Thursday, May 23, 2019

AFF discussion over at Known World, Old World

If you are a fan of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, I'd suggest heading over here:

I've written a lot on the subject as well.

It's a wonderful game, one that I'll eventually run again.

You can get a copy of the quickstart rules here:

The Advanced Fighting Fantasy system was re-released as a second edition in 2011 to great acclaim and received great reviews.

Although we are unable to offer a pdf version of the full rulebook, we are now able to offer the quickstart adventure to enable everyone to try this great game.

Even inexperienced ropleplayers can be up and running in 10 minutes with the pregenerated Heroes included, and a classic dungeon awaits.

Veteran gamers will get a taste of a very fast and adaptible system, well suited to long-term campaigns.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Isle Of Dread Dino Minis!

My wife saw these at the dollarstore yesterday.  I'm going to get her to grab them.  She figured they were a bit bigger than regular minis, which should work out perfectly!  I doubt that they will stand up, so I may cut up a cereal box and see if I can glue them somehow.  I mean for $3 why not right!

Over the years I've found some pretty cool stuff.  I picked up about 20 D6s one time.  I grabbed a bunch of coloured blocks that I've used as "spell slots" when I played 5e.  Basically "green" was first level, red second, etc.  As I spent spells I'd just put them back in my bag.

Obviously loose leaf, pens, yadda are all handy to pick up when you are there.  If I was running a long campaign I'd even consider grabbing a notebook for everyone.

Oh I almost forgot, duotangs are infinitely handy! I've printed off a bunch of charts, tables, adventures, and rules that all get stuck in some random duotang.

If you get a chance go to your local dollarstore and see what you can see.  Think outside the box, you never know what you will find.  My wife said to me "they had star wars characters, but they were bigger than minis".  Me:  "That's fine,  I'll run some WEG Star Wars D6 at some point.  Size wise it doesn't really matter".  Turns out they were fairly cheap!  So I think I gotta do a run to the dollarstore soon and go on a spending spree! hahaha.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Repost: In defense of old school armour class

James West posted this on facebook (well the image).  I kindly asked him to post a blog with it so I could cross post:

The reason for this was, because I think this is awesome! and a perfect way to explain it.  Especially for people who have only ever played with ascending. 

A little while ago I was playing with my 5e group, and one dude named Scott (whose been playing for a long time) said "I hit AC 14".  When he said that I realized that this guy had played old school games.  We hit it off right away lol!

Anyways, if you need some help explaining it to a newb, or someone whose only ever played the newer way, print this off. 

I'm going to print it and stick it in my hand out sheets to my players.

Thanks James.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday RPG update thingamabob blog postie

I apologize if I've been a bit quiet lately.  I keep thinking "I should do a blog, or do another podcast".  But by the time I sit down to do it, everything pops out of my head.  I suppose that happens.  In all honesty I think that it comes down to the season.  It's finally getting nice out in the land of Winter!  So there's other things to do.

I'm hoping to get the old school group together soon, to run session 2 of the Isle of Dread.  There will be a play report after that.  I'm also slowly working on a blog detailing the machinations of the Isle NPCs.

meet Ramses, old sailor npc that the PCs met while in Specularm. He was quite happy to accompany them, as it had been a very long time since he had went on adventure. He's really a jack of all trades, he knows a few spells, is quick with a sword and can pick a lock. He has a score to settle with the pirates near the isle and the merchant clans in kamareikos.
Image via :Old-Pirate by


The other thing I'm working on is a small hexcrawl.  I had posted on mewe asking for help filling out a hexmap that I built using:

Thus far there is twenty two entries, out of one hundred.  I figure fifty entries is probably sufficient.  Currently I'm code naming it Weird Wayfaring.  Whenever it's done I'll post a link to a google drive document.


Another fun thing, there's a new entry in the 10 Monster setting:

I'm enjoying how this idea has picked up some steam.  For the complete list you can go here, and for the information about the idea here.


Other than that, I've had a few random writing ideas that I've been working on, but I'm at the point of scraping some of them (as they are exciting me less than they were).  At some point I'd like to write down my small campaign world that I used for our old school group.  It may end up being a small hex crawl.  It was very traditional fantasy (almost high?).  You can read the play reports here.  "Shanes silly fantasy campaign".  This was the thought that ran thru my head last night when I couldn't sleep.  I always find when I'm having difficulty writing something to stop the big project, and work on a smaller project.  The problem becomes that I never finish the big project.  (honestly the list is endless! Remember when I was writing a mega dungeon LMFAO!).


There was a discussion on the Blueholme Mewe group regarding the following:

I know B/X is the bad boy on the block and S&W seems to be the OSR mainstay having long dethroned OSRIC.... I believe many of these recent Kickstarters are missing out by not using BlueHolme as the basis for their OSR product.
What is the roadblock? What can we do?

My personal thoughts on this are:

1.  Michael is an awesome cat and if you are looking for a license for Blueholme, look no further:

2.  There is always a "Flavour of the month" when it comes to the retro clone scene, there's not much to be done about it honestly.  Authors can take a more system neutral stance if they like (include ascending and descending AC for example).   I think part of the reason that S&W is so popular to write for is that you can pretty much use any module with it, without too much farting around.  (I'm currently running Isle of Dread with S&W Whitebox).

3.  I've done my best to try and bring attention to Blueholme, with the Baron series and Dusty Door.    I am unsure if my efforts have been met with resistance, or have fallen on deaf ears.  The possibility exists that some of the stuff I've written/worked on might be a little bit outside of the box.  That said I'll continue to write for Blueholme as I really enjoy it.  Specifically I really like writing for the Prentice Rules, because I find writing for 1st to 3rd level is very much in my wheel house.

Drama (or lack therof)

Last night, I fell down a rabbit hole of awful.  I went to a popular OSR blog site, read a post, then followed the rest of the conversation on fb and twitter (well one side of it).  It's human nature sometimes to read thru the drama.  In the end (after about a half hour of fucking around) I realized that I'm very happy that I'm seeing less drama nowadays from the circles that I spend time in. 

Partially the reason that I'm seeing less drama is that I've curated my mewe list better than my G+ list, and the fact that the OSR really did split completely when G+ died.  The only real issue I'm having nowadays is that I follow people on Twitter, FB, Mewe, Instagram and now discord! ACHK! I once again need to sit down and decide what the reason for my participation in social sites.  An example of this is I really need to trim down people on IG (because I see the same post on fb).  In all honesty I should delete IG.

Yup that got really rambly....

I hope you have a good day!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Not RPG Related - Quick brain checkup

I'm honestly doing quite a lot better mentally.  Pretty sure I spent a good two years being depressed on and off.  The depression cycle is strange, when you look at it.  Things seem to go well for a bit, and then it starts to creep up on you (the trick is catching when it's happening!)  Then you get the utter uselessness feeling, then the shit hits, then you are better.

Leading up to the "big move" for my business I was really in a daze.  And part of my therapy was figuring it out.  Now though, with some hindsight I'm quite happy about a few things (despite my boss bringing them up on occasion).  One of them is that I've really made my peace as far as no longer being a recording engineer, and all the shit that went along with it.  Recently a friend (former client) hooked me up with another possible recording session.  In the end the session isn't going to happen.  I'm actually quite thankful, as I found my anxiety starting to increase because of the possibility of it.  Which leads me to believe that I am officially over it. 

and that's a good thing. 

While I haven't been doing as many creative things in the evening, I am spending a bit more time working on myself.  I'm trying not to be hard on myself because I didn't:  Draw a map, write stuff, etc.  What has been giving me purpose is slowly working on ideas for my isle of dread campaign.  And honestly that's enough. 

Eventually get my shit together and put some new toadstools stuff out.  As it stands  I've got about 10 projects that are slowly being written.  I've decided to attempt to complete a "first draft" on a project, before doing any kind of editing.  Basically writing diarrhea. 

Grand scheme of things I am doing a lot better than I was.  I've been telling people instead of having a "Mid life crisis" I decided to have a "mid life depression".  (Honestly not as much fun as buying a corvette!).

As a sorta side note, I'm going to start working on a guitar rebuild repair project.  I'm probably going to create a blog that will have updates to the process, pics etc.  So if you are interested, I'll toss the link up here when I finally get started.  I'm currently sourcing parts for the project. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

One Page Dungeon Contest Entry

It's been a few years since I remembered to do the One Page Dungeon Contest.  The contest submissions have ended for this year (May 1st, mark it on your google calendar for next year if you didn't participate).

Mine is called
"Tales of Tenacity"
Rumours spread fast.  Below the Three Toadstools Inn & Tavern, a gang of malicious alchemists brewing up a new drug called “Tenacity”.

here is a screenshot. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Deadly vegetation for the Isle of Dread!

I was thinking this morning that the Island needs some deadly vegetation, while browsing my blog roll this came up:

Which is perfect! 

I was originally thinking that I might go ahead and write up some monsters, but it appears it's already been done! WOOO!

An excellent place to find some monsters is the Swords & Wizardry SRD

Here are a few select monsters to add to the campaign from the S&W SRD

The Flytrap Shambler
The Assassin Vine
Cobra Flower

Here's my take on a few monsters:
Giant Venus Fly Trap: 
HD 4; AC 7 [12]Atk 1 Mouth/bite (swallows) Damage: 1d6, Save 13; Move 0; AL N; XP 120; Special: Swallow whole*

*A Giant Venus Fly trap will try and bite its prey, on a successful attack it will do 1d6 damage, players are allowed a save, on a fail they are swallowed 2d6 damage.  If they are not rescued from the plant in 1d6 rounds they will perish. 

HD 1; AC 9 [10]Atk 1 vines Damage: 1d6, Save 17; Move 0; AL N; XP 15; Special: constriction*

Creepers will flail out with their vines causing 1d6 damage.  On a failed save a PC will be constricted by the vine, slowly squeezing them of their breath, they will receive 1d6 damage while constricted. 

The other thing I realized that I'm going to need are tropical birds, and apes, which will all probably be low HD type monsters.  My sorta standard is 1hd, AC 10, dmg 1d3 kinda thing.  Mostly just nuisances to the players. 

Oh and Insects! 
Hornet, Giant

Horsefly, Giant
Helix Moth
Mantis, Giant Praying
Mosquito, Giant

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Enjoying the sites of Specularum - Play report Isle Of Dread 1

Last night was a blast!  It's been a good 3 years or so since I ran a game.  Obviously I was a bit anxious and out of practice.  I think it went quite well however.  The nice thing about using a game like b/x or whitebox is that the rules don't really get in the way.  There was a few times when the characters were interacting with NPCs that if we were playing fifth ed, it would have just been a roll.  In the case of last night, it was a role!

The story starts out simple enough.  The PCs don't really know each other that well, but are comrades at arms guarding a caravan.  The caravan is making its way from the small village of Luln, to the big city of Specularum.  The PCs have been hired by a contact in Luln to perform the job.  He claims he is a member of the merchants guild (it turns out slightly differently, the PCs were hired by the Radu Clan).  A day passes, and then in the evening a HUGE thunderstorm rolls in.  The PCs decide to press on thru the night.  (YES!).

A wagon gets stuck in the mud and overturns, spilling out most of its contents.  Curiously one of the PCs finds a map, and a tale of a lost island with treasure.  The rest of the papers don't seem to contain any other information, and for that matter the letter and map are out of place. 

The caravan is quite long, including some stragglers that followed along (farmers selling their crops, immigrants,etc).  The 5 main wagons make it into the city without much excitement.  The PCs drop off the goods at the Radu Clan headquarters/warehouse and get set to get paid.  They meet up with Reginald Blackwater (I know I stole that name from somewhere, but not sure where?).  He's a portly man, with overly expensive rings on his fingers.  The radu clan headquarters is right out of jabba's palace, with trophies on the walls and art that shows off their immense wealth.  There is a long winded discussion about getting paid, and a question on boat pricing.  The merchant isn't completely told about the Island, but he now has his suspicions.  He offers to help the players out, but wants 25% of any treasure they might find on their mission.

Two of the players head off to the "starboard seagull tavern" on the docks, to see if they can scrounge up some information.  The barbarian stays behind and plays cards with Reginald, and tries to pump him for more info.  Reginald tells the barbarian about some deaths that have been happening in one of the poorer districts in town.  It almost seems like a werewolf is on the loose (judging by the phases of the moon, it may strike soon!).  Obviously there's a bounty on the monster, and the guards basically don't give a shit about the poorer districts of the city. 

*Note:  The PCs didn't take the bait on the werewolf idea (I figured if they needed some extra cash to buy a boat, this was the perfect way.  I realized after the session that I need to remember about the werewolf.  If they ever come back to the city, maybe the werewolf has infested the poorer district with more, become a MUCH larger problem. 

CUE The Tavern.  The Barbarian realizes he won't get much more out of reginald so he heads off to the tavern.  Where he pretends to drink.  There are a few souls in the tavern, A pretentious elf, a old sailor named Ramses, and a tough looking fighter.

One of the players attempts to seduce the elf by giving him a lap dance.  He gets upset quickly, claiming that "You people stink! Have you ever heard of bathing, you smell like horse and bad choices!".  A bar fight ensues.  With one roll the Elf is laid out, however he manages to stick a broken wine glass into the eye of the bartender.

As the dust settles the old man Ramses does a slow clap, and then thanks the PCs for getting rid of that nuisance. 

The players learn that the old man is a sailor, and possibly a former pirate.  He knows where they can get a boat, and for not too bad of a price.  The decision is made to meet up in the morning to take care of the details.  Ramses asks to come along. 

*Ramses may or may not become a turncoat, time will tell. 

And that was the end of the evening.  My nephew and his girlfriend brought there little one over, and she was getting a wee bit pooped out, so we called it.  (well she did haha).  What was really nice about the session was, it was 90% role playing.  There wasn't a lot of starring at a character sheet.  A nice change from the 5e games I had played in the last few years.

This is really the kind of game I want to run.  Obviously there will be fights, etc, however the more roleplaying the better.   Using whitebox really trimmed down how much I was worrying about mechanically wise.  I must admit, the players really got into their characters, including our buddy who is quite the introvert.  He played up the barbarian as if he'd actually been Conan!  Super fun.

Can't wait for the next one.  I prepped quite a lot of the game, and was originally a bit worried that I might run out of stuff.  Turns out I was wrong, players tend to throw a monkey wrench into anything.  So it's good to think on your feet.   Next session will be the voyage and probably meeting the Tanorans.  I do intend to have them get to the island at the north west side, and the point out the village.   At that point it will be up to them as to whether they want to land at the village, cruise around the island, or land somewhere on the island.  Whatever the case, they will be quite short on rations by the time they get there. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Reading Expert and got a pile of inspiration

Last night I decided to sit and read the D&D Expert rules for wilderness travel.  Mostly just to get it all in my head prior to the game on friday.  I have to admit I've way over prepped for this game.  I doubt they will even get to the island on Friday night.  In reading the rules I started thinking about games (of course), and settings.  There is so much golden material in those 2 sets of books.

I read thru the creating a campaign section, the typical start small (village) and a small area of land to explore.  It made me quickly realize that with those random tables in the book (combined with the wonderful dungeon building stuff in the 1e DMG) there is nothing you can't do as a DM.  I remember seeing a post by my buddy Thaumiel where he was prepping a hexcrawl, and he had basically just coloured a hexmap with pencil crayons.  I guess he had a few triggered hexes, dungeons etc.  But really this idea of a western marches (marshes?) campaign really appeals to me.

I know I'm going all A.D.D. Gamer here.  But the idea of setting up a small barony, a village, hand writing a few dungeons and doing a wilderness crawl really appeals to me.  Even the looseness of Isle Of Dread still feels a wee bit restricting on my brain (because I want to make sure I do my best when i run it.... hope that makes sense).

So I'm running the isle, because I've been saying that for a LONG time.  But you know what, I think I'm going to work on a small barony as well.  Maybe a new settlement, in a land that hasn't been well explored (sure we can kotb it I suppose).

I dunno.... All i'm saying is if you are looking for inspiration, pick up the basic/expert books and read em.

I also find this and want to play around with it:

Monday, April 22, 2019

Update on the #tenmonstersetting

This seems to be catching on! Here's a bunch of 10 monster settings.

If you want to jump in, go right ahead! The gist is, pick 10 monsters and build a mini setting around them.  How do they interact? Who was there first? Who wants what from who?

If you do one, tag it #tenmonstersetting

Here's a few more!

And a new one:

If you need a bit more help Chris Hall came up with this:
After I suggested this Chris Hall came up with this handy list: 
Pick a semi-intelligent humanoid (could be goblins, apemen, subhumans, etc.). Pick an undead. Pick an ancient fey race. Pick a giant/ogre/troll race. Pick a type of great wyrm or lizard. Pick something aerial. Pick something to lurk in the water. Pick something from another dimension (demon, gith, illithid). Pick a classic creature from mythology (medusa, satyr, minotaur, etc.). Pick some foul crawly thing that infests the underworld. Something like that. Then I’d give each a twist.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

10 Monsters

I suggested the idea on mewe about trying to create a mini setting using only 10 monsters.  This came from having an incredibly difficult time trying to fall asleep last night.  I’ve had a copy of the 2nd edition Monstrous Manual for years, and there are some many great monsters that I haven’t ever used.  It’s kinda sad isn’t it. 

After I suggested this Chris Hall came up with this handy list: 
Pick a semi-intelligent humanoid (could be goblins, apemen, subhumans, etc.). Pick an undead. Pick an ancient fey race. Pick a giant/ogre/troll race. Pick a type of great wyrm or lizard. Pick something aerial. Pick something to lurk in the water. Pick something from another dimension (demon, gith, illithid). Pick a classic creature from mythology (medusa, satyr, minotaur, etc.). Pick some foul crawly thing that infests the underworld. Something like that. Then I’d give each a twist.

If you go ahead and do this, use this hashtag #tenmonstersetting

NOTE:  Almost all of these monsters are copywright Wizards of the coast.  This is just some fan made coolness, and is only intended as that.  

So without further ado, here’s the monster list, and mini setting. 

Semi Intelligent:  I decided to pick two races that are at odds with each other for territory along the swamp coasts.  The Yuan-ti & the Mold Men (Vegepygmy).  

Undead:  Revenant’s (vengeful spirits that have risen from the grave to destroy their killers).  Years ago a army of invaders was decimated by the Rakshasa.  Since then the army has risen from their shallow graves in search of their hated Enemy.  

Ancient Fey: Rakshasa (malevolent spirits encased in flesh that hunt and torment humanity), while no one knows exactly where the Rakshasa came from, they have made their home within the swamps in a great crystal pyramid.  Having defeated an army of humans who rose up against them, they now dwell in peace, lording over the creatures of the swamp (or so they think). 

Giant/Ogre/troll race: Reef Giant (There is only one, Igor), lives along the coasts of the swamps.  He has  made his home here for many years, and is fairly peaceful.  It is said that Igor has a great ancient weapon below the sea, hidden in his mansion.  This weapon, in the wrong hands could destroy the world. 

Great Wyrm/Lizard:   Mist dragon (one), Xavier.  Xavier spends most of his time thinking, and is completely uncooperative and very annoyed if disturbed.  

Aerial: A pack of wild angry Griffons lives along the swamps & in the mountains.  Typically Griffons can be friendly creatures, but these have been twisted by some great evil.  Instead of looking like a half lion/half eagle, they resemble that of a half dog/half vulture.  

Lurking In The Water: Kuo-Toa, who raid along the shores killing both Mold Men & Yuan-ti.  

Another Dimension: Githyanki have come here looking for the Rahshasa, specifically looking for their leader Abdul Paranshah, who killed the Githyanki Queen.  Thus far their attempts to infiltrate the crystal pyramid have failed.  They made an alliance with the Yuan-ti, it was however broken when a Githyanki ate an unfornate Yaun-ti that had cheated at a dice game. 

Classic: Gorgons (monstrous black bull, thick metal scales).  The Gorgons were apparently set free from the Underworld by the Grell.  The Grell had made a deal with an Elder God.  In return for their safety from the Gorgons, the Grell were supposed to send any humanoids venturing into the underworld to the Abyss.  Because of this, the Grell send out numerous scouts looking for anything that moves, to keep their safety from the herd of Gorgons.   The Gorgon stampede can be heard for miles, they leave a path of destruction in their wake.  They cannot be reasoned with.

Underworld:  Living underground are Otyugh’s and communities of Grell.  The Otyugh’s feed on all of the awful left over from the Grell, in a sense they are trash compactors.  Generally they are placed down deep pits near the entrances of Grell communities.  

Other Denizens Of The Swamps: 
3. Lamia
6. Werejaguar
7. Wemic
8. Ankheg
9. Tasloi
11. Sirine

map courtesy of
big thanks to the people have worked on the Forgotten Realms wiki!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A quick look at my pregens for upcoming Isle Of Dread Sessions

Here's a quick look at a pre gen for my upcoming session.  I am going to be using Whitebox Medieval Adventure Game.  

Note:  I am going to use the following method for Ability Checks.  Roll a 20 over a static number, plus any ability modifiers.  The static number is the same as the saving throw for that level of class.  I think this should be relatively easy at the table.  In this case (at 5th level) it's a 50% chance.  Good enough for me! 

You can see that I have created a consumables section for this character.  I have done that for spells, arrows, hit points, etc.  Obviously things like rations (and other resources) are going to be very important when wandering around the island. 

These will be relatively easy for my players to read and use.

One picky thing about whitebox is that the monsters are put into categories rather than alphabetical (which is totally cool), but for me, I find it easy to find a Vampire at the end of the book, rather than under "undead". 

Am I crazy? 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Thoughts

Goblin's Henchmen posted up on mewe that he intended to do the one page dungeon contest.  I haven't done it in a few years, so I think I'll take another crack at it this year.  If you are interested (you only have 3 weeks so get on it!)

I will probably use this map.

I posted on mewe about GM Prep, and have had quite a few good responses.  You can check it out here.  (A new group called Game Mastery).

I had a super wonderful time with what I'm calling the "Global Crew" on sunday morning playing black hack with Matt Jackson.  We had about 3 rooms or so left to go.  And we managed to complete the adventure!  The ice queens' reign of terror is at an end.

We started off in a room with a large pool that we had to cross, it was basically sloped inward so I had to make a pile of dex checks to try and get across (thankfully colin was smart enough to tie a rope to my ass and stake it down). 

After that (honestly feels like a blur, we played for three hours).  We managed to get across the room, and then had to fight some evil water/ice demon thing.  As a typical thief I headed for the hills leaving Colin to fight the darn thing (Seriously sorry Bud!).  We finally get to what we believe is the last room, I open the iron doors and see the following:

A large room with skeletons hanging from columns, each skeleton has a jewel connected to the column.  At the very end of the room is a set of stairs leading to a sorta audience chamber, on it is a throne.  The Ice Queen is sitting on the throne and bid's us welcome!

I being an asshat, decide to moon walk into the room, do a spin o rama, and end up on one knee with my bow aimed at her head.  I yell "your reign of tyranny is over bitch!".

The rest of the guys nonchalantly walk in the room and check it out.  Turns out we are somehow connected to these skeletons and the queen starts referring to us by ancient names.  Somehow in her head, we are loyal followers.  This has to do with these weird ice bracelets on our arms. 

I decide to make a run for her crystals that are also on columns beside her.  grab one, get super friggin electrocuted!

In the meantime the rest of the party is attempting to negotiate and not having much luck.  The wizard grabs one of the crystals by a skeleton, dies and becomes an NPC in league with the Queen.  I blast her with an arrow which she deflects with this wall of ice (so much for that plan). 

I make a bee line for the other crystal and smash the shit out of it.  Colin I believe destroyed the other one, and it a large wisp of ice and smoke she is banished to the nether world.

Unfortunately I had to leave at the final climax of the adventure due to "ice-based religious practices."

(*last game of the season. the home team shit the bed 6-2). 

All in all it was a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed playing with a bunch of old schoolers, and Matt is a wonderful GM! And somehow Jax managed to survive! Hopefully he can return for another adventure.  By the sounds of it we might be playing a Isle Of Dread kinda game next.  Matt has been working on a mashup and I'm excited!

Side note funny conversation:  Just before the game Matt was talking about having saw a movie on the weekend, and went out for wings afterwards at "Buffalo Wild Wings".  I haven't been there in a long time!  Coincidencely a friend of mine had posted on facebook that he wanted to go to Texas Roadhouse and he posted the map/route to get there.  ETA was 3 hours 248 KMs.  So I referenced that in the convo "DAMN IT I WANT WINGS, BUT THAT'S 3 HOURS AND 248 KMS!".  Colin goes "Don't feel too bad Shane, it would be about 14 hours on a plane for me" LMFAO.

Ice Queen Image:

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Created a few hirelings for the Isle

I have 6 or so pre generated characters for Isle of dread campaign.  All of which are at 5th level.  I originally though I'll go ahead and create a wack of 3rd level characters with backstories etc.  The intention was if one of the main PCs die, they get their peon to use, and it would be the same class as the PC.  So a thief pc gets a thief hireling.  Which kinda makes sense right? I mean they are sorta learning from the PCs. 

I managed to get about 2 done, and then realized these guys are MEAT SHIELDS! They are just going to basically be rolling attacks and damage dice for them.  So rather than get into the whole background thing etc I literally just created 4 basic hirelings. 

Hopefully you catch the funny Canadian joke in there.

As a side note, I'm really enjoying the prep for this.  A lot of the times I'd be thinking all day "When I get home I'm going to work on writing!"  And then I'd get home and be so tired from work I'd have a nap.  For whatever reason this is giving me some get up and go! and that's wonderful.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Isle Of Dread House Rules, and Great intro video

I found this great video introduction to the Isle Of Dread (and a pile of other awesome content on Mystara) 

I'm almost done my checklist, here's the last few things.
1.  Re-read the module and make some notes 
2.  Finish up the hirelings. 
3.  Obviously print a bunch of stuff. 
4.  Download the GM screen for Whitebox and pop it into google drive. 
5.  Re-create the tables in Isle Of Dread and stat all the monsters out for Whitbox (this will just make things easier). 
6.  Buy beer and invite people over. 
7.  Probably kill their characters. 

Here are my house rules for our upcoming Swords & Wizardry Whitebox game set within the Isle Of Dread. 

House Rules
  • You will earn experience points for overcoming challenges, and for gold acquired.  Note that you don’t necessarily have to kill the monster to overcome the situation.  
  • We are playing in an open world, which means that you can pretty much do anything.  Think outside the box and have fun! Obviously there could be consequences.
  • At 0 hit points you are unconscious, at negative your level you must make a saving throw or die.  On a success you are returned to 0 hit points.
  • Each character starts out with 2 luck points, these work the same way as inspiration and can be used to re-roll any dice.  
  • After a fight, a player can bandage their wounds for 1d6 hit points.
  • Consumables are important!  Don’t run out of food, torches, arrows!
  • Each character will get one hireling (of the same class).  You will be responsible for this character, and in the case of things going sideways you will be asked to “check the morale” of the hireling.  They may flee. The hireling can be used as a backup character in the event of death.
  • Every encounter (monster or otherwise) will have a reaction check, this means that not everything will attempt to kill you right away.
  • Prior to rolling Initiative the players will state what their intentions are.  Initiative is handled by rolling 1d6 for each side (players and DM). No bonuses are added to the roll, and the players will take turns rolling initiative for the group.  In the case of a tie combat is resolved simultaneously.
  • Ability checks are based on your ability check stat.  Ex a 5th level thief must roll over 10 on a d20. Ability modifiers can be added to the roll.
  • Your attack bonus is added to your d20 roll, and your strength or dexterity modifier.  Only fighters add their modifier to damage. Ex d20+Attack Bonus+Dex Mod = To hit. 


Monday, April 1, 2019

Died 3 times!

We had a really fun time playing D&D on Sunday.  It was Justin's first time DMing and he did a wonderful job.  It was mechanically basic D&D I suppose, really rules light without a lot of worrying about the rules.  The dungeon was super interesting, each room had 8 doors that connected to other rooms.  Nothing happened in hallways.  Thankfully we were able to find a few clues in the dungeon, one of which was the map.  My nephew kyle (who needed a bit of a break) had almost figured out how the dungeon worked prior to us getting the map.  Smart kid!

When I created my character I decided to call him Twix, I was originally going to just use the stats from my black hack character Jax Windlehen but decided against it.  Thank god I did, as I died 3 times in the game.  At one point I thought it was going to be a TPK.

So I called myself Twix, and then my wife decided her character was "Oh henry" and my nephew went with Snickers.  So we were the Three Musketeers! or the Chocolatier Three.  Whichever you'd like.

The premise of the dungeon was that a lot of adventurer's have went and checked it out but none of have returned.  We got there, met with an old man (who was sorta ghost).  He locked us in.  (totally dusty door! hahaha). 

The rooms were all super interesting, some were straight up fights, while others were maze rooms, or puzzles.  Thankfully there was a medical doctor in one of the rooms! Which saved my ass 3 times.  (without paying the cost of Resurrection).  We found out we needed to find 3 artifacts that would essentially kill the old man, releasing all of the ancient prisoners from the dungeon including the doctor. 

Justin was kind enough to give me a copy of the adventure.  However it's in mac pages, so I'll see if I can get a shareable PDF shortly!

I think he did a bang up job for someone whose never written or DMed anything!

I spent the Sunday being inspired working on pre gens for whitebox.  The intention is to run Isle of Dread next (which I've been chomping at the bit to run latetly).  Coincidentally in my facebook memories I found a post about buying Isle of Dread & the forbidden city! $12 CAD hahaha.  Which was from a few years ago. 

One thing I've done with the pre gens is to setup a second sheet with consumables.  Hit points, etc.  which can just be crossed off.  See screen shot.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Playing some dnd tomorrow

One of the old school group got super inspired and wrote up a really nifty dungeon.  He's a super nice guy, but is quite an introvert.  So as far as I'm concerned this is going to be SUPER progress for him to run a game.  Actually super progress just getting us together.  I had a brief look over the dungeon, and he wrote it very DIY, just some basic stats (hps and AC).  In some cases he made the decision that the monsters would be very easy and gave them ac's of 6.  Even after I said that unarmoured was 10. 

The plan is to use Swords & Wizardry Whitebox for ease of use.  I'm going to roll up a few characters at lunch. 

His map is cool.  I'll try and get a picture of it. Basically it's about 10 rooms that are all interconnected.  Each room has 8 doors that lead to a different room.  So in the sense of a traditional dungeon, it's not exactly laid out in a "build it underground" way, but super bad assed nonetheless.  I guess you could think of each door as a teleport to a different room, with everything happening in the rooms. 

I'm going to guess we will die a miserable death.
So fucking excited!

After this, I think I'm going to reignite the old school group with a delve to Isle Of Dread using whitebox (or b/x possibly).  Sounds like the core group would be my wife, our buddy (whose running the game on saturday, and our nephew).  And then whoever else wants to show up once in awhile.


Happy friday kids.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Black Hack "the old school" session part 2

Alright so I think I sorted lost track on how many sessions we have had.  I believe the Gonzo session with Matt was 2 - 3 sessions.  And now the more old school vibe session has been at least 2.  Unfortunately I don't completely remember everything that happened in session 1, but I'll try my best here.  More of this will be session 2 (at least the action bits).

First and foremost it was a fucking blast! It's really nice to game again, and on a regular basis.  As well the black hack is a very easy system for me to grasp (I'm not a fan of getting bogged dow with mechanics).

Colin, Alex, Steve, and Vance all joined in (and I f I missed someone I'm very sorry).  We had a good core group of classes, with basically one of each.  My silly thief Jax Whindlehen (who is a carry over from the gonzo session) is impetuses at the very least.  Unlike a typical old school thief, he likes to see what things do.  He doesn't always sneak into a room, if there's a button he will push it, if there's a door he'll open it.  It's just him.  Which of course makes for the cleric (thanks Vance!) having to save his ass on a regular basis.

So we get to the mountains and this northern village which has been under the icy thumb of a snow queen.  (cue the frozen jokes).  The feel of the game is very "north of the wall", with wildling types etc.   We basically found out that we need to stop the snow queen.  And off we go to the lair!

Once we got in the dungeon, we found a bunch of tunnels, and tombs.  I managed to find quite a bit of gold (that always makes a thief happy!).  One of the tombs had some undead, and thankfully the cleric managed to banish them fairly quickly.  I can't quite remember what his god was, but it was entertaining (I think it was a random roll in the back of the book). 

We got into this room that had a waterfall and a drain below us, which was odd.  But we kept moving.  Finally we made it to this room where there were 6 wildling types arguing.  I believe Matt expected us to straight up fight.  But in the last game, instead of negotiating when we were supposed to, we fought.  So this time I decided I'd attempt to negotiate.  I stepped into the room that had some Iron doors open and basically said "Ola me amigos!"  Which threw them for a loop.  One of them was chipping away at some ice (looks like there was something behind it). 

After a successful charisma check, they sorta seemed to be cool with us.  Although they were pushing me a little bit.  I side stepped and went down a hall way.  The rest of the hero's didn't know what was happening with me, and went into the room.  All of a sudden this huge 14 foot tall twig golem burst out of the ice and a fight ensued.  There was a pile of rubble around the room, and at one point I had to haul people over it into the tunnel.  The widlings followed.... err ran right past me! hahaha.  Prior to this one of the ladies had grabbed what appeared to be a cloak that was embedded in the ice. 

We made it down a hall way, with the monster sufficiently trapped (the hallways were too short for him to get thru!).  We get into this room that's basically a giant hockey rink of ice with these hug icebergs.  After a few successful tests we moved one of the icebergs blocking our way, only to find another.  This process kept going until a major fail happened.  Colin (Jin) and I fell thru the ice and down into the drain waterfall area.  I got knocked right out.  the other's managed to get thru. 

After a bit of time passed, I was awoken to Jin screaming at me to get up.  Damn it we have to go back and take on that golem.  A bunch of the wildlings fell down with us, and a few died.  The rest we made a deal with to fight the golem. I grabbed the magical cloak from the dead lady and moved on.  It appears to basically keep me super warm! wooo. I hazard to guess this will help us.

We go back, beat the crap outta the golem with a few successful rolls and then meet up with everyone at a rope bridge.  As we cross (I went first I believe) ghosts of peasants started filling the chamber around the bridge.  It was very much an indiana jones bridge over a huge deep dark hole.  The cleric thankfully banished enough of them to get us across the bridge without any casualties.

And that my friends is where we left off.  Not too bad for 3 hours of play.

Can't wait for the next game.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Free map Sunday?

Posted this yesterday, totally forgot to post it here. Created with gimp (all digital .  This map is open cc, so feel free to do whatever with it.

These maps 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

I'm off to play some black hack shortly, have a great Sunday!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Inaugural issue of Tenfoot Zine released! - Matt Jackson

I had the pleasure of playing in some black hack games with Matt Jackson (and a bunch of other awesome peeps).  Matt just released the gonzo adventure he ran for us in zine format.  It is available on his patreon account:

Tenfoot Zine 01
GREETINGS, Welcome to the first issue of hopefully (yet another) new zine from yours truly. The plan is for these to be generally about gaming and covering different systems I like, short adventures, maps, tips for game masters, crazy ideas, magic items, house rules, and whatever floats my boat at the moment. We will see how this goes and probably correct course as we go.

This silly little adventure I wrote for use with The Black Hack. I had been wanting to try my hand at running TBH for a while. When given the chance I used the random tables and my imagination to come up with the insanity herein. This is also the adventure that I learned as I ran the game for the first time, so there are possibly mistakes. I am not sure if this bodes well for TBH, but here you go.
Hopefully, you enjoy this.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pipeful of trouble layout completed!

Couple of months ago my buddy Thaumiel Nerub of D-oom products posted on facebook that he was needing some layout help, specifically for POD.  I guess he was banging his head against the desk a little bit.  I was a bit hesitant (and still am) of my ability to pull it off, mostly the POD part.  Because I had so much trouble with rotbb.  Hence why it's not on drivethru as a pod. 

Anyways, got it done! and it's been re-released! Here's the blurb.

A Pipeful Of Trouble has now an updated PDF file. Print-on-demand is on its way.
This could have not been possible without Shane Ward from 3 Toadstools Publishing, who helped to create the all new and awesome POD ready layout!
So, here it is, go get it! (If you have already purchased the original PDF, you can download this updated version for free!)

The pod will be out soon, just waiting on the proofs to make it to my buddy. 

Blurb: "All is not well in Brierfield. The idyllic halfling village has fallen prey to unknown bandits and marauders. These peaceful victims of shattered loves and broken dreams need a band of heroes to save them. Are you willing to help them in their time of needs?"

And there's already a review! check it here

Here's a couple of screenshots of the layout. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Baron reviews, Music Reviews and mapping!

I recently received some reviews from Age Of Dusk on the blue baron series.   As well I received a review on one of the last ever recordings that I made (in my professional life).  I'd like to thank Prince of Nothing for reviewing both of the baron releases!

An invitation from the blue baron review:

Excerpt:  The style, theme, format and content of each room is an incoherent mess that could have been averted by giving everyone clearer guidelines by which to hand in their submissions.

Shane's thoughts: Absolutely! I suppose I could have done a bit more editing on the whole thing.  Everyone of the writers in both adventures were able to see what each other were writing.  (not quite sure if that's a point per se....)

Return of the blue baron review:

Excerpt:  There are two irritants. The room numbering is, begging Mr. Ward’s pardon, utter dogshit, with players entering in room number 3. and rooms with only one number apart being found on opposite sides of the dungeon. The decision to simply start at the left side of the map and then number rooms in rows from left to right makes it harder to get a feel for what rooms belong in what area. Numbering should go by proximity.

Shanes Thoughts:  I normally number this way.  I agree that it's a good point about putting rooms together that are "connected" as far as story is concerned.  At least as far as the text goes.  When we started this, I basically put the 2 maps in google drive and people started picking rooms and went to town.  Technically speaking I could have sat and edited rooms and moved them to different places (re numbered) as far as thematically similar rooms, or ones that were connected story wise.  Whatever the case that's good information to know.

All in all I've very happy with both reviews, they point out all the good points, bad points (things to work on) and that IMHO is gold.  

You can grab "the invitation from the blue baron" here. and "The return of the blue baron" here. and the POD here.

Check out Goblin Henchmen's throwback post about G+ and writing for the baron series here.

Speaking of reviews and throwbacks, here is the Swords & Stichery reviews of the baron series:

Review of D.B. & The Deadbeats album "Don't tell nobody":
I have a few thoughts on this, but I'm holding my tongue.  Simply put, this is one of if not the last recording I'll ever do, no sense getting upset about a review right?

You can check out the album here:

I've been working on a few forest maps and colouring them in.  I currently have 2 and have to draw 2 more.  I've been playing around a little bit with shading etc, lots of fun.  Here's map 1, and then a screen shot of me putting map 1 and 2 together.  I have no idea if this will see the light of day at all.