Wednesday, August 5, 2020

House Rules For Swords & Wizardry FMAG

  1. 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.  

  2. 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.  

  3. 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.

  4. Each character starts out with 2 luck points, these work the same way as inspiration and can be used to re-roll any dice.  

  5. After a fight, a player can bandage their wounds for 1d6 hit points. 

  6. Consumables are important!  Don’t run out of food, torches, arrows!

  7. Each character will get one hireling.  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, or stand tall.  The hireling can be used as a backup character in the event of death.  The hireling character will be expecting payment. 

  8. Every encounter (monster or otherwise) will have a reaction check, this means that not everything will attempt to kill you right away. 

  9. Surprise will be determined on a case by case basic, by rolling 1d6, on a roll of 1 you will be surprised (same goes for monsters).  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.

  10. Critical hits will be double damage.  ex you roll a 5 for damage, which means you do 10 points of damage.  
  11. Critical fails result in the loss of a weapon, in the case of an ability check some awful will likely happen.  
  12. Ability checks are D20 + Stat Bonus.  Target number will be determined by the GM. 
  13. 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.

  14. Encumbrance:  You can carry 20 items, not including gold.          
  15. Levelling:  Upon levelling up you can re-roll any stat, if the number is higher than the current stat you can keep it.  You regain all lost luck, and gain 1 extra.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Adding a few basic adventures to the Isle Of Dread

As we all know, Isle Of Dread is an awesome sandbox filled with a lot of adventure options.  If you need a few more options for the campaign, or even a U-turn, here's a few extra ideas using some basic era adventures.  Alternatively you may have a whole new crop of Characters (after the demise of the last bunch) and you might want to keep them on the island, but with a different scenario.  

I know that a few people have replaced the major city on the isle with the dwellers of the forbidden city.  Which is a perfectly logical and evil thing to do.  I do like the idea of placing the city down south between some of the villages.  In the intro to dwellers, a Chieftain finds the PCs and tells them that trade has been hijacked by the denizens of the mysterious city.  I like this because you can play off all of the villages.  The PCs start in the main village of Tanora, they find out about some of the other villages and the trade issues.  Maybe they've been expecting a shipment and the PCs catch wind of it and investigate.  

The Lost City.  It easy for the PCs to get lost and run out of food on the isle.  The Pyramid doesn't have to be the typical Egyptian styled one, in the middle of the dessert.  It could be a Mayan styled one, deep in the jungle.  A fun intro could be that the PCs have wound up on shore after their boat sank, they have plodded along thru the jungle and finally stumbled upon the pyramid.  Eventually maybe they will leave the pyramid and explore the Isle.  

In Search Of The Unknown is a great dungeon that you can pretty much pop into any campaign.  Having it reasonably close to the village of Tanora means that the PCs can investigate and make their way back to town often. 

Keep On The Borderlands is another great adventure that you can pop into any campaign.  My twist is a bit different however.  One version is that the keep was built long ago and its location was lost in time.  The keep is now overrun with Orcs, Goblins etc.  Hiding in the caves nearby are Cavemen who have no memory of the keep.  Alternatively the keep can be a forgotten outpost from the mainland, it manages to keep its head above water (jeez that was all kinds of puns there....) by trading with local pirates and some of the villagers.  Cue usual kotb activities and the caves of chaos.  

Horror on the hill is meant to be a self contained location north of a river, it could easily be popped onto the small island north of the isle of dread.  To the east is a smaller island where you can put the town from the original adventure.   Once again, this is a good spot for the PCs to wash up on shore, or possibly float by in a raft as they discover the rest of the isle of dread.

Another one that comes to mind is "rage of the rakasta"., which changes the way the Rakasta are in Isle of dread, but could setup some interesting stuff.  A lot of the adventures from Thunderrift could be ported over to the isle. 

In September I'll be running the Isle weekly.  I'll be using Swords & Wizardry FMAG for rules.  Should be lots of fun!  

*This will be the second time that I've ran the Isle.  I'm looking forward to it.  Some of the above ideas may make their way into the adventure.  Or may not.  

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Re-post Swords & Stichery and some thoughts on Bone Hill

Eric over at Swords & Stichery made an excellent post about the Secret Of Bone Hill

This is probably one of my favourite modules.  The extra modules and information found over at Dragonsfoot are gold! 

The other 2 adventures in the original series are: 

I wrote a bit of a twist on Bone Hill awhile ago, you can read it here

If you would like to throw a tweak in on one of the main NPCs try checking out the below witch twists post:  

Here's Grognardia's retrospective on the adventure: 

Honestly one of the best adventures out there, I love the sandbox elements and the mini dungeons. 

You can grab a copy of the adventure here

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Thoughts on Holmes D&D

I spent a wonderful evening last night playing some Holmes D&D with the ever amazing Jeff Cape manning the DM's role.  The one thing that I've come to realize is when playing online it's best to try and use a fairly light rules system.  Getting bogged down with mechanics and rules takes the wind out of my sails.  I recently playing in a one shot 5e game, and it really left a bad taste in my mouth.  There was far too much checking rules, rolling dice and no real roleplaying per se.  Last night was the complete opposite.  And we didn't even roll any dice!  Jeff came up with a wonderful idea.  CHITS! 

Yes that's right, we printed off Chits and used them.  We were told that if we used dice we would have a -2 penalty to any roll.  The funniest part of that was one of the players hadn't realized what a chit was, he seemed to think that was our way of saying "dice".  After his first roll, we all had a good laugh when he was told about the penalty.  He quickly grabbed a piece of paper and scissors and wrote up a basic d20 chit. 

This was the truest way to play that game.  

I've been thinking a lot about holmes latetly.  I went down a bit of a rabbit hole after buying the pdf for Blueholme Journeymanne Rules.  After reading this blog: 
and this:

I started to get really excited about the baked in world for Blueholme.  Another excellent resource is the Necropolis Of Nuromen , which includes a brief gazateer on the surrounding areas and the city of blueholme.  From reading these blog posts, it looks like there will be a Blueholme Brochure coming eventually from Dreamscape Design, and I for one am excited! 

Is what started to get the wheels turning, specifically the implied OD&D setting blog from Wayne's blog Which I had totally forgotten about.  Please go and read the implied setting document.  I'll wait. 

Alright, you've read it.  And I'm guessing you have a copy of the Journeymann rules and have also read the Necroplolis of Nuromen.  You've started to realize that you can mix fantasy and sci fi in a world that has had some form of apocalypse.  The section that got me really excited is Part 6 in the rules "Creatures" and the ability to use monsters as PCs.  You may have also noticed that wondeful art on page 5 with the human, dwarf and the Dreenoi.  What's that? Well it appears to be a alien! 

And here's another little bit from Blueholme, the information on the "Old Ones", that helps to paint a picture.  

Sages speculate that the vast Underworld was the effort of many civilisations, toiling over the eons, but that it began with vast underground cities built by several pre-human species that came to the lands from regions unknown. Old ones flourished for millennia, but were ultimately overthrown....

All of this information paints a very interesting picture that has got me super excited to read and delve more into the implied setting of Blueholme and OD&D.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Cape nightwell pt 1

The nightwell barony is named after it's founder, baron nightwell.  Which is of course a bit captain obvious.  This section doesn't detail the barony,  but ruler which the name comes from.  Actually funny story, the actual baron has been missing for a few years.  The general populace in the city believe him to be on a retreat.  Some people know the truth but refuse to divulge that information.  The current ruler is the barons nephew, drake nightwell.  A kind hearted man, who stands up for the poor and downtrodden.  

Baron nightwell, the original was a long time merchant SAILOR (possible pirate), who spent many years trading in the lands beyond.  As time went on he grew weary of the rivers, lakes, trade routes.  He decided to take his hard earned money and retire. With his crew accompanying him he started to build a few houses on the north side of a lake.  Using contacts from the past he arranged for merchants to bring goods to his small village.  As time went on the city grew, and so did his family.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Re-running modules

How often have you re-ran an adventure? 

I've re-run a few, but with the plethora of awesome adventures out there it's hard to consider re-running something.  I have been getting the itch to play again, and will likely setup some kinda game soon.  The game on Wednesday afternoon will likely be a re-run of Isle of Dread for me (using Old School Essentials this time around).  As well once the pandemic subsides a bit, I have a few buddies who want to play Fifth Edition.  I can think of no better starting adventure than the starter set! Of course a home written adventure might be better.... 

When I initially ran Phanldelver (or whoever you spell that), we didn't get too far into the adventure.  They basically had deleted the Red brands and then the group went kaputz.  Something similar happened with Isle of dread.  Whilst reading phanldelver, I realized that there is months of adventure within that book.  

The other thing I realized was home much prep I had done for Isle of dread the first time around.  Hence the reason why I'd like to go back and try it again.

Which modules have you ran more than once? How did they change?

Friday, May 22, 2020

The preoccupied mind

It's 12:42 am, it's not even really that late. 

(So the new blogger gui is weird right? right).   

I've just realized in the last few months that I get very fixated on a thing, and then it becomes basically my world.  It's weird.  This is probably sort of an RPG post, sort of a rambling post. 

I'm apparently suffering from insomnia this evening, and have decided to kill it with a beer and some blogging.  My current fixation has been on deciding on a truck.  Buying a used truck is friggin hard, there's so many options, some newer models with more KMs 

*(Canadian speak for kilometres) 

some vice versa, older less miles.  I actually sort of found one that I dug, then found out that there was one thing I neglected to contemplated into the shane formula and that was a back seat for doggos. 

(it's likely that we will always get portable dogs like Lily the pug cross, but one never knows.  My wife seems to think that a boxer is a wonderful idea and I'm inclined to agree). 

I'm also deciding on a stratocaster, that is however a story for another day.  Long story short, I always want to do the right thing, write the right thing! make the right decision.  Of course this is not actually feasible or doable.  People make mistakes 

(someone said that, I have no idea who, but its true)

A few weeks ago I got really into Ray Otus's Gygax 75 challenge, and then real life caught up with me.  Here's where I went wrong.  


Do not fucking do that.  Seriously, please roll a d20, put your left hand up and repeat after me 


k what did you roll? inquiring minds. 

I did week 1, and that was reasonably easy, and week 2 was alright.  Then I started working on the dungeon.  The whole point of this is exercise is to NOT overthink and just go with it.  I have 3 pages of a dungeon that is located in a witches hut.  The entrance to the actual dungeon is inside a drawer of a nightstand.  

I decided that was a dumb idea

and wrote a forest adventure.  

(I will likely complete the forest adventure, but in more of a broadstroke). 

The other point of the challenge is to get to get to the end and then run it for your friends.  Then tweak it.  Which is what I intend to do. 

As I stated there is likely a chance that I won't post anymore actual content from the challenge online until I atleast run it.  

In the meantime, here's the strat