Tuesday, July 31, 2018

DIY30

Dan D came up with this idea (well this years version, I believe Beloche started it last year).  Essentially I think its a way to get back into writing, whatever path that takes.  As you can see by the image "got multiple projects? work on them".  So simply put, try daily to write something.  Now if one needs some structure, they could take the 30 days of August (err 31) and basically run down this list 3 times plus one.  I'm sure it's entirely up to you if you want to post this on your blog daily, or perhaps record anchor episodes for it. 

I doubt that my A.D.D. would allow me to spend a month on each thing.  Possibly? but likely not.  I think I will do this creative thing, rather than do the whole #rpgaday thing (which I normally do in one blast).

I have so many god darn things half written, this should allow me a chance to focus on at least one of them, or possibly switch between them all. 

I should note however, that the 3 Toadstools will be shut down for 2 weeks while I am away on vacation.  I'll be out in the bush camping, with no access to wifi (and I won't be bringing a device anyways).  I am however bringing a large notebook, a bunch of hex and graph paper.  I intend to write something! Don't worry about me I'm fine, I'll just not be around.

My list of unfinished projects are as follows: 
Mutant Future Campaign Set in Canada.
Somewhere in space
A otherworldly hexcrawl
A small hexcrawl with slaves, a lizard king and intrigue. (kinda S&S)
A wuxia campaign for my old school players

I obviously have a ton of shit that I've started and not completed.


Monday, July 30, 2018

The Master's Hoard - A Review

Publisher Blurb:
A System Neutral Collection of 22 Magic items
Hopefully most of the items are fairly original and are often accompanied by a quirk or two!


A grabbed a copy of "The Master's Hoard" a little while ago, but hadn't had a chance to read it until now.  The author Goblin's Henchmen I've done a lot of work with over the last few years, he's contributed rooms to the blue baron series, and he made a very cool version of "Dusty Door" using an excel spreadsheet.  (see video and channel here).  While you are at it watch a bunch more of the modules he's been working on! Super handy stuff.  The book is 26 pages including the OGL.  It is however a slightly weird size 8.27 x 11.69 (I chalk this up to Mac software, it seems to do weird shit like this, and sometimes I have trouble printing it) 

Alright, onto the review.  First things first, I gotta write up a better blurb for him.  The pdf contains 22 system neutral magic items (although I would refer to them as artifacts I think, because they seem to me more of a one of a kind type of thing).  The premise of the book is that the author has been given each one of these items to detail for his master, thru working with the items he/she has discovered the powers that they can wield.  I should note that while this is system neutral it is decidedly OSR D&D feel to some of the mechanics.  That being said some simple conversions to other systems would be fairly straight forward (mentions of dice mechanics & damage as an example). example the "troll jawbone axe" does d8+4 damage, however if you were running say Advanced Fighting Fantasy you could treat it as a large weapon/monster damage.  Alternatively if playing Holmes or S&W you could just rule it as 2d6 damage.  Once again, not that big of a deal.

One of the super cool things about this supplement is that its setup up so that each magic item is on an individual page, which allows a GM to make hand outs for players.  Provided you play a game that the PCs are allowed to know what a magic items does (in some cases GMs like to not let people know outright what a magical item does, but only thru trial and error find out).  

Each magic item has a wonderful digitally drawn image, done in Goblin Henchmens awesome style.  

Further I really enjoy a lot of the names of these items "hosiery of ten steps", "Globe of Futures Forestalled", "bottle of misadventure".  Good stuff, beats the crap out of "+2 magical potion of giant strength" doesn't it! 

I would be very curious to see exactly where this Master's hideout is, and besides these wonderful magical items, what exactly would be in store for the PCs if they dared to enter it! 

I really dig a lot of these items, and would probably use more than a few of them in a campaign.  A lot of the items have interesting mechanical things associated with them.  example "Blade of blinking" allows a user to blink (teleport) when an adversary is hit.  Mechanic:  The 'blink location' is indexed to the weapon damage roll (see below). Where multiple dice are used for weapon damage (e.g. 3D6), then only the lowest die roll of the set is used to determine the 'blink location':
• 1 Rolled - user blinks, but ends up front and center of the target (no advantage gained by the user or target);
• 2 or 3 Rolled - user blinks to the side/flank of the target (next attack is: +1 to hit target; and -1 for the target to hit user);

Note: I purposely left out +4 so you have to go and read the rest of the cool magic items. 

The Master's Hoard is FREE.  Get it here





  


Friday, July 27, 2018

Free Map Friday July 27/18

Here you go!  I managed to do a bit of airbrush by accident on the main map, so there won't be a BW version of this.  FYI this was done entirely in gimp.  And it's CC! So go ahead and use it in an adventure.  


This map by Shane Ward (3 Toadstools Publishing) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License. Inquiries about permissions beyond the scope of this license should be made by contacting Shane Ward


Thursday, July 26, 2018

A little update on things

Alright so I finally got my proof for "the return of the blue baron".  It looks fantastic! It actually didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I was figuring that it might be a few weeks, with all of the border issues we have been having.

If at some point, there's  a little extra things written for the baron, I'll put it up as an addendum download on drivethrurpg.  I know this kinda of stuff happens when working on creative things.  I excellent example of this is (and honestly don't hate me for it):  When Nickelback finished "Silver Side Up", they had finished the whole recording, and mixing etc.  The day after everything was complete the legend goes that, that was the day Chad wrote "how you remind me".  Obviously there's no way of knowing what the impact of the record would be without that song, but with it the band skyrocketed.

Note, you can order a print copy from createspace here.  And the FREE pdf here



I am officially done with this project (as far as my part of it is concerned).  It's actually a really big weight off my shoulders.  Having this proof in my hands, has given me a new wonderful feeling and the kick in the ass that I needed.  I have a pile of projects that I've been slowly working on and I think it's about time to start getting them done! I've been drawing a lot more maps latetly, and I actually started working on one digitally in GIMP, which I have to say is weird, but interesting.  Honestly more testing needed.

I should note, that we would be more than enthusiastic to get a review of rotbb, we would be over the moon! If you do, please use the hashtag #rotbb and thank you thank you!

If this works out, I will put the map up on the blog under CC, for anyone to use.  And "those damn goblins", I honestly don't know, the line just popped into my head while I was doodling.  This map should be done hopefully by friday.  (free map friday perhaps?).



Here's the unboxing video.  When I got the package I was crazy excited, but I thought "K I think what could be fun is to make my wife do it".  Unfortunately, she got tied up in traffic and I was on pins and damn needles waiting for her. 




TONIGHT! I get to play "Twig" in a actual play of the blue baron part 2.  You can watch us live here. A little info about Twig:   not the strongest, or the smartest, or even the wisest, although twig could probably stomach anything. In fact, twig may even bet people.

I've got vacation coming up very soon, so don't worry about me I'll just be unplugged for a little while. (2 weeks of camping!)

I am very much enjoying podcasting (which is partially why there's been a lack of blog posts the last little while).  If you are interested come join us on Anchor! Here is a detailed list of OSR types doing their shows.

I noticed the #rpgaday2018 is starting soon.  As usual I think I'll do one shot blog post on the whole thing.


Alright that's about all the rambling I can do today.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Review of Quake Alley Mayhem! for Gathox Vertical Slum

I was kindly given a copy of "Quake Alley Mayhem!" to review.  Here's the publisher blurb:

Enter a seedy underworld of alien hyper-capitalists and wondrous ancient artifacts with Quake Alley Mayhem! 

This murderous, misshapen module foists a host of traps, puzzles, and environmental hazards upon unsuspecting players in a race against time. Structured for both tournament and campaign play, Quake Alley Mayhem! includes pregenerated characters, supplements to track the party's progress and impending doom, and hooks to fit the adventure into a larger campaign.

Designed for 3 to 6 players of levels 1 - 3.  You can purchase the adventure here

This adventure was written & illustrated by David Lewis Johnson, Edited by Mike Evans (DIY RPG) and the layout was  done by Matt Hildebrand.  The adventure is intended for Gathox Vertical Slum, however it could be easily inserted into a home brew alien world with no problems (Following the review is the publisher blurb for Gathox Veritcal Slum).

GAWD I LOVE THE ART

The adventure is setup for campaign & tournament play, which includes a handy chart for tournament scoring.  The hook is straight forward, it focuses on a team of fresh gang members and their attempt to retrieve a artifact for their boss. The thing I really dig about this module, is there are no rooms in it that are empty.  Every room has a chance for roleplay, a fight, and or a deadly trap.  In other words this isn't a vanilla dungeon with safe words! This is partially because of the tournament aspect of the adventure. 

In my humble opinion the writing is solid and evocative.  The rooms with traps are different than your average type trap, the puzzles are fun.  The adventure is setup with a timer and the GM needs  to keep track of what is going on at all times, as some environmental hazards play a big part in what happens thru out.  This is a awesome mechanic.  There is even one specific room that is dedicated to slowing down the PCs and having them enjoy a little bit of side gaming.  Of course, the hazards don't stop right!  Excellent idea. 

Here's the cool thing about this module, it's totally DIY RPG.  All of the races, aliens, places, weapons and artifacts are all made up.  It's not your typical fantasy adventure, with fantasy creatures.  It's not your typical alien world either.  However you could easily run this adventure as a "gangs of Chicago" kinda thing no problem.  (Well with a little bit of tinkering).  Heck you could easily run this in a mutant future campaign.  

DAMN I DIG THE LAYOUT (LOOKS AWESOME ON MY 8" TABLET), SINGLE COLUMN CENTERED. 

The adventure takes place in a old mill/safe house.  There are three levels, and 18 action packed rooms!  Once again, easy to pop into whatever universe you are playing in. 

The nice thing about this adventure is that it comes with pregenerated characters on very cool hand drawn character sheets (note there is a blank copy in the back of the book).  The PC races give you a bit of insight into the world of Gathox.  Included are:   

Street tough, Martial master, Soldier, Cosmic doctor, spiritualist, faith healer, mutant.

The module also includes a handy death and dismemberment table, its a d10 table, and I'm printing a copy of of it for my GM screen (when I get to a place with printer, ie work).

Honestly this is a pretty cool adventure, and if you like your gaming a little gonzo alien awesome, I think this is absolutely perfect for you.  At the end of the book are a few campaign hooks, and a wonderful rumour table.  Both of which easily setup more adventures.  While the source book Gathox Veritcal Slum is not needed to run this adventure, I'd strongly recommend it, if anything just to have a bit more background information (also to support DIY RPG, cuz they put out some awesome shit). Of course reading the sourcebook will get you even further into the mood.  

Seriously cool adventure.   


Gathox Veritcal Slum
Welcome to Gathox Vertical Slum, a far out, gonzo science fantasy campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition and other classic tabletop role playing games.

Aliens, mutants, spellslingers, and hardened criminals struggle for dominance in a lawless city built upon the back of a wandering, world-hopping godling. Inside this tome you’ll find:

* A fully mapped and fleshed out Vertical Slum, stuffed to the gills with greedy factions, hook-laden NPCs, and seedy locations.
* A new gangland system for running domain-level games at level 1.
* 43 fully illustrated strange and inimical monsters to spring on unsuspecting players.
* New classes, skills, ability checks, hirelings, and gear for players to work their will across the mean streets of the Great Spire.
* A vertical dungeon introductory adventure to test the skills and resourcefulness of new and seasoned players alike.
* Over a hundred lavish interior illustrations by D.L. Johnson.
* Five pieces of interconnected chapter fiction contributed by Josh Wagner.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

GM Games Spotlight

Starter Adventures
Starter Adventures is where you learn to fight, steal, cast spells and heal.  You'll have to use your wits to figure out puzzles.  Use a sword to murderize goblins.  And crumble the undead beneath the power of your god.  Starter Adventures is targeted toward introducing a new player into RPGs.  Inside are four short adventures for each of the four main classes, a tavern to hangout in, and a full-fledged adventure when they've got enough blood encrusted on their blades. GET IT HERE. 



Stone Fields Of Azoroth 
The Stone Fields of Azoroth is a mini-sandbox for a party of experienced adventurers.  The first book contains the Village of Bad Water, settled in the Stone Fields.  The village is fully detailed and provides an endless amount of role-playing opportunities.

GET IT HERE. 







The Flayed King 
The Flayed King started out as Tullis Well, I had the map and in my game the Northmen use wells in their religious ceremonies.  So I started writing with this in mind and somewhere the concept of The Flayed King originated as I wrote.  I heavily borrowed from the story of Odin losing his eye to gain wisdom.  This guy didn't fair so well.  Throw in a bit of Authurian and Egyptian mythos and this is what I created.
GET IT HERE. 




Cave of Seiljua


Ragnar has slandered a fellow clansman, but fled before he was brought before the Thing.  The jarl orders the players to return Ragnar...alive.  The jarl believes Ragnar is hiding in an old cave within the wildlands.  A place once hunted often to thin out the horrible creatures that lived there. 






GM Games also produces the fantastic zine "The Manor", you pickup the bundle here: or the individual issues below. 

The Manor is a jammed packed, Old School zine.  Inside you'll find a stink'n old salt pit with one of my favorite creatures, a d12 table from the mischevious mind of Jason Sholtis, one of the many secrets of Rural Pennsylvania, a poetry slam by an old time blogging favorite Rusty Battle Axe, a table of random forest encounters and a boot merchant with a bad, bad past. 



Monday, July 16, 2018

Repost from The Might Be Gazebos - OSR Anchorites

Repost from https://theymightbgazebos.blog/osr-anchorites/
Anchor.fm has become the new love child of the OSR. It’s an easy way to do quick podcasts so folks (like me) how wouldn’t think about it are jumping in. Most are available through your favorite podcast app or just go to Anchor.fm and listen on line or grab that app. Here’s a list of some of them (in no particular order). This list might not be complete and I’ll add some notes to each later on.
JB Publishing
Random Screed 
The Squirrel Speaks
Gothridge Manor
Tavern Chat
Frank T’s Liner Notes
Dice Roll Zine Ramblecast
Playing It Wrong
Gilligan’s Island of ADD
The Vanishing Tower
Spikepit
Matt Random
Radio Grognard

Glynn Seal (MonkeyBlood Design) 

Friday, July 13, 2018

The return of the blue baron - live stream - part 1

Here's a youtube video of the live stream from last night. If you are like me and tied to a desk, it's fun to have on in the background.  Obviously there's a bit of explicit content.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

D20 starting locations other than a tavern

Just a few home base, starting locations

1. Rocs nest in a tall tree.
2. Basement of a castle
3. Orc stronghold in the mountains
4. Sewer (outhouse road stop)
5. Large horse stable
6. Roadside fireworks seller
7. A hut filled with gypsys
8. An old temple on a cliff
9. A valley filled with large mushrooms
10. A large crater
11. Aboard a sailing ship
12. A crash landed spacecraft
13. Back of a wagon, bound and gagged
14. Lost in the wilds
15. An old farm house
16. A grave yard
17. On the road between small towns
18. Lowest level of the dungeon
19. A wizards tower
20. At a jousting tournament in the countryside

Friday, July 6, 2018

RPG Art Links

Here are a few places I go to find art.  Most notably https://openclipart.org/
The big trick with finding good stuff, is to obviously use good keywords, think outside the box sometimes, and edit the images a bit if need be.

Here's my list:
https://openclipart.org

https://www.pexels.com/

https://pixabay.com/

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

http://karenswhimsy.com/public-domain-images/

You can also search creative commons for images here: https://search.creativecommons.org/

http://oldbookillustrations.com/ is a good resource however read the Terms of use

Here's another good article regarding the subject:  https://www.geeknative.com/49365/4-great-places-get-free-art-rpgs/

Keep in mind that in some cases, art is not always useable in a commercial project, Flickr is a good example.  Take a look to see what version of creative commons things are licensed under.

Obviously sites like drivethrurpg.com have tons of great art, a LOT for sale.  I've often periodically checked the stock art area and then revised my search by price.  Here I made it easy for you, click on the link.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ran a "rusty" DCC funnel last night

So last night our old school group got together for a game,  We hadn't played in a LONG time.  I myself haven't GMd in over a year.  It was a bit of a fiasco. 

When I originally posted about playing I had mentioned that I needed to do some prep to run the funnel.  A few of my buddies were pretty cool about "Nah you'll do fine don't worry too much". 

I made a pile of Bad gming mistakes.

I still don't quite understand the saves and how they are reflected so I made it up.
I used the "read aloud text", which I'll never be doing again.  As soon as you read it, everyone looses interest.  The problem was, I was rusty, and honest I thought the writing in the adventure was very evocative.

I totally forgot about initiative, like literally forgot about it.
I did manage to kill off a few players.

I didn't railroad anyone however. 

Everyone did have a lot of fun though! Kurt's girlfriend showed up and drew the whole time we were playing, posted below are some of her pics with descriptions.

The adventure we played was the free rules for DCC rpg from free rpg day.  There's a section in the adventure where there's this big barbarian statue and it blasts hot flames at the party when they try and leave the room. 

(Pictured below is Mike Wazowski as a barbarian statue).

I'm not sure if I read it wrong, or if I just ran it correctly.  It made sense that it would blast players trying to leave the door they came thru, but all the rest of the doors? not sure.

All of the players were allowed to have individual attack rolls.  Any checks were done with their first player in the marching order.  Which went up down, left to right on the 4 page sheets I gave them.

However with the monsters, well in the case of the barbarian statue I just rolled once to hit and once for damage.  The case in point was Josh's characters were leaving, and the barbarian shot the flame at them.  There were four characters and one blast.  It didn't make sense in my head at the time to roll 4 times for the monster's one shot.  And in the book it just said it does one attack.  However there were 4 PCs leaving the room.  Maybe I should have ran it as "monster attacks one player".  In the way I did it, I killed him off in the first room, I did allow him a save, but he failed.  The way I looked at it is

" the monster turns and blasts a stream of fire at four PCs trying to leave,  the players fail a reflex save and take damage, it's one blast headed at all of them.  Not four blasts".

Whatever the case I cocked it up. 

About a month ago I had re-read the DCC rules and the adventure and I felt like I had a firm grasp of it.  Honestly I think I'm just getting older.  Give me rules light basic DND and I'm good to go.  Even the adventure, while written very well I still felt like my hands were tied a little bit.  I've talked about this before.

I must say everyone enjoyed DCC character creation, they really understood the made up way of doing zocci dice.  (using control dice).

So here's my brief non biased review of the Free RPG Day DCC rules.

The system and the free rules are great, I could see playing a ton of adventures with it.
The adventures contained within the book are wonderfully written. 
If you are into old school, and understand 3rd ed mechanics and gonzo awesome, DCC is a wonderful system. 

It's just not for me, or at least not for my players.

I haven't decided if we will run the next adventure in the book or not.

After we were done, I had the players roll up whitebox characters for the next game.  I am on the fence as to wether to write a hexcrawl my own world or run Isle of dread.  I do have a good idea for a starting point.  As usual we used my "plausible backgrounds table", which is always good for a laugh.

I'm rambling... Here's the pics that Amanda drew.  So awesome. 

At one point someone attempted to slide under the statue and get to a door.  They rolled a 1, so I made up that they cracked their head on the balls of the monster.  

My wife decided to keep these weird ceremonial bone masks and put them on her characters.


The ceiling and been broken so one player decided to jump on this weird alien crystal ball and jump down with it.  One of the other players had a large piece of fabric as trade goods.  This was the result.