Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Steam City & The Venetians

I've been slowly working on "Somewhere In Deep Blue Space" for the B/X Campaign challenge.  Here's a bit more information on the world as it were..... the Blue Planet.

Steam City:  Steam City is the capital city of the Venetians, it is built in a deep crevasse.  A long winding path makes its way down into the city proper.  Most of the buildings have been built from stone, excavated from around the crevasse.  The entire city runs on a huge steam plant built beneath the city.  Huge pipes pump out steam, which surrounds the city creating a foggy mist from afar.  The city is filled with strange traders, stores, drinking establishments and the like. 

The Venetians:  As well as being the original inhabitants of the blue planet, they are also the preeminent race.  For the most part the Venetians are law abiding farmers, merchants and peasants.  Of course there are always a few bad eggs in the bunch!  Their stronghold lies within Steam City, however thousands of small villages and towns dot the landscape of the blue planet.  The Venetians are a fairly technically advanced race, having harnessed the power of steam.  They have created a system of currency using steel & brass that they have mined on the Blue planet. 

Currency:  Being the most populace race on the blue planet, the Venetians created a currency made of steel (SP), which is a small square coin.  There are also brass triangular coins (BP).  10 Brass pieces (BP) equal 1 Steel piece (SP).  

Artwork - openclipart.org

Monday, August 22, 2016

#rpgaday2016 Days 15 to 22

Here we go again, another few days.

15.  Your best source of inspiration for RPGs? 

Comic books, movies, even just random TV show plots, I'll often think while I'm watching something/reading "That's a perfect idea for D&D!".  Honestly it could be anything, I've watched a kids cartoon and had a good idea.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Recently i was watching a interview with billy corgan and it inspired me just to keep writing things. 

16.  Historical person you would like in your group? what game? 

I'm going to say that a lot of people would probably mention Gary Gygax, cuz you know he created the game and everything.  Honestly though, you know would be super cool Shakespeare! Playing a Bard.  Also this question really reminded me of Bill & Ted. 

17.  What fictional character would best fit in your group? 

I think its a tie, between Samwise gamgee (cuz Sam!) and Bruenor Battlehammer.  Although I'm leaning towards Bruenor, because mostly we drink a lot and play D&D, and having a dwarf with the ability to pull tankards of ale from behind his shield would be awesome. 

18.  What innovation could RPG groups benefit the most from? 

Some kind of scheduling app.  

19.  Best way to learn a new game?

I've said this before, and I think I made a post about it, but for me the best way to learn a game is to do character creation, and then once I've got a few PC's I run some mock battles against monsters. 

20.  Most challenging but rewarding system you have learned? 

I haven't really had any experience with challenging systems per se.  I guess I'll just say fifth edition.  Although I'd like to point out that I'm not really finding it rewarding.  For the most part I really like rules lite systems.  

21.  Funniest misinterpretation of a rule in your group? 

Well, I don't know if I have specific example.  However, we have basically house ruled Charisma checks as "Swagger checks".  Which is hillarious.  Player "I'm going to do the Matthew Mcconaughey walk up to the orc".  Rolls a 20... laughter ensues. 

22.  Supposedly random game events that keep occurring? 

Well since I'm the DM, I'd say that none of the events are random and I've written them all ahead of time.  But that's not the case!  ever.  I am a big fan of having recurring bad guys.  And in my current campaign the scope of that is slowly starting to take shape.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Some news of note.

A bunch of cool stuff has cropped up lately!  I'm sure you are aware of it, but if your not here it is! 

First and foremost, Brave The Labyrinth is back! 

Small Niche Games and Barrel Rider Games have joined forces to announce the return of Brave the Labyrinth, the Labyrinth Lord OSR magazine! We're looking for submissions! You can learn more here - http://halflingsluck.blogspot.ca/2016/08/brave-labyrinth-is-back.html

I've been talking on and off with +James Spahn and we were both of the opinion that Labyrinth Lord has gone by the way side a bit.  We were trying to figure out what to do about it.  There was some discussion about doing a podcast, but doing so requires a lot of time and forethought.   Not to mention gear. (to which i have some...)  Alas its a big time commitment.  Our discussion ended briefly, as I had to jump back into actual work.  Next thing I know there's the announcement of the NEW mag!  Woot.   Now to try and figure out what to write about for the book.  

From what I gather this all sort of came about because of this blog post - http://halflingsluck.blogspot.ca/2016/08/ebb-and-flow-in-osr.html


Super excited about this one!  I've been following a few posts from +James V West as he has been working on it.

Rabbits & Rangers

Product Description:
Remember when four-fingered talking animals wielded magic swords, cast spells, and fought demons? No? Well grab your Labyrinth Lord and dice because you're about to enter a world of properly wild critter crawls! Herein you will find rules for running funny animal campaigns including rabbits, ducks, mice, lions, bears, fossas, and many more!

Rabbits & Rangers is a supplement written for Labyrinth Lord describing 50 cartoon animal races and various rules tweaks that let you get a slightly more cartoony vibe out of your game. Fully illustrated, this book also contains new spells, monsters, and magic items. I mean, who couldn't use a Ring of Ahkme that will let you mail order any device required to achieve your genius goals? Act now! GET IT HERE


This was just released the other day, I downloaded it right away.  First off, it looks slick!  I have a copy of S&W whitebox, and its similar but there's a few added extras.  For one the Thief class, which does a great job of creating a mechanic for "thieving stuff".  Something I'm going to use.  In all honesty, just reading this is making me want to do a switch from our current system.  It's just a bit more rules lite.  And I had been thinking of similar ideas for my own house rules version.  As well the art is awesome sauce. 

White Box

Product Description:
White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game is an update with new art and layout of the excellent Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox game.  This is not an official S&W publication. It is my own version with a few added ideas from various other OSR sources. 


The Hench 

Product Description:
Henchmen: the forgotten underclass of the adventuring party. Often cast aside or used in ways that no sentient should be, this playable class for Labyrinth Lord allows you to experience life as a henchman/henchwoman/henchthing. 
  • Low barrier to class/career entry!
  • Progress quickly through initial Levels, and then switch to an adventuring class!
  • Develop a number of skills and abilities that enhance and support all adventuring parties!
  • Rise above the ranks of other Henches who don't dedicate themselves to being all they can be!
  • Become an actual Meatshield, but with the skills and training to survive being thrown at things that will kill you dead!
  • Three variants: the Cavalryman, the Infantry, and the Scout! GET IT HERE


And a few more cool things! 

Great blog post by +Wayne Rossi about open source gaming & basic fantasy 

And +Dyson Logos is working on revamping "Challenge of the frog god idol" which I am immensely excited about! 


As for me, I'm all over the place lately. 

I am working on a set of space rules for the B/X campaign challenge, based on holmes D&D. 

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my current old school campaign, doing a bit of writing for it.  The PC"s are currently on their way to Elerd's Keep.  When they get there I'll need a couple of dungeons & adventures paths for them. I'm considering running this - http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.ca/2016/04/princess-of-silver-palace-bya-lot-of.html

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Demon Symbiote

I posted briefly about this on G+.  I was doing some google searching that somehow managed to lead to "VENOM" from Spiderman.  I think I'm going to throw a demonic symbiote at one of my players.  Here are the stats thus far.

When the demon attempts to take over the PC's body, have them roll a saving throw vs spell at -2 on the roll.  (Cuz you want this to happen to them!).

Once possessed.... (k not the right word).  Once the 2 are melded the following occurs:

The Demonic suit acts as Plate Mail, as far as AC is concerned.
The PC becomes immune to charm spells, however susceptible to Sleep spells (Saving throw at -2 on roll).

Have the player roll 3D6 and mark this down as "Self" stat.

Whenever the player decides to do something "good" orientated there is an internal struggle.  (this doesn't need to happen every-time).  In this instance i might decide behind the screen to use +Venger Satanis 33% mechanic.

Roll in front of the screen a contest of wills between the PC and the Demon.  roll a 20.  Whoever is highest wins.  In the case of the Demon, the PC will not do what they intended but the complete opposite.

Deduct one point from the "Self" stat.  Whenever that stat reaches 0, the PC has fully become the demon and has lost all self.

You may consider adding one point back when the PC wins that is up to you.

In order to remove the symbiote, the following must happen.
1.  a Remove curse spell
2.  Kill the PC, to detach the symbiote
3.  A Resurrection spell

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Whistling Towers.

I acquired a copy of the world map of Basq, and its super friggin cool!  The nice thing about this adventure/module is that there are sections that have been left up to the GM's imagination.  Don't get me wrong, the book is filled with encounters and backgrounds, etc.  However, as I said there's little bits and pieces with a description.  To a degree this reminds me of the 2e Forgotten Realms setting, in that there are descriptions, and a bit of a rumour for certain places, but that is as much fleshing out as there is, leaving a bit of play room.  I've never really been a fan of an entire setting being "set in stone".  ie the whole FR canon.  

But I digress, 
Another look at a section of Basq, The Whistling Towers, 
From Text: 

The Whistling Towers are large 200 feet high structure that dot the Saragubi Desert and whistle a haunting tone whenever there is a moderate breeze.  These towers have no traditional entrances and must be scaled to enter.  Near the top of each tower is a long, narrow slit that leads to the structure's interior which is just as devoid of life and accommodation.

Of course there's a bit more information in the text of the book, but this is enough to get you excited right? 

From what I gather these towers are in a sense man made perhaps, The first question that comes to my mind is, who made them? what were they used for? And of course, when the PC's find these, how will the scaling them go? 

Of course my first though when reading the above text, was something similar to the below picture. 

Which is not the case if they are in fact man made.   However these odd structures would dot the landscape of basq if i was running it.

This whole area, would be extremely creepy at night, playing up the weird wind whistling.  

Running thru my head, this is a great place to have some serious creepy bad guys, ghosts, maybe a pack of were creatures possibly?  What is inside these towers? 

Maybe the PC's stumble upon the ability to fly perhaps?  Maybe they are sent off on some mission to find a lost artifact buried inside the towers.   

My mind is rambling with interesting ideas here.  And that is part of the reason why I'm diggin this setting so much, it's got my creative juices flowing.  Now I'll just have to figure out a way to transport my old school characters from the world I created, to basq..... maybe a unfortunate time dimensional warp stone? Who knows!  

Another idea I've got kicking around, is to start off with B4 the Lost City, and then move from that to Basq proper.  


Sunday, August 14, 2016

#rpgaday2016 days 9 thru 14

Here we go again, I'm sitting in front of my trusty slow as heck laptop.  Rather than doing a whole post on everyday, or a daily version, I think I'll just try and do a week ofr a few days at once.

9.  Beyond the game what is involved in an ideal session? 

Honestly, I need to laugh!  I need to have the players come up with some crazy scheme, and hope it works, or falls so flat its even more funny.  In a recent session when I was playing a cleric with super low intelligence and wisdom I decided to do the following: I yelled "YIPPIE KY YAH MOTHERFUCKERS!", lit a flask of oil and stuck it in my tunic and then made a beeline for the bad guys swinging my war hammer.  Stuff like that!  As well, mountain dew, beer and cheezies.

10.  Largest in game surprise you have experienced?

I have plans to surprise my players, as of yet I haven't really been to surprised with things that have happened while I've been a player.  Yup that chest is a mimic!  Eventually I want to use one in a game, but in a really odd location, and a odd thing.  Maybe a mug of ale, I haven't quite figured it out yet.  I did just latetly have an NPC hire the PC's to go and clear out a tomb, and in the end she turned out to be a thief, she just wanted the players to do her dirty work.

11.  Which gamer most affected the way you play? 
I don't think there is any one specific gamer, more so I think that the way I play was affected by all of the articles & posts that I have read.

12.  What game is your group most likely to play next and why? 
Whenever I finish up my old school fantasy campaign, I think I will run mutant future, heavy on the "fallout" feel.  A few of my players seems to quite like post apocalyptica.  Specifically one of my players's characters was named "biohazz", and he was an elf.....  So I'm pretty sure that a game set in the not so distant nuclear future will be right up their alley.

13.  What makes a sucessful campaign? 
Honestly, Intrigue.  Keeping the characters interested, writing bits and pieces that may tie the players to each other and the game world.  Being smart enough to change the script when one of the PC's dies, and still keeping them immersed in the world.  And of course the real chance of death. 

14.  Your dream team of people you used to play with?
I haven't had a ton of RPG groups over the years, so I don't really have a dream team per se.  I did however have one hillarious session with about 10 of my friends from middle school.  I ran the original advanced fighting fantasy rules, and the port blacksand adventure for a birthday party once, and that was awesome.

Monday, August 8, 2016

#rpgaday2016 the first eight days

I had originally posted day 1, and had thought to do this as a daily blog post, but alas I'm on vacation and for the most part away from wifi, etc.  The plan going forward is to do a series of maybe 2 or 3 posts covering the whole month.  I may totally forget and do the last blast on the 31st we will see.  But at this point, here's day 1 thru 8.

Day 1 - Real dice, dice app, diceless, how do you prefer to roll? 

Real dice!  I just got a pound of Wiz Dice from my wife, and I've been desperately trying to figure out which ones are the good ones.  Ever session I try a new set in hopes they will start rolling 20's.  One thing I find quite funny is the act of "training dice".  Apparently the gist is you put all your dice with the highest number up and let them sit on the table till you need to roll them.  If it rolls low, you put the dice away in the bag of sham.  I can't quite see this working well with a dice app.

Funny story though, did you know that Siri will roll 20 if you ask her? You tried it, didn't you?

Speaking to "diceless" I'm finding that that more I DM the more I get players to roll dice and not myself.  Other than the occasional roll behind the screen to scare them.  When a moment comes up that I need a roll, I try to figure out how best to leave the fate in the hands of the characters and their dice.

I have used the WOTC roller while working on adventures because of the lack of dice in my office desk (note I should throw some dice in my desk).

Day 2 - Best game session since august 2015.
This one - http://3toadstools.blogspot.ca/2016/06/dems-barbarians-in-those-hills-old.html 
and this one - http://3toadstools.blogspot.ca/2016/06/a-talking-raven-other-hijinx-strahd.html

Day 3 - Character moment your the most proud of. 
From this past year, I haven't played a lot of characters other than my cleric in the curse of strahd game.  While not entirely proud of this moment, I rememeber it distinctly.  We had just escaped teh mist and we were on our way to a gyspy camp.  My cleric saw a lake of water that was quite brackish.  Hoping for a bit of meta healing knowlege he leapt in, and just came out smelling awful. 

Day 4 - Most impressive thing another characters did. 
Not so much another character, but one of my players.  I had him roll on my background sheet, and he came up with "shunned by the gods".  Which lead to him writing a journal about it.  Crazy!


Day 5 - What story does your group tell about your character?  
I don't really have too many stories about the characters I've played, however I have a few stories about NPCs that I created.  In one such case, the players in my old school campaign rescued a goblin that was trapped in a sack.  His name was "dirk", which was a major reference to Dobby, in turn the players treated him as such.  Another rather entertaining moment was a oracle hobgoblin who lived in a dungeon beneath brymassen.  See except from blog post.

The players meet up with a wizened old hobgoblin who tells them after a bit of convincing that there are kobolds in the dungeon.  Funny thing was the hobgoblin wanted some money for the information, however one of the players wanted to do a "swagger check".  "I walk  up like Matthew Mcconaughey".  He rolled a 20.  The hobgoblin paid them for the information! hahahaha. Good enough.

Day 6 - Most amazing thing a group did for their community? 
There was a guy on Google plus collecting D&D dice for a school project, I thought that was quite cool.  I believe lots of people sent him old sets of dice, and a few adventures as well.  I'm looking high and low to find a post regarding it, but my search fu is off today.

Day 7 - What aspect of RPG's has had the biggest effect on you?
I posted about this the other day actually, I don't like winning, and that's why I like RPG's.  Because they are not about winning they are about a cooperative experience.  The thing I like about writing RPG's, well adventures  is the creative outlet it gives me.  The fact that my brain is always swimming with ideas, etc.

Day 8 - hardcover, softcover, pdf, what is your preference? 
I prefer actual books honestly, they are easy to carry around.  However I do like having searchable PDF's, specifically on a laptop, and mostly for rules stuff.  That said I'm not a fan of the 3 column BECMI adventures, and TOEE format either.  Digest size pdfs work quite well on tablets, which is what most people are carrying around now.  If I had to say a preference though, it would be 8.5 x 11 and 2 column book, doesn't matter if its hard or softcover.  Although there is the enjoyable thump when you put a hard cover book down on the table.