Thursday, November 4, 2021

Troika! - ISMs (A sneak peak)

I have 2 projects currently on the go, which I've been trading off writing each.  The following are excerpts for the Troika! project.  


The Cottage of Bullwark the minotaur:  From a distance the cottage is quite noticeable.  It stands on the edge of ploughed fields and is double the size of any normal cottage.  The doors are eight feet tall.  Living here is Bullwark, a minotaur of grand renown.  In the past he was a great adventurer, now in his retirement years he tends to his wheat fields and flock of sheep. He has recently sold off most of his fleece and hay, and is living the good life of a job well done.  He can be found relaxing in a grandiose hammock behind his cottage.

Village Encounters

1)  Drunken disorderly soldier accosting a merchant for more pay.

2)  Thief trying to pawn a mysterious gem.

3)  A street brawl.

4)  Dog chasing a cat.

5)  Building on fire.

6)  Funeral procession.

7)  Merchant having trouble trying to load a cart.

8)  Magical duel.

9)  A lady being carried off by thugs.

10)  Town crier – rumour mill

11)  Preacher.

12)  Fortune teller.

13)  Traveling circus.

Forest Encounters 

Grove of the fore fathers:  4 wooden statues, busts of former leaders.  Fox, Mouse, Badger & Bear.  (Blessings can be receive here by paying one gold piece in an offering plate.  One plate below each statue).  Adds temp stamina and restores luck.

A few backgrounds

Foxian Ranger
You are the last of the famous redwood rangers.  Quick with a bow and arrow.  Your home is the forest, and you have a love for growing things. 
Skills:  Tracking 1, Trapper 1, Archery 2, Sneak 2, Climb 1. 
Possessions:  Bow, Camouflage Cloak 

Bear Brawler
You made a name for yourself wrestling, the reward was always a jar of fresh honey. 

Skills:  Strength 3, Weapon Fighting 2, Swim 1
Possessions:  Club, nice pillow for napping, jar of honey (a luck potion!).  

Raccoon Pilferer
If it’s shiny or smells good (or bad) you want it, usually by nefarious means. 

Skills:  Secret Signs 1, Traps 1, Sneak 1, Climb 1, Awareness 1, Locks 1, Slight of Hand 2, Acrobatics 1. 
Possessions:  Lucky dagger, lock picks, large sack. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

White lightning

 I've been re-reading my old 2e books, and I want to start planning a campaign.  But more importantly I want to re-start my DM binder and start filling it with things, world building, npcs etc.  One of the most important things in my brain is to pick a system when you start designing stuff (honestly its this weird ADD thing... its probably not that important).  

Couldn't sleep last night as my brain was filled with D&D ideas.  Here's the train of thought before bed: 

1.  5e group really hasn't had much time to play latetly, all good.  But its been leaving me thinking that I need a creative outlet for the upcoming winter months.  I just bought witchlight (review forthcoming). 

2.  I decided to post on a few forums "looking for players".  The plan would be discord only, as I'm not the best with roll20. 

3.  I started thinking about working on a small area to start with for a 2e campaign.  Nothing grand.  Just like in the bx rules, create a homebase, a dungeon and go from there.  

Made a decision to work on a map today after I got home from work.  I wanted it to be in the style of:

and this:

specifically this:

then I read this post this evening:

Wound up with something a little bit more Tron like: 

I've often talked about how If I ever run another game it would be very rules light because my brain just can't do number crunching anymore.  

Then I stumbled onto this interesting post, which is basically suggesting that If you blow away all the optional rules you are playing a basic version of D&D.  Which I like!  

Which has lead me to realize that I should infact create a

for any newbies or as a reminder of what the "house rules" will be.  

Now while I'd like to use and work on my 10 monster setting.  I think what I'm going to fill my DM binder with is just some traditional fantasy stuff.  I was thinking about the Gygax Challenge last night, and maybe using that as a bit of inspiration to get writing in the binder.  I likely will at some point.  However what was really making me wonder was my very first games of D&D, and my first writing.  Where did it come from?  In the gygax challenge you are supposed to note your references for your world.  In mine I was talking about Xanth, and strange fantasy novels that I've read over the years.  But what did 14 year me know about fantasy back then? 

What was my initial appendix n? 

fighting fantasy books (The green spined ones), the art from the 2e books, Forgotten realms setting, dragonlance novels, he-man, GI joe (I was a huge fan, not sure if it counts, but this is my blog so I guess?).  

I'll take a picture of my binder when I have time. 

Tomorrow's plan write up a 2nd edition Artifact.  The day after write up an NPC (Bullwark the minotaur). 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Nifty OSR Products Oct 1

YEAH! It's October! Here's hoping we don't have snow on Halloween this year.  Currently we are actually above normal temps, but that can change in an instant. 

Rather than finding the newer OSR stuff, I decided to do a bit more of a deep dive this morning to see what I could find. 

Scourge of the Demon Wolf
Three died. They were mauled beyond recognition. The Baron sent his huntsmen to kill the beasts and for a fortnight they tramped across the countryside. Between their whoring and drinking they killed twelve wolves, parading their skins through the village. They were hung on poles as trophies of victory. Then the huntsmen left, the beasts slain, the village saved… so we thought.

As the fields turned golden under the summer sun the killings began again. Four more died. Then the Baron's man, the bailiff, was killed on the high meadow in sight of Mitra's Temple. His screams could be heard well into the village. He was only identified after we reassembled the pieces.

With the priest's help I wrote a report to our liege, the Baron of Westtower. My report ended with,

There will be no harvest until the beast is slain and the killings stopped.

A 72 page adventure compatible with the Swords & Wizardry  rules and a setting supplement to the Majestic Wilderlands. detailing a small barony, a complete fantasy village, a conclave of mages, a crossroads hamlet, and a camp of wandering beggars.

Talespinner magazine, Issue One

Talespinner is a magazine dedicated to roleplaying gamespublished by Ganesha Games (Tales of Blades and Heroes, Familiars RPG). Playable materials are double-statted for Labyrinth Lord (tm) so they can be used by players of "Old School" games. In this issue:
Three short fantasy adventures ("The Crystal Heart", "Knock on Wood", and "The Crumbling Tower", all for low-power player-characters);
Swimming Rules for TBH;
New character types for Familiars RPG;
Monster Menagerie: Swamp Trolls (for TBH and LL);
The Martial Artist archetype for TBH;
Sneak Peek: Heroes of the Tales (TBH supplement);
Alternative Initiative rules for TBH;

Attack of the Frawgs

"The thing I love about Stephen Newton's Attack of the Frawgs is that you think everything's fine. This is just another adventure. Everything's cool. Nothing too unusual. Nothing crazy. Good ol' vanilla fantasy.  But when the frawgs hit the fan... all bets are off. Best "holy shit" reveal I've seen for DCC yet." 

Hex Crawl Chronicles 3: Beyond Black Water (Swords and Wizardry)

When the game was invented and sold in a little woodgrain box, the author told us a required supplement was an Avalon Hill game called Outdoor Survival. This was a wilderness survival game that consisted of a hexagonal map system that players would travel around, trying to find their way back to civilization, all the while trying not to die of thirst or get eaten by bears. This game map was used as the first wilderness "hex-crawl" for what eventually became D&D. Later, Judges Guild took this to a whole new level with the Wilderlands series. For many years, hex crawling was just the way the game was played. This series brings that back, or supplements existing games that use that system of travel.

The Purple Worm Graveyard

It is said that when the largest and most ancient of purple worms know that the time of their death is near, they make their way through rock, earth, and water to the legendary Purple Worm Graveyard.

The graveyard is said to lie somewhere in the barren Rockspyre mountains, but its exact location is unknown. Now and then an adventuring expedition sets out on a hunch or clue seeking the graveyard. Most return empty-handed and dispirited. Some never return.

But a few, just enough to keep the legend alive really, come back with whispered tales of subterranean fields littered with a fortune in purple ivory, unguarded and ripe for the take.

The Purple Worm Graveyard is a short dungeon crawl adventure that's best for levels 1-4. The adventure has 15 entries and is designed to provide a variety of challenges for a new adventuring party or one-shot game. It's got fabulous treasures, cunning monsters, dangerous traps, and ancient mysteries for players to discover and explore. It's written using the Labyrinth Lord rules, but will work with any dungeon crawl adventure game.


Shadowbrook Manor

This Labyrinth Lord adventure is suitable for characters of levels 1-3, and is usable with similar basic or advanced fantasy role-playing games.
Once a powerful proponent of Law, the Archmage Tazimack the Red was eventually driven mad by a fear of mortality. As he slipped into insanity his retirement home began to reflect the chaotic bent of his mind. Long after Tazimack's unnaturally animated body has disintegrated, his manor house remains as a shadow cast by a twisted intellect. Can the characters bring order to this chaos?

Creatures of the Tropical Wastes (Mutant Future)

Do you need more monsters and mutations for your postapocalyptic, sci-fi, or fantasy game? If so, Creatures of the Tropical Wastes is what you are looking for!

Fully compatible with Mutant Future - as well as Labyrinth Lord and other games that use the familiar and easy-to-use "Basic" role-playing game rules introduced in the 1970s - this collection includes:

* A Foreword by Derek Holland, author of several licensed Mutant Future sourcebooks.

* 50 new creatures, including the mysterious Ahas Folk, the insidious Egret Puppeteer, and the fearsome War Baboy.

* 30 new mutations, including numerous Plant mutations.

* Official Mutant Future Poison and Radiation Tables for convenience of reference.

* Original illustrations by fantasy artist Sharon Daugherty


Thursday, September 30, 2021

End of September update

The current 5e group I'm in is made up of co-workers, we've been playing online every other week for awhile now.  We are currently in Ravinica which is a lot of fun.  My first PC died mostly because I didn't really like him, and we needed a healbot/thief.  What I'm really diggin about these folks is the following:  We are fast and loose with the rules (ie no one is looking up things in a rule book).  We spend a lot of time giggling and roleplaying.  

Having used roll20 and google hangouts (or whatever its called now) I have to say Discord is probably one of the best options for doing non irl table top stuff.  Minus the whole map thing (which I'm sure there is a work around).  I noticed the other day on youtube a tutorial about playing nerd games using discord.... hold on for my google fu, ah here we go:

The other day on a total lark, and I mean total lark (I never buy things for myself, and I never buy things without researching them) I went ahead and bought "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight" for 5e. 


Nah not at all kids!  Don't worry.  This is actually the FIRST real thing I've bought for 5e other than the starter set.  I was gifted the DMG and PHB from a previous group.  

Do not fret good folks, I actually just downloaded this amazing organizational software for writing:

I'm trying to nail down the Gygax 75 challenge into a real thing.  I'm currently amalgamating ideas that I had written on the blog and in other various places (like notebooks and random google drive and libreoffice files).  The one thing I did wrong when I started the challenge in the first place was that I didn't decide on the sytem (sometimes I get analysis paralysis).  That and my ADD kicked in and I switched gears like I always do.  The good news is this software allows me to jump from thing to thing quickly.  As long as I maintain some focus on the overall idea.  

I'm trying to write something every morning for 15 minutes. 

Whether its shit or not. 

I'll hire an editor hahah. 

In other random news, I think I'm going to try and get some kinda roll20 western marches, marsh's? marshmellows? type game thing happening.  What my thought this morning was, was to basically use all the awesome online generating tools to build a hexcrawl and then let the players be in the drivers seat. 

Could be fun? 

It could also be my brain having the morning coffee kick in.

Mostly its because I'm not currently DMing a game, and that muscle is something I need to flex once in awhile.  

Anyways I'm off to work.  

Good news I restrung my strat yesterday and I've got it down to about 8 minutes.  That's almost pit crew level! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Nifty OSR Products August 18

 Some of these are new, and some of them I found whilst doing a deep dive.  

The Pool Below

A group of three teenagers disappeared recently. They all recently came of age, and the town guards merely assume they ran off to seek fame and fortune. The parents of the missing children are skeptical, and fear something more sinister has happened.

Additionally, the deacon of an old, burned out temple devoted to magic and portents is hiding a secret. Even though the temple is assumed to be defunct, an evil priest named Shukan is operating out of a secret chamber located in the temple’s basement. Shukan has connected a magical portal to the temple’s baptismal pool, turning the font into a gateway to hell and terror.

Requires Old-School Essentials. Old-School Essentials is a trademark of Necrotic Gnome. The trademark and Old-School Essentials logo are used with permission of Necrotic Gnome, under license.



From the creator of the Thought Eater podcast and blog comes the 12v12 RPG!

-D12s only!

-Fun to play!

-Intuitive rules and quick character creation have you playing in minutes!

-Easily adaptable to any setting or genre!

-Doubles as an SRD; create and sell your own products for free!

Check out Froth's blog here 


Lightspeed RPG

There’s a lot of dead space in the night sky, where nothing changes. Life, however, pops up in the most unexpected places. Across all of the great galaxy Regnum, civilizations have risen up in search of knowledge, power, and wealth. Though the darkness is cold and the voyage is long, starships of every shape and size streak through the void, always on the way to bigger and better things. Adventure finds its place in every dark alley, bustling port, and glimmering tower in Regnum. The heroes, villains, and opportunists who stumble upon it have a tendency to become great and terrible, and that is where your story begins.


Nutmeg in the dark

Nutmeg in the Dark is a standalone adventure written in Knave, though any OSR system will work.

Something has happened to the northern mountain pass, those who have survived to  return reported the smell of nutmeg before their party was ambushed in the dark.

The town guard is raising a party to go clear the pass. He enters the local tavern to conscript all the patrons, PCs will be generated from this group. (I thought this was an interesting use of the you meet in a tavern trope.) When PCs die they come out of the citizen pool. 9 characters, The guard, the players and NPC citizen soldiers, are active to fight, the rest hang out in back, waiting their turn to join when someone dies.



PINKHACK, put simply, is my personal collection of houserules put forth for (mis)use and cannibalization. I named it “PINKHACK” because it is a melange of Christian Mehrstam’s Whitehack and Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd (which is red), but also mostly because I very much like the color pink. The rules presented here are mere suggestions; there are no permissions granted or withheld, only inspirations. Everyone uses the system they are most comfortable with, anyways.



When I was a kid growing up with the first generation of personal computers, we played a LOT of shareware games.  As time went on we started attempting to create our own games using programming languages like ZZT , and re skinning Wolfenstein.  There was also an adventure game maker that we found that allowed us to create games similar to Sierra's Kingsquest etc.  

Latetly I've been doing a bit of research to find reasonably easy programs for creating Mac based games.  Just an idea I've had kicking around for when its get super duper cold out here and boredom sets in.  

In doing some basic research I stumbled upon GB Studio, which basically allows you to create Gameboy style games with a WSIYWIG editor.  NEAT! There are 4 games that you can test out (and play online if you like!) 

Which has lead my down a rabbit hole, attempt to combine Gardens Of Ynn with a Zelda style game. 

Yeah... I'm biting off more than I can chew.   But hey HERE'S TO TRYING NEW THINGS! 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Nifty OSR products August 5th

I figured it was probably a good time to start promoting neat things I find on drivethrurpg.  I am always quite happy when I find a cool thing that's PWYW or free, so I'll try and stick to those types of things.  

White Box FMAG Referee Sheets

This is super duper handy! 

This are reference sheets meant to be used with White Box FMAG. The various tables and some of the rules from White Box FMAG have been arranged to fit into four A4-sized portrait pages which can be used either as printed pages at the table or as inserts for a customizable GM screen.

Also included is a two page version where the 4-page A4-sized portrait version are placed two-to-a-page in landscape.


Commercial Map Pack 1

This map pack include / Ce pack de cartes comtient:

  • 1 small village / 1 petit village
  • 2 dungeon levels that can be connected together or both as stand alone / 2 niveaux de donjon qui peuvent être connectés ou utilisés de façon indépendante.

For personal and commercial use / Pour usage personel et commercial

If you use one of the map in a commercial product, please give me credit for the map and send me a message (see the link to my website) so I can discover the excellent product you will create!

Si vous utilisez l'une des cartes de façon commerciale, merci de me donner le crédit pour celle-ci et svp envoyez moi un message (voir le lien vers mon site web) afin que je puisse découvrir l'excellent produit que vous allez créer!

Download include: 1 Zip file (16 JPG files)


The Village of Penrath

Created by Jean-Claude ''Raznag'' Tremblay (@tremblay.j)

This map contain the village of Penrath and some description.  It also contain some adventure hooks.

For personal use only. 

If you are interested in a commercial use of this product, feel free to contact me.

Download include: 1 Zip file (1 PDF & 3 JPG files)


The World of Artrusia

“The World of Artrusia has seen much happen in its long history. Many legends have been told by ancient bards, through countless poems and sagas. These provide reminders of the long past before the arrival of the Lords of the Void (also called the Lords of Beyond ), their expulsion, and the birth of science, which even today transforms the world.Two hundred years after the expulsion of the Lords of the Void and the dawn of the era of reason, the rise of science of machines and the advent of mass industry, the world has undergone radical changes. Railroads, analytical devices, medicines and metallurgy have reached levels never seen before. The discovery of Aerolite as the main form of fuel brought changes to the sport of racing in our world."


UNCONQUERED - Free Artless Edition

You hold in your hands UNCONQUERED, a role-playing game. In it, one player takes on the role of Chronicler and presents a world full of peril and wonder; the others take on the role of Travelers, who describe how their characters act and react within that world. We play to find out where drama and dice may lead us.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Seven months of isle of dread comes to a hiatus

 We've just finished up a dungeon on the Isle and have decided to switch DMs for a bit.  If we don't get back to the game, I'm quite happy with the results so far and my appetite has been sated. Onto a different game! This time I intend to do a bit more prep and likely run a hexcrawl with swords and wizardry whitebox fmag.

In the meantime we are going to play 5e in ravinca which should be interesting. I decided to play a basic forgetful wizard.

I'm unsure as to whether we will record our games. If we do I'll likely post em as podcasts on my anchor site.

While camping this past week I started consolidation of some ideas I've had. I created a few character classes and wrote up a bit more backstory for the world and them.  I'd like to get back to the gygax challenge and complete it, with a few extra additions. Shooting for about 64 pages.  I've decided to make time in the mornings to work on it. Even if it's 15 minutes.

Anyway that's enough of an update for now, back to relaxing. Smoking ribs today.