Sunday, August 13, 2017

Siting in dining tent

This is a pondering blog.  While camping this past week, I spent a lot of time reading about Karameikos.  I have a copy of the grand duchy and the b/x rules which have more than enough information to get you going.  My first read thru I was a bit meh on the whole thing, but now I'm starting to get it a bit better.  Second read thru's always seem to get my mind wrapped around things a bit better.

I was planning on running isle of dread with the old school group, but we have decided that we really can't get together that often.  As well no one ever remembers what we were doing, or where we were going.  So the best plan is to run a mega dungeon, with a open table.  Basically whoever shows up is in.  It might be a bit less structured but whatever it'll be fun.

The old school group is going to be based in Castelean's keep (kotb) and there will be a mega dungeon not far away, in Karameikos.

Whenever it becomes my turn to DM again for the 5e group, I think we will also be in Karameikos.  Because why not right? While I'd love to just run the basic 5e dnd rules, I know the players will want to have a few options from the phb.  Here are the things I'm thinking about for that game.

Classes:  All classes from the phb are allowed
Races:  Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Humans (thyration, tradaldan), Halfings.  The standard fair.  No dark anything, no dragonborn, tieflings, etc.  Half orcs & half elves will be allowed however.

Gods:  The immortals from Karameikos

I intend to ramp up a fight between the black eagle barony & the duke of karameikos at some point.  Slowly send the players thru 1st level to 5th doing minor little quests, starting with guarding a gnome caravan.  There are some great ideas for adventures in the duchy book.  I would also like to push the envelope on the political intrigue.

I also intend to use the slow healing from the back of the 5e dmg.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New old school produts on OBS Aug 12

This is a little late, I was camping.  It was quite nice, minus one pretty wicked rain storm. Anyhow here's some new stuff.

More 2nd edition stuff, lots of silver anniversary modules.

Against the Giants (The liberation of Geoff) 2e - Silver Anniversary

Land Of Intrigue 2e

Return to White Plume Mountain 2e - Silver Anniversary

Return to the keep on the borderlands 2e - Silver Anniversary

The Shattered Circle 2e


Hideouts & Hoodlums [Basic 2nd edition] - Looks like a cool super heroes game.  $5.70 CAD

The Tomb of the Forgotten Toad-People from the Planet of the Nameless Grimoire - Cool one page dungeon with a great name from a neat generator. FREE

Wyrd ways of Walstock - Adventure plus setting $7.59 CAD, doesn't say what system. 

The Fallen Star - one page adventure for Swords & Wizardry Light - PWYW

The Lost Lands (pdf) - Swords & Wizardry adventure - $82.37 CAD

White Box Light - Rules for old school play, looks like a bit of a Asian twist.  (not to be confused with Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.) $2.53 CAD

Friday, August 4, 2017

New old school products on OBS

It appears one of my fav blogs is taking a bit of a break to deal with some personal things.  I wish you all the best Jeremy. ,

In the mean time, I figured I'd do a quick little check on obs to see what's new for Old School.  This probably won't be a regular thing, just figured I had some time today.

Here goes:

Official formerly TSR stuff: Bunch of cool 2nd edition things from WOTC.

Reverse Dungeon: $6.27 CAD.

The Shattered Circle: $6.22 CAD

Destiny of Kings - I remember this from my old dragon magazines, there was a bunch of adverts for it.  I'll probably grab it (once I check my bank balance). $6.27 CAD

Road To Danger - $6.27 CAD (I'm guessing that's 5 bucks USD, seems to be what keeps coming up)

Moonlight Madness: $6.27 CAD.


Furies of the Barrens RPG A science fantasy roleplaying game Written and illustrated by Andrea Sfiligoi Rules based on “The Black Hack”.  $10 CAD

The Hundred Worlds: An Introduction for Players - this looks neat.  Appears to be rules, with a setting and character creation.  I'm going to check it out today. PWYW

OSR: Rules.  PWYW.


Ice Kingdoms: The Temple of Drawoh Rock - Neat adventure, has descending AC, it's PWYW.  I'm downloading it shortly. 

The Atheneum of Yearning - a LOTFP Adventure.  50 rooms, for factional play? It's PWYW.  Downloading it shortly. 

SO2 Clash at Fort ValourCompatible with OSRIC, 1E and 2E game systems.  $12.75 CAD


Sanctum Secorum - Episode #27 Companion - Appears to be a companion to a podcast (which I'll probably check out here's the link).  It's free, there's monsters, curses and a few other neat things.

Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing (Alternate Cover) - $27 CAD for the pdf! Looks like a new printing, or atleast a new cover for a printing.  I personally haven't tried C&C yet, but I've heard some good things. 

House Of DarknessHouse of Darkness is a sourcebook intended for use with Dark Dungeons or any other rulebook recreating the classic version of the world's best known roleplaying game. It's PWYW.

Dungeons in Blue - Mega Tile Five Pack #6 [BUNDLE) - Some cool blue maps! I like blue maps.  $5 CAD.

The Trove of Magic Items (Labyrinth Lord) - 100 new magic items for Labyrinth Lord.  $3.77 CAD

Atlas of Mythika: CharybdisA new volume of the Atlas of Mythika for the Mazes & Minotaurs RPG. FREE

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Running KOTB

I've been thinking about having a open game table for my old school group.  As we have had a bit of difficulty with scheduling.  My thought is, to shoot for let's say the last Friday of the month every month.  Whoever can make it, makes it.

While I've had a few thoughts on running some different adventures, I keep going back to KOTB, to really give it one more kick.  I ran it once a long while ago for some of the players from the old school group (when we first started).

The nice thing about the module, is that in essence it's a small mega dungeon.  I've read a lot of good things about how to run it.  Specifically +Wayne Rossi blog .  Wayne has had some pretty good success running the keep the same way I'm thinking of doing.

This morning I decided to google search "tips for running keep on the borderlands".  This is what i've come up with thus far.

Here's a few highlights.
From this thread: 
Maxwell Luther writes:  make sure to set up some mini-quests around the place that don't necessarily involve the Keep and the Caves but get players to explore the mini-sandbox around the Keep. A good one I've always used is to have an elf woman show up in the tavern looking for her lost brother who went 'in search of the unknown' (wink wink) and ended up a meal for the Black Widows in the south of the map. 

Another one is to have one of the merchants or tradesmen in the Keep (the jewel merchant, the provisioner, etc.) start a line in reptile skin clothing and send the players on a safari into the swamps in the southeast. 

Finally, to go along with the crooked priest angle, I have the players witness someone signalling the chaos warrior camp from the battlements at night, link him to the hermit (who used to be a priest but was taken into the woods and cursed into madness by the priest years ago to reduce the clerical strength of the keep) and make sure he has some corrupt guards to kill any prisoners taken in for questioning who might reveal too much. I also set up a few hints about the caves to get folks motivated in that direction, like having a lone survivor of a merchant caravan raid make it to the Keep and tell the adventurers about the prisoners in the Hobgoblin cave.

Third, the Cave of the Unknown is a good place to put a dungeon of your own, but a small one, maybe a half-doze to a dozen rooms, so it doesn't distract too much from the main threat of the Caves of Chaos. I actually link mine by putting a Crypt Thing in the bottom of it who 'geases' the characters into retrieving the evil artifacts from the altar of the chaos priest in the caves and returning them to him.

The most important thing to remember, though, is to treat the whole thing as a mini campaign sandbox that rows and changes as the players explore it: allow your players to get lost, waste time and attack retreat as they will, but also have their exploits means something. As my players make trip after trip into the surrounding area or the Caves and come back alive with money, goblin ears (I set a bounty up for enemy ears after they returned form a couple of trips) and freed hostages, their renown and ability to get information and help from important people grows and more potential adventurers and henchmen will come to the keep to get in on the action. Conversely, the enemy will reinforce, send out ambush parties and assassins and otherwise react to the player's intrusions into the caves, requiring them to get sneakier. In my current run, for instance, the goblins have barricaded themselves into the back of their cave and are on high alert, ready to go for hobgoblin help at the slightest hint of PCs reentering their caves. It's a living world, make the characters actions have an effect on it...

I intend to put b1 "in search of the unknown" near the keep for sure. 

Merricb writes in this thread

Oh, I remember when I first tried to run B2... yeah, it's tricky to run the Keep itself without preparation.

My advice to you is: Ignore the Keep at first. Tell the players that they've taken rooms at the Traveller's Inn, and on the advice of the locals, they've travelled to just outside the Caves of Chaos.

This will get them right into the fun part of the game - the exploration and combat! (Running the Keep can be very fun, but you need experience first).

The Caves have a number of entrances. Describe the two closest to the players (they enter from the open end of the canyon, so that will give them a cave to the left and a cave to the right - leading to goblins and kobolds, IIRC).

As they enter the cave, ask for a marching order - who is in front, who is behind. Describe the darkness of the caves, and the monsters and items they see. Be aware the party may need to flee. Have fun!

The map should be on the cover. It shows a canyon with a number of caves and passages. The PCs will enter from the right-hand side. 

You may wish to read the text on page 14 to your players, which begins "The forest you have been passing through has been getting more dense, tangled, and gloomier than before." and ends "You know that you have certainly discovered the Caves Of Chaos.".

After that, I'd say something like this:
Two caves are fairly close to you. One stands on the southern side of the bluff to your left. A little way ahead and to your right, you can see a cave overhung by a large, twisted tree.

That describes cave D (to the left) and cave A (to the right).

Running this, I will have read all of the early cave descriptions, especially cave A (1-6) and cave D (17-21) and cave E (22).

If the players choose to go left (D):
Inside the cave mouth, you see a 10 foot wide passageway running twenty feet before reaching a crossroads; the passages seem to have been carved out of the rock.

If the players choose to go right (A):
Roll a d6; if you roll a 1 or 2: 
As you approach the cave and begin to peer inside, suddenly it's raining small, dog-headed humanoids from the tree above! Kobolds! They run forward brandishing long daggers and attack!

Proceed to your first combat.

Alternatively, if you roll a 3-6:
Inside the cave, the passageway runs twenty feet before reaching a T-junction. A small dog-headed humanoid - a kobold - peers nervously around the corner from the right-hand side before disappearing with a bark of dismay, and you can hear it running away calling an alarm!

Note that there's a guardpost of 6 kobolds just inside the cave-mouth at 1. The kobolds will not step on the pit-trap, although your players might as they chase the kobolds...

Here's a few blog posts of interest as well.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Stone Stump

I've been slowly working on a home base for my next little adventure.  It's called "Stone Stump", because when my Wife and I were walking our dog, we came across a stump with a large stone on it.  I thought, "well that's a good name for a little village isn't it?".

I'm using Jeff's twenty campaign questions and slowly filling out the details.  (It's a great inspirational resource).

I like to inject a bit of humour into the things I write (see blacksmith).

I was thinking about the adventurer's guild, and I might go with a bunch of old pirates who have decided to form a bit of a guild "on land" guild.  Of course they are all a bunch of greedy buggers.

Obviously this is very fantasy, not dark, just vanilla, which is fine.  I've been wanting to write something like this for a bit.

This is what I have so far....

Meagle Isles

The Meagle Isles are a group of four islands far from the coast of any major continent.  They have got along just fine over the years without much human contact.  The largest island “Marakah”as it is known in elvish, plays host to a very recent human settlement that of “Stone Stump”.  Which was founded approximately one hundred years ago.  Prior to that time humans had never set foot upon the island, or so the history books would have you believe.  In actual fact, humans had previous been here and had built a great city.  They attempted to populate pockets of the island, but failed.  The city which is now known as “the broken city” has now crumbled into near dust, over ran by foul beasts and things that go bump in the night.  Other smaller long abandoned settlements dot the landscape, but for the most part mother nature has overtaken the Isles, bringing them back to their originally vegetative glory.  The previous human settlers were wiped out by plagues and monstrosities.

You would be hard pressed to find an Elf, Dwarf or Halfling that hasn’t heard about the broken city and its previous human inhabitants.  Nowadays the demi humans have trade ties with the humans of Stone Stump, but are very wary of the past.  Deals were struck that were not always abided by, these wounds run deep in the communities.  

The Meagle Isles today are a vast unexplored land, dangers and treasure lurk within every cave, every mile of forest,in old crumbling towers long forgotten.

Demi Human Settlements

There are four demi human settlements on the Island of Marakah.  The Elven settlement of Brindleaf, deep within the Northern forests, the small halfling village of Great Bog, deep under the southern mountains lies the Dwarvish settlement of Proud Holme, and under the village of Stone stump is a small dwarven community of Eriksdale.  

A Brief Overview & History

Stone Stump is a small port town located on the eastern shore of the Meagle Isles.  The town is a relatively new one, having only been formed about fifty years ago.  Human settlers from a far off continent came to the Isles to colonize.  

The village grew into a trading partner with the elves of the nearby sunset woods, and the dwarves of the deep.  As well as the other small villages that dot the isles.  

Over the last fifty years the town has grown from its humble beginnings.  It now has two separate chapels, a few taverns, a large bustling dock, and more than enough eccentric hangers on.  It is the perfect place to start an adventure.

To the west farmland borders the village, supplying the population with wholesome food, and trade.  North of the village are the sunset woods, home to the elvin kin.  Beyond the above listed the island is largely unexplored, although it’s probably inhabited.  

Points Of Interest

The Docks: The docks are a busy place, filled with fisher mongers, scallywags, and merchant crews.  There is almost always a few sea faring vessels in port, some needing a crew, others needing loading.  One of the famous ships that lowers its anchor in the bay is the “Northern Mast”.  a merchant ship said to be one of the fastest.    If you are looking for all the salty gossip, then look no further than the “Three Fins Tavern”, located right along the docks.  The proprietor is a lass named Peggy, known for her sarcastic humour and great luck.  A itchy bedroll will cost you two silver pieces a night.  

Chapels:  There are two chapels in the town of Stone Stump, one is the “Chapel of the plentiful catch” and the other is the “Chapel of the harvest moon”.  As you can tell, both of the chapels are devoted to God’s that fulfil not only the needs of the stomach, but the livelihood of the townsfolk.  Each chapel has its own set of ministers for the congregation.  Interestingly enough they both worship the same God.  

Boring Boris The Blacksmith:  A long time ago when Boris first opened his shop, and young kid strolled by and yelled “Hey you boring old blacksmith, what’s yer name?”  The only thing that you can say about Boris really is that “the nickname stuck”.  Boris is a pretty stand up guy, and is a decent albeit slow blacksmith.  Boris tends to spend most of his time smithing farm implements and new anchors (for the ones lost at sea).  Boris doesn’t have a lot of armour in his shop, but he can special smith something for the right gold.  (Generally he has leather armour and some chain mail on occasion).  


The mighest wizard is an Elf,
A local human wizard named, so and so is quite good he’s trying to start a guild with little success

All of the above text is copyright 2017 (c) 3 Toadstools Publishing, Shane Ward.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Strongholds of Sorcery - Basic Fantasy NEW Adventure!

BF3 Strongholds of Sorcery, Release 31 -- July 31, 2017: This is the first "complete" release of this large adventure series for mid to higher level play.  Here is the download

Strongholds of Sorcery: The Glain Campaign is an adventure series for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. The adventures herein are intended for 4 to 8 player characters of levels 4 to 8. These adventures were all created for use in my campaign world, Glain. Of course, you may wish to use the adventures herein with a different campaign world; there is no reason they can't be tailored to fit well into any Basic Fantasy RPG campaign.

Let me just point out this is a pretty big adventure! There are four adventures detailed in the 113 pages, and a pile of maps!

This appears to be a bit of a sequel to the BF2 Fortress, Tomb, and Tower: The Glain Campaign adventure.  As usual there is some fantastic artwork within the adventure.  As of today there is only the pdf download, the book is not available thru createspace yet.  My guess is that having the pdf out there will allow for any bugs to be found. (Which I'm planning on doing a read thru as soon as I find some time!).   

For more information on Glain you can go here.

To download basic fantasy rules you can go here

Basic Fantasy on facebook

Basic Fantasy G Plus community

and you can follow there here: +Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ah summer

Up here in the great white north, we get basically 3 months of summer.  Spring is kinda melty for a bit then bam summer, so I guess maybe 3.5 months.  I'm sure other gaming groups go thru this in the summer, it's just to damn busy with everything else.  Which I'm entirely fine with.

the city I live in Winnipeg, is notorious for being facking cold 9 months of the year, mosquitoes and great music.  I think part of the reason that great music is made in this town, is because there's not a hellua a lot to do on cold nights in January.  That and hauling gear in -40 C sucks goblin wang.

So people hole themselves up and write and play music.

I think this is the same for gaming, atleast for the groups I'm in.  Our 5e group has attempted to get together pretty much every month this summer, and its just not happening.  It's not because we have better things to do outside (because we play DND on my deck sometimes), its because shit comes up, things that we can only do in the summer.  Ever try camping in the winter? yah not fun.

The nice thing about this little break is, it's giving me sometime to plan campaigns.  For the old school group, I think I'm going to try out my Toadstool hack, and basically run a campaign in Mystara.  Starting with Isle of Dread and we can see where that leads.  I've been working on some of the encounters in Isle of Dread and fleshing them out.  Obviously I won't write too much about it here, as some of my players read the blog on occasion.  At this point I think I'm going to scrap mutant future, everyone was sorta meh on it.  I think it might be partially my fault as I'm not the best sci fi writer in the world.

For our fifth edition group, I think I might run some old dragonlance 2e modules.  I've talked about this before, I have Dragon Knight and I've downloaded the other 2 in the series.  It might be a nice change.

Anyways have a good weekend! I'm not gaming this weekend, I'm going to drink beer in the shade of a large tree and think about dungeons.