Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bit of a fail

Last night when I got home I thought I might try and do another podcast with anchor. I had downloaded the app, figured I'd use my onboard mic from my tablet. Boy was I wrong! Talked for five minutes and listened back. Ugh. I'll have to go back to the drawing board. Thankfully I have a bit of audio gear at home. So I'll probably end up using a mic, small mixer and my laptop in the future. First two episodes were done at work (in a recording studio). At home this should give me the opportunity to learn reaper better.

As I stated in the first episode, I'll probably throw some funny commercials in on occasion. I've found a excellent source!

Next week the return of the blue baron will be done. I'll be sending it off to the writers first, and once it's approved it'll go up on as a free download. Then onto a new project.

I've got far too many ideas in the can. (I discussed this on episode three that got trashed).

I'm starting to think that we should start writing the third volume for the baron now lol. Since it took me six months to get it done. That said I need a break. Plus it's summer here! Yesterday was thirty degrees Celsius, with a crazy amount of humidity.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It's been almost one year

It's been almost one year since my first FREE RPG DAY.  I picked up the quick start rules for DCC, and my wife grabbed a copy of "Vagina's Are Magic".  Which she was delighted about.  I also managed to grab a copy of the 1e DMG. 

I've been slowly planning on running Isle of Dread for an upcoming session of the "old school group", however we had a change of plans.  I messaged the group about how a "Funnel" works in DCC and they are stoked.  So that's the new plan.  Last Tuesday of June (which coincidences with my birthday week as well). 

I am still going to keep working on ideas for Isle of Dread and flesh it out.  A few brief thoughts on it.

Inspiration:  Well obviously "Lost World", but also the movies "The Mummy" and of course some Indiana Jones.  I'm going to throw in a great ape for good measure.  I'm thinking he might be a problematic issue for the Phanatlons, or alternatively the Rakasta have been proving their metal against him for years.  As well Pirates of the Caribbean.  I sort of like the idea of random undead milling about on the Island. 

Modules:  I think I'm going to include dwellers of the forbidden city on one of the near by Islands.  I am also thinking of sticking "B4 The Lost City" somewhere on the island.  As that might be fun.  I just have to draw a line with the original inhabitants of the Island, and the people who live in the lost city.

For the DCC adventure, I'm going to use a piece of vinyl my wife bought me from the dollarstore, I can use erasable markers on it.  I intend to run the war wizards funnel from the starter rules.  For monsters I'm going to use different coloured dice.  I also want to find some mini's for the statues in one room, and some very big head for another room.  I have a mike wazowski toy, that should do the trick for that, and get some laughs.

For Free RPG Day this year, I intend to grab a copy of "Eldritch Cock" and possibly Goodman games "fifth edition fantasy" module if I can.  I'm hoping to also go searching thru their treasure trove of old school TSR stuff.  See if I can't get my hands on a 1e monster manual, or PHB.  I remember seeing a copy of "Horror On The Hill".

As usual, my A.D.D. gets in the way, and I change my mind about what adventure/system i'm going to run 10 times.  I'm hoping to slowly prep the mini campaign of Isle of dread, etc for when and if we get up and running again.  I'll have to go and grab a notebook. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Crowd source weirdness table for Isle Of Dread

I put this up this morning:  Hey everybody I need your help with a random table for isle of dread. After reading the adventure and doing some research online, I found a few ideas however a bit more fuel would be helpful.

So basically "locations, things on the ground, possible dangers" etc:

Thanks to everyone whose contributed so far, this has given me enough to keep the fires stoked!
Goblins Henchmen, Mark Grehan, Johua De Santo, Glenn Robinson, FM Geist

1) large wooden head
2) net trap
3) stake with a emancipated human tied to it
4) rolling boulders
5) large rock with strange writing on it
6) treasure map in an old shoe
7) Small cave, empty but with a fire pit and a lingering smell of recently cooked meat.
8) A leather pouch containing only a bent iron nail.
9) Crushed lantern containing one pint of oil.
10) Belt buckle with image of local deity of healing.
11) Pages from a diary rolled up inside wooden tube the diary is of a mans last day on the island may have useful information or just be the mad ramblings of a man dying of thirst.
12) A cache of obsidian spear heads
13) A leather bottle containing what appears to be wine.
14) A small empty bottle marked with a skull.
15) A human skull which has had a hole drilled into the side of it. The inside has been etched with intricate writing in an unknown language.
16) A scrap of cloth torn from a cloak just visible is a devotional prayer to the gods.
17) Paw prints in the rock which if followed disappear after fifty metres or so.
18) A small and narrow pile of earth roughly Five feet in length. A white stone has been placed at one end.
19) A collection of soot blackened skulls hanging from a tree which clatter together in the breeze.
20) A silver ring marked with waves and set with a pale blue stone which has one use of create water left in it.
21) A rough draft copy of chapter four of Volos guide to monsters written on cheap parchment and with many sections crossed out.
22) A pile of good outdoorsman clothing on the beach just above the high water mark.
23) A structure built into a tree if checked it contains a wooden chest, a crude sleeping mat and a wooden face crudely carved in blood soaked wood, the masks teeth are real and have been hammered into it from whatever creature/monster fits.
24) A small nest of friendly Kobolds who worship someone called Krasnack Navy The bringer of items. They believe the more gifts given by someone the more powerful that person is.
25) An intricate music box carved out of wood the music played acts as a sleep spell.
26) A large pit rimmed with wooden stakes the bottom of the pit is covered by dark foul smelling water but occasionally glimpses of something shiny can be seen in the waters depths.
27) The Dungeon master sunning himself in a hammock a drink in one hand and a half completed list in the other.
28) A dead tree with shrunken heads dangling from every branch. When approached all the heads will look toward those who approach. If any of the heads are taken the taker will begin to have nightmares of being hung by a noose every night, giving them a -2 to all rolls. The dreams continue until the head is returned to the tree.
29) Stewpot, grime crusts the inside of the pitted cast iron.
30) Cyclopean hands of basalt, they beckon motionlessly
31) Entrails strung through a thorn tree; birds peck and squabble over it. Feathers litter the ground
32) A flat stone surface, gouged with the marks of tools, blackened with ash
33) A toothless muleskinner grins and waves
34) The delicate crunch of paper-thin rusted gears underfoot
35) An obsidian bowl filled with teeth, some with viscera still on

Friday, June 8, 2018

The fire I needed!

WOOO!  As you may know I've taken a somewhat sabbatical from playing elf games, and more importantly DMing.  Just had a lot of things going on in the last while and I couldn't wrap my brain around doing anything.  I decided to take a good step last night and email my old school group for a possible one shot.  It's scheduled for the week of my birthday.  Normally we go camping that weekend, so we are shooting for the Tuesday! 

Now of course, my head is running thru far too many ideas!

First adventure:  I originally thought maybe i'd run Isle of dread because I've honestly been dying to.  However this may not end up being a full campaign, possibly just a one session thing.  The nice thing about possibly doing isle of dread is that I'd have a lot of prep to do!  I've decided instead to run "Palace of the silver princess" because it's also been on my to do list.  If they survive and want to keep playing, I think I will do the following.  Have the players guard a caravan, and then use the intro for isle of dread from that point.  I'm thinking I will have the POTSP happen around the town of Luln in karameikos. 

Rules: gal darn I've got a LOT of rules kicking around the house.  I'm going back and forth between running straight up b/x or whitebox.  They both appeal to me.  I know the players like having variable weapon damage, but they are not big fans of descending ac.  If I run whitebox, I think for ability checks I'm going to do something super simple.  Roll 10 or higher. As I've stated before we usually end up having a few drinks while playing, and I feel like whitebox might be the best bet. 

Level:  The module is for levels 1 -3, I think what I'll do is have them all create 2nd level characters, along with possible henchmen NPCs.  Looks like I'll have at least 3 players, possibly up to 5.  In which case I'll increase monsters and the like.

Alright, so unless i change my mind, which is bound to happen!  I think its going to be the "palace of the silver princess" with whitebox rules.

I'm off to go and print some character sheets!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A look at "Retribution" By Raging Swan Press

I recently received a copy of Retribution by Raging Swan Press, written by .

Here's the publisher blurb: 

In the frozen depths of winter, murderous winds mercilessly batter the crumbling Priory of Cymer. Within, trapped by their duty and the heaped snowdrifts that render travel near impossible, the few remaining faithful huddle together and tend the sacred places of their forbears. With the weather worsening, nerves fray and tempers snap as the wind howls its mournful dirge for the forgotten dead of a fallen time. But the worst is yet to come. One of those trapped within holds a murderous grudge that only blood can expunge and as the storm reaches its savage height terrible revenge is wrought amid the frigid halls and faded glories of a bygone age.

It appears this was the first adventure that Creighton ever wrote! You can read a interesting article about it here

This adventure was written for Pathfinder, however it's crazy easy to convert it to a OSR type game (which I intend to do).  I love the premise, the adventurers get caught in a snow storm on the way to a monastery.  The cool thing is as the adventure goes you get to rachet up the mysterious, things going bump in the night, etc.  It's got sort of a Ravenloft kinda vibe to it (at least that's how I read it).  

I was actually working on a similar idea for an adventure, a bunch of PCs delivering goods to a monastery (only to find it burnt to the ground...)  However, I think I may pull a few of my ideas and Retribution and amalgamate them. 

First off, there's a lovely little detailed town called Swallowfield   (Love the map!) and the adventure takes place on the Lonely Coast (dig that map too!) 

The art in this book is fantastic b/w, the lay out is easy to read (the font is a bit small for older eyes).  However great presentation.  The book is filled with Pathfinder stat blocks (obviously cuz its for PF), however I found a tidbit of information that would help me when running this adventure in an OSR environment.  Tactics! For each encounter there is a list of tactics that the monsters will do.  Now obviously this throws reaction checks out the window sorta, but still handy for me.  Example "the goblins will fire arrows, while a few try to escape".  I mean i could have thought of that, but having it right there is handy.  

This module is an "adventure path", ie it's a bit of a railroad.  Not in a bad way though, there's a story and there's ideas and reasons for finishing up the story.  If complications arise, there's ways of dealing with them.  However the core of the adventure can easily be ran by a open minded old school DM.  Especially if you are good at thinking on your feet. 

The middle section of adventure is where everything ramps up, with interesting encounters.  Most are there to increase the intensity!  Not all of which are deadly, or combat related. 

Rounding off the book is a big section of incredibly detailed and awesome NPCs. 

I have a few more raging swan books that I intend to review.  I'm hoping I can take them all and plug them in to one mini campaign (which seems rather easy to go).  Creighton makes references to the ease of putting these adventures into your own campaigns.  That being said, there's a wealth of world building on the Raging Swan site.  

I'm slowly looking thru this and the other adventures, and making notes on bad guys (converting them to Whitebox).  

The other thing that struck me while reading this, is that it would be a almost no prep 5e adventure.  All the DC's are there.  References to "specific skill type checks" are easily convertible to 5e skills, and in some cases are named the same.  This is another thing rolling around my head for whenever I get back into playing again. 

Pretty cool book.  If your a PF fan, I'd say this is a must have!  If your a OSR fan, and don't mind a bit of a "story" to go along with your possible TPK then I think it's a pretty good adventure.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mental Health Checkup (not really RPG related)

As the title says, "Mental Health Checkup (not really RPG related)".  So roll for Insanity 

I've noticed a few people in the OSR being open about their anxiety, stress and mental health, I figured it's about time I do the same.

I've been dealing with a lot, and I've been holding it in until it breaks, that's not a good idea.

From an outward appearance you'd think I was a happy go lucky guy right? (well other than in the winter, which i"m pretty sure I suffer from a bit of SAD).

After a recent breakdown, I started really trying to put things in perspective and to write things down (journal if you will) and it helps.

This whole depression has been on and off for awhile now.  I think it really started to hit me about 2 years ago. (thanks almost mid life crisis! I appreciate being down).  90% of it comes from my work situation.  It is the top the thing I need to change to get on with my life.  Obviously there's a pile of fear and anxiety that go along with that.  There are seriously whole days where I procrastinate and just sit at my computer.

As time has gone on,by the time I get home I'm so friggin bagged that I can't pick up a pen to draw or write in the evening.  Let alone my guitar.  I've even started to pull back "outings", my current D&D group, band practice, doing things on the weekend.  These are not good things.

Plus I've had a few panic attacks in the last few years, mostly while driving (yeah that's fucking scary isn't it?).

After my last breakdown, which was about two weeks ago, I finally decided
"Fuck it I'm going to see a therapist"

I finally went the other day, and it was wonderful.  I'm not on meds yet, I actually wouldn't mind being on them for a bit, I guess we will see.

In the meantime I'm working thru it.

If your feeling down, talk to someone!