Monday, December 30, 2013

I completed writing a interesting adventure

I managed to sit and write a pretty decent adventure, although it remains to be playtested! I'm hoping we can shoot for some NYE antics if possible.  This is a continuation of "gloomwood" that I had started working on earlier this year, and a few other little towns (debinshire/autumn-wood/port bardivik) that I had drawn up.  I decided to go with basic fantasy rules for the time being as I had the book handy.  And I had also given those rules to my cousin in law, so atleast we will all be on the same page as we play :) Here are some shots of the maps.  At this point there are 2 "leads" in the story.  I also plan to hopefully write a hexcrawl into this, and have a caravan guard type adventure from Autumn-wood to Port Bardivik.  Just FYI, Debinshire has become a hobbit village, Autumn-wood is the frontier town, and Port Bardvik is the "city of shadows" ran by a bunch of vile ingrats/traitor pirates, etc.

Unfortunately I can't really release this yet, as Its all handwritten (and I write like a doctor!).  For too long I had started to write adventures with others in mind, or possibly selling them.  I would get suckered into working on layout, design, which rule set etc.  If this thing doesn't fall completely flat on its face, maybe I'll put it together and offer it up as free on here.  Of course we will see.  I think a lot of the great modules that I've been reading, have been ideas that have been floating around in other DM's minds, and playtested, honed etc before they are unleashed on the world, which is exactly what I'm planning on doing here, possibly.

Anyways, here's the maps & a shot of my binder with my new Christmas dice :)


Friday, December 27, 2013


After I noticed that there was a plan to re-release hero's quest, I dug out my box.  Of course Like most people my mini's were used for D&D eventually, but erything still remains.  I had the forethought to ziplock bag all of the parts :) woot.  I'm re-reading the rules this morning, may give this a go in the next few weeks.   I also have dragonstrike & dragons quest games, that had nice boards that could also be used for herosquest, which could be neat! 

I can`t believe the amount of time we spent playing that game.  (herosquest) I think our natural progression was the following. 

Fighting Fantasy Books
Advanced Fighting Fantasy
And then finally AD&D 

Of course we played a bit of Dragonstrike (which as everyone knows was horrid!) but had some great mini`s.  And Dragonsquest, which was basic d&d in a box with some nice metal mini`s which I still have! thankfully.  Although I painted some of these horribly. 

I think I may just pull out Herosquest and have a go, could be lots of fun! 

This came about because of a post by +Erik Tenkar


I find my biggest challenge when it comes to the campaign world is living, breathing cities and villages (of any genre). I believe you could be crowned king of rpg publishing if you produced city, and village sourcebooks which were devoid of tedious backstory, but littered with briefly described npc's, sketched economics, potential internal conflicts, anything which thoughtful PC's could exploit. +Jay Murphy  - posted this over at a disucssion that +Venger Satanis started on Google +

This is an extremely interesting idea! And I think would be worth some time and effort to come up with something like this.  As to whether I can find some time I dunno.  But something to think about anyways. 

The start of the thread, the following question was posed by +Venger Satanis 
I'm looking for articles, blogs, or whatever on fully realizing campaign settings.  How to crank things up to 11.  For example, it takes more than desert, lack of metal, and environmentally toxic sorcery to get Dark Sun.  What are the missing elements?  What gives that setting cohesion?  

Please post your favs below... or your own ideas on this topic.  Thanks!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Xmas Gift!

Well my Xmas gift went over very well! I printed out Basic Fantasy, and a few of the modules for my cousin in law, as well as some sexy dice! He even got a percentile dice, which i know have to go and grab one as well.  The one thing we realized when buying dice is even though they may look  cool with different colors, its smart to grab some that are easily readable!  I have a set of almost camo ones with red numbers that are so super hard to read! Anyways, we got him some semi black ones with red writing.  :)

After he opened it there was a chorus of (ala Homer Simpson) NERD! from his brother.  I loved that lol.

In other news since I'm currently on vacation I've started writing a lot! I had some serious writers block the last few weeks, that has some how dissipated which is great! What I'm doing is just handwriting things.  for too long I was writing stuff with other people in mind, which was kinda hemming me in.  I've started writing a new campaign for my players with some very easy goals for the start.  First things first everyone is starting off at 2nd level to avoid TPK.  The PC's are based in a very small farming town (ala the shire).  The first adventure is going to be a forest crawl, which should be fun.  I'm planning on drawing maps today of the town (i drew one, but planning on redrawing anyways) and forest.  For awhile there I was thinking too big, what I plan to do is to setup about 3 or 4 options of adventures that they can take.  And then lay them out for them.  The other thing I want to do is not write too much about what is supposed to happen in a specific encounter, which will leave me a bit more leeway as far as role playing is concerned.

Once and if they get thru the 4 adventures, I'll do some more work on the actual setting.  Hopefully it will start to take shape in my mind and their's as we play thru.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira

"The Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira" is 27 pages of new creatures to populate your fantasy gaming world. Compatible with most OSR rule systems "The Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira" offers 43 new and mostly unique creatures to beguile, threaten and torment your players with!
What you have before you is a preview or alpha build of a book that I hope to produce as fully and professionally as my hobbyist hands can. Unfortunately to do such I require the funds to hire good artists (like Theo Evens who produced the two figures on the cover to this preview) and layout editors. That's were this preview edition comes in, to help fund the creation of a full and print-worthy version of this book “The Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira”.
This preview edition is a pay-what-you-want title, all funds created through the sale of this preview edition (as well as all my affiliate credits) will be going fully toward hiring and paying artists to create images for my creatures, cover art, and layout. Through out the process the preview edition will be updated with up to 10 more creatures and possibly some art previews.
When the final version is ready everyone who has purchased the preview version of this title will get a 50% off coupon for the full version of “The Cartographer's Guide to the Creatures of Eira”
I want to thank everyone who has picked this up. Both for being interested in my creations and for helping this title be fully realized!
Thank you!
Johua De Santo – Genius Loci Games

Monday, December 16, 2013

What is your preferred method for rolling up a Character?

Normally I do the following, 4D6, keep the highest number.  I try to do it order as much as possible, Strength first, etc.  If I'm trying to create a specific class of character that has a minimum, when I get to that number if I don't roll something extraordinary, or if I roll say a 8 and the minimum is 9, I usually bump it up to the minimum.  On occasion I will subtract from another stat to make that work.

What's your method?

The reason I'm posting this was that I grabbed the basic fantasy rules the other day to roll up a character that was 3rd level, and it took me seriously like 10 mins, love that about OSR stuff.

Role play it out!

Was thinking about dice mechanics this afternoon and what occurred to me was for those instances when you don't really need the dice to resolve something, its probably smarter to role play out the situation.   I"m guessing this is highly obvious to most of you OSR guys/gals out there, but it occurred to me nonetheless and I decided to blog about it.  Partially because that is something that's missing from the games I've ran so far.  So rather than consider a difficulty class or a proficiency check for something, I'm going to do my best to say "Well explain to me what your planning on doing".  As to wether its talking to a NPC or trying something that's off the beaten path.  I'm just rambling at this point.

Friday, December 13, 2013

its funny how your mind wanders

I was listening to Roll For Initiative podcast this afternoon, and I starting thinking about Gloomwood module that I semi released (unfinished), I had an idea about taking a few of the little adventures I've started and putting them all together.  I may just sit and try and work this all out.  One was a rehash of The Hunt For Valathune, which will make a perfect ending to the bandits in Gloomwood.  Also there was the town of Debinshire that I originally posted at the start of this blog, with the Mayor (retired thief).  Its all coming together!

+Joshua De Santo just adding you so that you catch this.  Hopefully I'll have it cooked soon lol

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More OSR Musings AKA "A Weight has been lifted"

I feel the weight has been lifted from my shoulders this morning, especially after looking at the present sitting on the table.  I hope to eventually be sitting on the other side of the DM's screen trying desperately to save or die!  I've learned a LOT in the last few months, and continue to learn everyday.  Now that my mind feels a little more free, I've turned my attention to the 3 books that I started with.  AD&D 2ed.  I'm not sure if that is in anyway considered OSR? Enlighten me.  I had read somewhere that everyone using 2ed atleast when they started out were basically playing D&D anyways.  This process of discovery and rediscovery has lead me down a interesting path.  What I've discovered is "that it ain't broke don't fix it".  While I love all of the retro clones out there! and have read thru B/X, my attention has turned back to the game that I started with.  Why try and figure out (convert) the AC/HD for a Balor, when its sitting right there in that huge monster manual tome?  That and the fact that I pretty much know all the rules inside and out.  Nothing says that you have to stick to the rules specifically, and that's why I love the OSR movement.  I plan to eventually play 2ed basically stripped down, using whatever seems right.

I've also posted briefly about going thru my campaign settings, and have come to the conclusion that is just better to write something yourself.  That being said, before I feel asleep last night, I came up with about 10 scenarios for low level PC's starting out.  I need to draw up the map region, and little town, and get started drawing up some dungeons!

The little nuggets I've learned have given me the following conclusions;

1st.  make rulings
2.  Steal great ideas!  Why try to come up with a name for an evil god, when there's one sitting right there in the FR setting.
3.  Need an idea for an adventure, there are tons out there, go ahead, take it run with it, modify it to your heart's content.

I think those 3 things are the essence of OSR.

My plan is after spending some time playing a very combat heavy game to switch it up to more of a role playing game, and the only way for me to do it properly and make it believable is to write it myself.

This guy blogged exactly what I was just thinking!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

After much discussion I made up mind

HEAP BIG THANKS TO THE OSR Google+ Community! I posted the following

This maybe a hot topic, or a topic that is been covered, but nonetheless, What do you feel is the most well written OSR Retro Clone? A little background, I'm planning on printing one off for a newbie DM for Christmas along with a set of dice.  I've considered grabbing Basic from drivethru, and that maybe still the plan.  and go...

And now I know exactly what to get my buddy for Christmas, Basic Fantasy! When I first found the OSR movement I got super duper excited as you can tell from some of my previous blog posts.  I was printing this and that, and fell in love with the whole scene.  Most specifically I fell in love with BF.  And I printed a bunch of the rules and modules.  Now I find myself with a bit of RPG overload, and as I was needing a present as well, I've decided to package up nicely all the stuff I printed off for BF and give that to my buddy along with a sexy set of new dice.  (hopefully he doesn't read this eeek!).  Off to the store to pick up some supplies.  

In the meantime I plan to continue work on Gloomwood & Goblins Greed Isle, and finish the damn things.  Yes yes I've been saying that for awhile. 

The nice thing about this present is it gets that weight off my shoulders as well.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

I need to get up off my ass!

I have started atleast 3 modules in the last 6 months.  One of which "Gloomwood" I'm quite excited about, its your forest crawl type module, very straight forward.  All I need to do on this one is to finish the main bandit tower structure and I'm done.  Should be easy, hopefully a Christmas break project or sooner, depending on what else is going on.

The other two are the following:

Goblins Greed Isle - A Island hex crawl based on Greek Mythos, the island is basically purgatory for Hades.  As I've noticed though, there's a few island type modules coming out and a Myrmidon one that just came out, so I may just leave this where it started.  SCRAPED.

Dungeon/Cavern Crawl - I started writing a very large dungeon crawl, so much so it got way out of hand, I have about 15 pages of hand written notes and a bunch of maps.  Unsure. 

The question that always comes to my mind is what separates my modules from other peoples.  The weirdness that is +Venger Satanis  pushes me to think outside the box, and I thank him for that.  Maybe that's why I haven't finished anything yet.  For fear that it won't stand up.  Damn it Shane, get your shit together.  LOL!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Professor Slughorn

Just watching the Half Blood Prince this morning, and Professor Slughorn is hilarious! Of course my mind pops right to D&D, and thinks boy he'd be a funny NPC to play.  Every play a specific character in your game? maybe with a slightly different name.  I can imagine him being a wizard that lives along in  a tower.  Maybe the PC's have to meet him to find a specific ingredient, possibly.  In the Harry Potter world he's an alchemist, so I would have to keep that in mind.  Maybe I'll build a Character class around that? More thought is required.  Personally I'd prefer to play a more interesting bumbling character like Slughorn, rather than a gandalf copy, but that's just me.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

PC descriptions

It maybe going a bit far to write out descriptions/backgrounds for the characters, especially if they meet  an untimely death, but here goes...

Fithimbrathil Ravenswood 
(Half Elf Warrior/Thief)

Fithimbrathil the daugher of a elven warrior and a local farmer grew up in a small logging town in Sembia.  Just before her 20th birthday the community was beset on by a Verbeeg Giant clan, that left the town in smoldering ruins.  Her younger sister Athalia has been missing ever since.  With nothing left to tie her to the town, she went off to seek adventure and gold to build her own farm somewhere "Fim"as everyone calls her is cocky & sarcastic.  She is handy with a sword & a bow.  She learned her thieving skills in Waterdeep where she spent sometime in the past. 

Fifnar Harnoff 
(Dwarf Warrior)

Hard nosed, stubborn and witty, is how to describe this typical Dwarf.  Fifnar grew up in the mines of Adabar, where he toiled working as a blacksmith & miner.  Unlike most Dwarf's Fifnar wanted to feel the sun on his cheek & not the cold damp of the mines.  As the years passed the need for adventure outgrew his need to stay and work.  Finally after much convincing and a few minor "accidents" Fifnar was allowed to leave and seek his fortune elsewhere.  Gold & Mead are what make this Dwarf most happy, that and chopping Orcs to bits.  Eventually he would like to own his own Tavern, and call it the "Stinkin Maiden".  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Letters from Izaheem-Ythk The Terror - Part 3

Great success! well sort of.  There is kind of a moral to this story, and I'm hoping you catch it.  But I digress I'm getting ahead of myself.  It's been about 6 weeks now that I've had Patricia the prudish puffed up pedantic princess as my guest, and as you can tell she's been more than irritating, in fact she's been down right well prudish puffed up and pedantic to say the least!  The reason I'm unsure as to wether its been 6 weeks or longer is that I decided to have a bit of a nap, when I woke up she was still there, and she didn't look that much older (but with humans who can tell really?).  Anyways, I finally found an old "psychology text", it was written in dwarfen so it took me a bit to grasp the gist of it, nevertheless I managed to get thru it.  Now I needed a test subject, who will do?  GRIGLOG! 

Yesss master? 

Griglog why are you here? I asked. 

To please the master

But why are you here? 

To please the master

Right, right I got that.  Okay different line of questioning. 

different line of questioning master? 

Never-mind, okay what makes you happy? 

To please the master


Sorry master 

Thanks Griglog you've been a good help. 

Yesss master

Alright, so that was basically futile.  However I did manage have a bit of a break thru in my head about how I'm going to go about convincing Patricia the prudish puffed up pedantic princess to leave.  Specifically I'm going to talk her into some self respect, and most importantly that she does not need to hold a value on herself by who exactly love her.  That is to say, she needs to respect herself, not the company that she keeps. 

This should be interesting. 

Part of me wants to cop out

Been discussing my upcoming campaign ides on here, there's 2 things that keep rolling around my head, both of which are spurred on by actual events and suggestions and my current reading material.

Anyone who has been following this blog  knows that I'm a fairly creative person, with a sprinkling of ADD it makes it difficult to make up my mind.  That and the fact that having "time" to create can be difficult.

First things first Campaign possibility 1 

Due to my having finished the Icewind dale triology and now revisiting the Drizzt books, the Forgotten Realms campaign and this morning the menzoberranzan campaign setting, I've been considering the idea of just running in the realms, for the simple sake is that its all there.  Part of the problem is its all there lol.  But for example coming up with the name of the god of agriculture off the cuff can be difficult, the ease of grabbing the book and going "okay you follow this deity".   My thoughts for the campaign are simple.

Run Shadowdale & the accompanying adventure (twisted tower) then sprinkle in the Sword of the dales triology (i have the first one considering picking up the other 2).  Next step would possibly be Menzoberranzan (there are dark elfs in the twister tower so I can tie it easily).  That or Myth Drannor.  The other idea that came to mind was the temple of elemental evil, as I grabbed that when it was free, and it could easily be fit into one of the other dales.

As far as the system goes, considering it was built for AD&D2e and I loaned the books out to one of my players, it would probably be easy to just go with it.  That and the fact that this what I cut my teeth on.

First things first Campaign possibility 2

this is the DIY campaign, and it all comes from a conversation with a player of mine.  He said that he'd been doing some research about D&D and the consensus is that "if the DM writes the adventure from scratch it tends to be more fun, more open ended etc".  Ie not following a script. 

Due to my "finding" for a lack of a better word, the OSR community I've been more creative in the last few months that years.  This has me filled with a whack of ideas, maps of places, starts of adventures etc.  The trick of course would be consolidating all these things and having the time.  Maybe stealing the great things from the modules above. 

If I had to run from the start I'd probably end up using Basicfantasy, Despite how much I want to run Advanced fighting fantasy, I really need to do a one off with my players to know if they want to go that route.  As they already have a basic grasp of D&D I think BF just seems like a better idea.  

I'm mostly rambling and writing this for myself to figure this out.  But If you'd like to comment, go fer it :) I'd appreciate it.  

Side note - you may notice I've posted some journal entries from Izaheem-Ythk The "Apparent" Terror.  He sends them in once in awhile, when I get them I'll post them.