (December 2014)
    Are my critters on the mark? or do I need to wait/rework them? The guidelines are only guidelines; you can't technically make a critter "wrong". Though if I recall correctly, yours are a bit confusing with the formatting and the mixing in of WEG and D&D terms. Well, confusing to me, anyway! I'll post some of the monster creation guidelines in another thread for you.

Sunday, 7th December, 2014

  • 08:13 AM - pickin_grinnin quoted Primitive Screwhead in post May there be non-evil societies of always evil races? What would they be like?
    In the other two options there are a myriad of moral dilemnas and situations, as well as depth to the world that doesn't have to be explained to the players in a huge campaign setting read-ahead. You don't have to explain it to the players ahead of time. You tell them what they know at the time the campaign starts. Through the course of the campaign you have them discover new "truths," or at least different interpretations of the world. Their characters may find themselves enlightened, or may have their base assumptions proven to be "true." As writers are often told, "show, don't tell." That's the way the real world works, as well. We learn certain ways of viewing the world when we are young. As adults, we may continue to embrace what we are taught, or we may end up coming across new information or ideas that lead us to reevaluate it. In my worlds, I strive for as much depth and nuance as I can. I like to keep things as realistic as possible, within the boundaries of the world that I ha...

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