Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teaser! - An Invitation From The Blue Baron.

Tomorrow this gets released.  For free! Please pass it on, print it, play it, use it to feed rather hungry treefolk and or corrupt computer bugs, whatever you'd like.

Since I can't wait, because I'm a friggin anxious person, here's a teaser.

Room 18.  How do you catch a cat? 

The doors to this room are closed but unlocked, the room is very warm, there is a large fireplace burning brightly on the east wall.  Throughout the room are very large wooden boxes of different sizes and shapes, every single one of them is occupied by a large cat.  They are lazily bathing, yawning or sleeping and generally have an oblivious attitude about everything.  Sitting around a large table in the centre of the room are five older looking hobgoblins in dresses, they are sipping wine and playing cards.  (One of the wooden boxes contains 5 gems worth 30 GPs each, and a silver locket with a mirror within it, 40 GPs).  (Buried beneath the floorboards in the room is a secret stash of gold, 600 GPs, in a trapped and locked chest). 

One of these ladies is the baron's wife Maria, and these are her friends.  Maria doesn’t partake much in the baron’s parties, and prefers to be accompanied by her friends and beloved cats.  If any of the players do anything untoward Maria has the ability to have the cats attack with a simple gesture. 

Domestic Cats (6) AC 9, HD 1d6-1, MV 15, ATT 2 Claws, DMG 1d2 each, XP 5, AL N, SAVE F1

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Letter From Nohj

A bit of disturbing news has crossed my desk.  It seems that a plot may in fact be a foot.  While I would like to detail all of the information within this letter, I would prefer to speak with you in person.  A fortnight from today, please meet me on the stairs leading to the dungeons of the Blue Baron.  I hazard to guess that you havent been living under a rock, and know full well that every year the Blue Baron throws a rather distinct masquerade ball.  Obviously you will be compensated for your efforts.  Consider yourselves cordially invited.

Nohj (Wizard of the court).

I'm hoping to have the adventure completed by the end of next week, which is going to be basically on time.  I was hoping for the end of February.  I am being a bit of a perfectionist about it, but I'm sure that's fine.  Keep your eyes on the blog, I'll post up the download as soon as it's done (and approved by the writers). 

Have a good weekend! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wine Wizards - Session 7 - Curse Of Strahd - Part Two

A few days past, I've been able to read that rather weird book and increase my constitution , I'm feeling quite good! Ready to start drinking.  Good news is its festival day!

We wander off to the festival, the mayor is going to lit this rather large pyre when it starts to rain!  (really DM??? really).  The gnomish wizard throws a fireball at it and viola fire! The mayor does this rather amusing speech about how this festival will stave off the hard times in Barovia.  Most of the townsfolk don't seem quite impressed.

After the festival we all head off to the bar.  The place is jammed.  The bartender mentions to us, that he is completely out of wine!

(oh the horror!) 

So being heroes & resilient we come up with a plan to act drunk, in hopes that the townsfolk will buy it.  The warrior pulls out his "flask of everlasting water", we all take a swig and make charisma checks.  Cue Gnome on the ceiling again.

Some of the patrons buy it.  Some are amazed at the great tasting water, considering they have basically been drinking mud for years.

The next morning we decide to set off to the vineyard and see what exactly is shaking with these wine wizards.

Follow the yellow brick road
Follow the yellow brick road
Follow, follow, follow, follow
Follow the yellow brick road
Follow the rainbow over the stream
Follow the fellow who follows a dream
Follow, follow, follow, follow
Follow the yellow brick road
We're off to see the Wizard
The wonderful Wizard of Oz
We hear he is a whiz of a wiz
If ever a wiz there was
If ever, oh ever a wiz there was
The Wizard of Oz is one because
Because, because, because, because, because
Because of the wonderful things he does
We're off to see the Wizard
The wonderful Wizard of Oz
We're off to see the Wizard
The wonderful

On the way, we get to a crossroads and there is some discussion about possibly going another route to a different side quest (of which I can't quite remember at this moment, I blame the excellent tasting water).

We walk up the long road towards the winery, and are stopped by a wizard who is wondering what we are up to .  We explain that the tavern in Valkii is out of wine and their shipment is late.

The story goes that a witch and a pile of druids have taken over the winery for some explicable evil reason.  Ismark is with us at this point (somewhat crucial to the rest of the events that unfold).

I should note, that I really do like role playing, but at this point we are about four and a half hours in and I'm itching for a fight.  Honestly I think we all had only rolled dice for the charisma checks in the bar. 

We start to head towards the vineyard and all of a sudden massive amounts of little twig baddies show up.  I cast this cool vine spell that I've been itching to use.

A massive fight ensues, the twig blights are getting beaten up by the vines, but more pour over the dead bodies every round.  The gnome fires a few fireballs spells and is out.  The warrior and thief are firing arrows like no ones business.  No crits unfortunately, but hey that happens.  We manage to land a few good strikes on the druids, killing most of them.

We get backed into a corner, right near the winery building.  Ismark who has been who knows where since the fight started, sticks his head out of the building door and yells "Hey guys its safe in here!"

I cast guiding bolt and destroy a few more twig blights and then head towards the door.

And that is where we concluded.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Swinging on chandeliers - Session 7 - Curse Of Strahd - Part One

After talking with Ismark, we found out that the burgomeiester's daughter has been eyed up by Strahd himself.  We all got up and stretched in the morning, and a few of us went over to talk with her.

It turns out the burgomeiester died.  The house was covered in scars and windows were broken from wolf attacks.  The daughter said that she would come with us to Valakii after her father was buried.  We made arrangements to have the father buried.  Apparently we needed to stand guard for the whole evening.  And at one point a weirdo ghost army decided to walk thru the graveyard.  We didn't really think much of it, cuz it's ravenloft.

We set off to go to Valakii and deliver the daughter into some sort of saftey.  On the way we see the strange skeleton warrior again, but make a quick decision that:

"Fuck that we are NOT following that damn skeleton again!"
We finally get to Valkii, and come up to the palisades, 2 guards shout down to us "Who goes there?".  We do a bit of talking and manage to get ourselves into town.  The guard, is completely oblivious.  He talks to one of the characters and lets him in.  The next one of us steps up to follow and the guard goes "Who goes there?".  And repeat, so funny.

Alright, so apparently there's a festival this week in Valkii, and last week there was a festival.  We here all about it and are somewhat excited.  Since the town is quite safe, I decide to hole up in the tavern for a few days and read a book.  I'm basically out of commission for 48 hours.

"manual of bodily health", (to which my CON has now been increased to 18!).  

The rest of the party decided to get epically drunk on this really famous wine.  Heard at the table:
"Someone is going to have relations with a sheep aren't they?"

Overheard at the bar, the tavern owner mentions that he hasn't had a shipment of this awesome wine for a long time, apparently the wine wizards are behind on their delivery.  Hmm.... side quest.

The gnome wants to buy this tavern as well, and has a incredibly long discussion, that prompts the thief to realize that she doesn't want her money spent on something that she doesn't agree with.  Cue interparty conflict. She also plays a sarcastic bitch (its on the character sheet).  Later in the evening once everyone is pissed drunk, she robs us.  I'm still in my room reading.

The fighter wakes up in a stable with his arms around a sheep.  The gnome was using mage hand to twirl around the chandelier for most of the evening.  It was epic! And like a nerd I stayed in my room and missed the whole thing!

We find out that the festival of the burning light is coming up in a few days, and we are all totally excited to go and check it out.  Apparently it gets rid of the bad spirits.  Some of the townsfolk think that last weeks "killing wolves" festival was supposed to do the same thing, but it appears that it hasn't.  The mayor has decided on another festival!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Completed side view map

Here's the finished version.  Enjoy.

To download the PNG click here.

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

First attempt at a side view map

This is my first attempt at a side view map.  I took a look at Dyson's examples & the map in the Basic Dnd (1981) book.  This is going to be for our Mutant Future campaign.  As well I've designed a quick little hex that I'm filling.

As a side note some of my players read this blog, so I probably won't post too many spoilers on the campaign.  What I would like to do, is draw everything myself.  I had used Wizard Dawn Magazine to create a basic outline for a campaign, and while it is a super handy resource.  I think my best bet is to really tailor it to what I want to do.  (also map practice).

So the hexmap is hexographer which I just downloaded the other day.  And the side view is just a picture from last night.  When I have a bit more time I'll do it up in GIMP and see how it turns out.  I may even give this another go from the top.  Since the water comes from nowhere and there are no air chimneys.

Monday, February 6, 2017

For once I feel like i'm actually going to complete something!

And as they say "with a little help from my friends".  The collaborative dungeon project started the first week of January, and here we are at the start of February.  I've said out loud "I'm going to try and get this bugger done by the end of February", and for once I feel like this is actually going to be a possibility!  At this point I have 4 rooms to go, which should be relatively easy.  Next step afterwards is to download the whole thing and pop it into word for some editing, double check grammar etc.

So hopefully if all goes well there should be a free download at the end of February! Wooo.

Which is giving me a much needed kick in the arse. (Creatively speaking).  Normally I get ahead of myself and start laying shit out before I finish.  And of course I did just that again.  This honestly just gives me a bit of fuel to get it done.

Here's the example in case your curious. 

Onto other cool things...

Eric at Swords & Stichery gave me an awesome shout out, regarding one of the tables I created awhile ago.

Honestly if your not checking Swords & Stichery every day, you really should.  Eric has infinite cool ideas, reviews. 

I really like writing tables, like I really do!   d100 tables are fun, but can be time consuming to come up with coolness on every line. The other day I wrote some d6 tables, which I'm going to try and do more of.  The nice thing about d6 tables is everyone has d6s.  I may eventually stream line some stuff to 2d6, 3d6 tables just for the sake of easiness.

Anyways that's my update for the morning! Have a good one.   (Here's my fav version, earworm time!) 

Friday, February 3, 2017

d6 Fantasy Tables

Thieves Guild Names
The sisterhood of the shaky hand
The Silver Blades
Threadbare pockets
Moneybag Union
Jewel Trust Co
The Cut Purses

Barbarian Tribes
Blood Skins
Moose Stone
Northern Beards
Grey Elk
Shattered Spear

Bandit Gang Names
Rugged Rebels
Purple Gang
Brotherhood of the hollow
Gurgs Grenadiers
The Grendle Pass Pipers

NPC Adventurer Group Names
Cracked Shields
Dragons Toenails
Tooth Troupe
Rain Village Fellowship
Banners Of Indale
Capn’s Parlay

Orc Tribe Names
Razor Rumps
Bent Foots
Tasty Ankle
Black Cloaks
Murder Bucket
Brown Tooth

Books Of Power
Tome Of Finite Wisdom
Dexterous Endeavors
The Ravings Of A Mad Woman
Witches & Wights (A historical guide)
The Longest Chapter
Strange Lights & Sounds

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The way we play

Taking a ten minute break from staring at an excell file.  I was thinking about the way we play DnD, and its basically gonzo silliness.  Things always seem to start out the typical "meet in a tavern", and then they go off the rails rather quickly.  Which I like.

Gonzo may not be the right word.

An example, a couple of sessions ago my nephew played with us, we rolled him up a cleric.  After killing a bunch of priest we high tailed it out of the town.

A few months later we reconvene.  My nephew wasn't able to make it to the session, and we were not entirely sure how often he was going to make it.

Obviously most DMs would just play the character in the background until such time as the player showed up.

Not us, our explanation.

While on the way out of town, the character slipped into a weird magical portal and was flung somewhere into an alternate reality, maybe he is with his god? who knows.

Next time he shows up, viola he will be in the right place at the right time.

This leads me to the idea of creating a house set of rules, we basically use basic fantasy, however there are a few minor tweaks that fit on one page:

Attacking:  Add your d20 roll + attack bonus + STR/INT Bonus + Magical Item Bonus (where possible)

Damage:   Weapon damage + STR/INT Bonus + Magical Item Bonus (where possible)

Ability Checks:  Ability checks are based on your level, at level one you need to roll over 17 to succeed, Level 2 - over 16, etc.  Ability checks are called for by the GM, or when a player wants to do something that isn’t covered within the rules.  Ex “breaking down a door = strength check”.  A modifier may be made to the roll in certain circumstances.

Double Damage/Crits:  When attacking if you roll a natural 20, you can roll 2 damage dice instead of one.  All bonuses are only added to the first damage dice.  If you roll a 1, your weapon breaks, you drop it, or something equally embarrassing happens.  

Thief Sneak attack:  a sneak attack is made with a +4 attack bonus and does double damage.

Saving Throws:  When you need to make a saving throw, in order to be successful you need to roll over your given number.  Ex a fighter making a death saving throw must roll over 12.  In most cases a saving throw vs death/poison will be made.  Add Racial Bonus to roll.  Dwarves + 3, Elves + 2, Halfling +3, Humans + 0. Note: We only use one saving throw, which is VS spell.

Thief Skills:  Roll under appropriate ability with percentile dice.

Cleric Turning Undead = Table Page 50

Inspiration:  The GM may give a player inspiration because they are role playing their character well.  When you have inspiration you can choose to reroll any dice, whether an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.  Once inspiration is used it is gone, until you earn it again.  

Death & Dying:  If your character’s hit points become 0 you are considered unconscious.  If your player’s hit points become negative numbers you need to make death saving throws.  If you roll under your death saving throw number 3 times you die.  If you succeed twice in 3 times you become stable.  0 hit points.  

Experience and leveling up:  After 2nd level you will need to find an appropriate trainer to help you level up, regardless of experience totals.  For level 3 it will be 300 GPs.  For level 4, 600 GPs, and so on.  Obviously your hit points, attack bonus and saving throws get better when you level up.

Rest:  PC’s regain 2 hit points from a good night's rest.  Recovering from major wounds will take atleast a week or more.  Spent spells are regained the next morning.

Another silly example was when a thief went off to get trained. He found a trainer and started sailing the high seas after a session. We reconvened very quickly, like maybe a week in between. I decided the thief was on the ship, and the water became really rough, he fell overboard, and another wonderful magical hole appeared, he then landed confused infront of everyone.

I had a discussion with a few of my players about Swords & Wizardry light, they all thought it was a pretty cool concept, however they do like having variable weapon damage, and more than 2 dice. Personally though I think the next time I run a campaign, I may just switch to it, with some added house rules. (Inspiration & Dying from fifth). Our sessions have really become less crunchy fighting, and more role playing. The basics of S&W light work well for the way we like to play. So that is probably going to be the essential plan at some point.

The other thing I was thinking was creating a few more random tables that would go with the whole concept of it being rather silly most of the time. As an example having a table that explains why a PC is missing, and how they show up again, would be relatively handy.

I really love playing old school games, because of the infinite hack-ability.