Friday, July 28, 2017

Ah summer

Up here in the great white north, we get basically 3 months of summer.  Spring is kinda melty for a bit then bam summer, so I guess maybe 3.5 months.  I'm sure other gaming groups go thru this in the summer, it's just to damn busy with everything else.  Which I'm entirely fine with.

the city I live in Winnipeg, is notorious for being facking cold 9 months of the year, mosquitoes and great music.  I think part of the reason that great music is made in this town, is because there's not a hellua a lot to do on cold nights in January.  That and hauling gear in -40 C sucks goblin wang.

So people hole themselves up and write and play music.

I think this is the same for gaming, atleast for the groups I'm in.  Our 5e group has attempted to get together pretty much every month this summer, and its just not happening.  It's not because we have better things to do outside (because we play DND on my deck sometimes), its because shit comes up, things that we can only do in the summer.  Ever try camping in the winter? yah not fun.

The nice thing about this little break is, it's giving me sometime to plan campaigns.  For the old school group, I think I'm going to try out my Toadstool hack, and basically run a campaign in Mystara.  Starting with Isle of Dread and we can see where that leads.  I've been working on some of the encounters in Isle of Dread and fleshing them out.  Obviously I won't write too much about it here, as some of my players read the blog on occasion.  At this point I think I'm going to scrap mutant future, everyone was sorta meh on it.  I think it might be partially my fault as I'm not the best sci fi writer in the world.

For our fifth edition group, I think I might run some old dragonlance 2e modules.  I've talked about this before, I have Dragon Knight and I've downloaded the other 2 in the series.  It might be a nice change.

Anyways have a good weekend! I'm not gaming this weekend, I'm going to drink beer in the shade of a large tree and think about dungeons.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thanks Gary

Today is International Gary Gygax Day.  I just wanted to say that I am very thankful for him, and for all the other masterminds at TSR for creating this game that we love.  If it wasn't for you guys, we'd be twiddling our thumbs.

I recently picked up a copy of the 1e DMG and I've been plowing thru it.  Every page there's a little bit of inspiration waiting for me.  I appreciate it.

Unfortunately I never met him, but from the stories I've read he was a pretty stand up guy.

Cheers Gary!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I'm currently, well I'm always writing.  I started thinking about creating a super rules lite system for our home games.  Mostly because when we play its infrequent, and with some of the rules systems we have used we got bogged down with them.  I am guessing that most people won't really be a fan of what I'm doing here, but its our game and honestly it's beer and pretzels.

Here's the link if you want to see what i'm up to. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New OSR Thieving Mechanic

The whole percentile dice thing is sorta wack.  I mean it's alright, but its really the only time that the dice are used in game by characters in old school play.

I really dig Dyson's thieving skills, but I am thinking of something even easier.

All thieving could be a ability check, specifically a dexterity ability check.  Obviously all characters have dexterity scores, so I need to figure out a way to make thieves slightly better at all things thieving.

Roll under dex and add the following modifier to the roll based on level. Obviously a roll of one is great success! and a twenty is a total epic failure.

Thievery covers the following old schoolisms: open locks, find & remove traps, pick pockets, move silently, climb walls, hide in shadows, hear noise

EDIT:  +Zak Sabbath suggested that this idea could be scaled with the thief's backstab ability, which is a good idea!

Modifier to thievery 
-4 no change

Monday, July 24, 2017

The case for Fifth Edition Saving Throws in old school

I was thinking about saving throws this morning, as I've been slowly working on a house rules document.  I've always dug the original saving throws, and how they scale depending on your race or class.  When I first played Fifth edition, the first thing I thought was "where are the old saving throws?" (as in second edition or earlier).  They just didn't make sense to me at the time.  As well the 3rd (or 3.4? not sure) saving throws of Fortitude, Reflex and Willpower made some sense to me but not a lot.  As an example where do these modifiers come from? My guess is Fortitude is constitution, Reflex is dexterity and willpower is wisdom? Which make sense, as I can't think of a reason to have a charisma saving throws (or atleast I don't think it would come up very often to me).  While writing the document, I thought okay I'll just go ahead and use the 3 saving throws, the modifiers for this will come from the stats listed above.

However, that means there's no intelligence, charisma, or strength saving throws. That and having either a mod or just a static number doesn't appeal to me either.  As an example, a willpower saving throw would just be the wisdom stat or the wisdom modifier.

I also detest DCs.  Having done roll under ability checks, I prefer that idea.   The problem becomes when reading a OSR set of rules like Labyrinth Lord, or B/X the saves are roll over, and the ability checks are roll under.  It is sometimes hard for players to grasp that.  (atleast my players).

What I came up with, which I'm sure is not an new idea, is to throw out the original saving throws (vs spell, death, etc) and just use ability scores as checks.  The mechanic is the same, roll under.  Let's say a player is near falling off a cliff and trying to grab onto something, well you can call it whatever you want, an ability check or a saving throw, whatever the case roll under dex.

So rather than create 3 saves from 3e, or the originals, or just one saving throw (which I've been a fan of, but I like this idea better).  Just go with the 6 stats.  Need to make a death saving throw? Make that tied to Constitution.  Which makes some sense anyways. The guys that created DND were on the right track with the 6 ability scores.

Moving forward I think that's how I'm going to approach it.  For one thing, when you are using DCs its very easy to hand wave, unless a player rolls a 1, as they don't always know the DC number.  Whereas roll under, it's entirely up to them, and its rolled right on the table.  I think this gives a bit of player agency.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Setlist dungeon

I was stuck in a ..... well it was a recording session.
In one of the rooms there are a bunch of goblins jammin.  Written on the bass drum is the words "chicago".

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Real life

I'm not sure if this happens to you? if it even crosses your mind.  It happens to me all the time.  When I'm writing an adventure I start thinking "Would this work in real life?".

I almost always forget that magic plays a big part in the fantasy world's that we create, and sometimes the best explanation is magic.  Although that maybe a cop out.

As an example, I worry about the structure of a dungeon.  The air, the way the water flows.  Even things like monsters.  Is it even logical to have a group of giant rats, a bunch of orcs, some goblins and a medusa.  How do they all work together in this environment? Does it matter? Well I think it does!  There should be a reason for things, not just a bunch of meat with treasure right?

Maybe I'm crazy.

When I was writing our mutant future campaign (that has kinda went the way of the dinosaur).  I kept  thinking "alright this is sort of based on the real world, so there won't be a bunch of zombie lab testing facilities , because there never were.  In fact there were barely any buildings across the farming landscape".  But I mean, it's mutant future right, so it's supposed to fantasy.  The world blew up, things crawled out the muck".

When we wrote the "Invitation from the blue baron", there wasn't any real rules about poly morphing in Blueholme.  I mean there are rules out there for old school games, but I thought "Alright I need something to change people into monsters, and something that's going to last longer than ex rounds". Screw the rules, this is magic, you drink the potion you become a monster and it's going to last until the PCs figure this shit out.

I guess it's whatever works right? As long as there is a somewhat plausible explanation.  Even if that reason is "magic", just go with it.

I'm not sure if this makes any actual sense, it's Thursday and honestly a bit more coffee would be beneficial.

I hope you have a good weekend rolling some dice!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Demi Diable (playable character race for Blueholme)

Born from the union of elves & demons, the Demi Diable is an unusual race.  They resemble elves, but for the greenish colour of their skin, the small horns near the top of their head, and their pointed short tails.  They are rather stunted, usually growing to four and a half feet tall.

Demi Diable tend to be magic users or fighters, occasionally they will be multi-classed fighter/magic users.  Demi Diable use d4 hit dice for all classes.  They have a 40% resistance to a ghouls paralysis effect. They can see up to 80' in the dark, however in natural sunlight they are albeit blind only being able to see 15' in front of them. When searching for secret doors they are only able to find them on a roll of 1 on 1d6.

Because of their demonic heritage Demi Diable's alignment leans towards Chaotic Good & Chaotic evil, however there are exceptions to the rule.

Because of their scary visage, they are usually shunned by society (specifically Elves from their homeland).  Finding a group of Demi Diable living together is unlikely, most are roamers moving from town to town, never staying long.  Most often they are found in adventuring companies travelling the world in search of treasure and acceptance.

Experience Table 

Hit Dice
Fighter XP
Magic User XP
Fighter/Magic User XP*

*Note Demi Diable always use d4s for hit dice, regardless of multi-classing rules.

Typical Female Names 

Typical Male Names

Black Pudding 3 is out now!

Black pudding three is out! Damn I love this mag.  

Blorch! Here glorps issue #3 of Black Pudding, an OSR-styled zine of RPG goodies. Herein you'll find monsters and magic and mayhem and swords-for-hire. Herein are a handful of new character classes, such as the Shield Maiden and the Star Wizard, along with terrible creatures such as the ork wargtrainer and hag's husband. Matt Hildebrand brings us a doppelgangery adventure and we learn how to make a proper crypt golem. It's hand drawn, it's digital, and a little bit low brow.
For use with Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, or any predecessor of similar DNA. And dice.
Did I mention there are character sheets?  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More blue baron on youtube courtesy of God Emperor Leto II

I just caught this, which I'm guessing is the fifth installment of the play through of the Blue Baron.

After the finding the magical telescope in a room in the dungeon of the Blue Baron, our party attempts to make a lucrative business deal that will set them up on easy street...or so they think. There are many people in Blueholme who want to keep their riches for themselves and will make sure our party does not advance beyond their station. 

In case you would like to follow the exploits of the brave hero's in the Blue Barons Dungeon/Party, here are the links. 

Part One:

Part Deux:

Part 3: 

Fin (part 4): 

God Emperor Leto II Youtube Channel

You can download the Blue Baron HERE and HERE

To the right is a pay pal tip jar.  I just added it.  If you like the posts on 3 Toadstools and would like to drop me a dollar for enjoying the read you are more than welcome to.  However you don't have to, in fact it's entirely fine if you don't.  I really just wanted to point it out.  Thank you.

PPS:  The new adventure is coming along, and I'm hoping it will be done by the end of the month.  It will feature a Dyson Logos map, text by me, and it will be for Blueholme.  I am playing around with a 4x6 layout, however I've found that it really doesn't do justice to the awesome map, so I will probably go ahead and do it 6x9.  Which coincidentally is perfect on a tablet. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rage of the rakasta idea

I've posted about the Rakasta before.  They appeal to me.  I don't understand why they've been dropped from the monster manual over the years? Maybe because people get them confused with the Rakshasa?

Whatever the case, while reading Isle of dread I stumbled upon the fact that there's a camp of Rakasta on the island?

What the heck are they doing there? 

My first thought was maybe they are in direct competition with the pirates near the island?

Perhaps they recently moved from the main land of Mystara? And have sought out a new life.

Or maybe they are on an expedition similar to the player characters?

Whatever the case maybe, I have a hard copy of "Rage Of The Rakasta" at home that I TOTALLY forgot about!

With a bit of tweaking I'm sure it could work wonderfully on the island.

Here is the blurb from

Beware the cat-men's fury! 

This entry-level module pits a single player character of 2nd to 4th level against samurai cat-men. Rage of the Rakasta is specially designed as a one-on-one for a single DUNGEON MASTER and one player. It can also be played by a DM and a group of players or by a single player without a DM. 
Rage of the Rakasta takes place in the Thunder Rift game setting. It can be played by itself or as part of a campaign with other modules sharing the same setting: Quest for the Siver Sword, Assault on Raven's Ruins, Sword and Shield, Knight of Newts, and the forthcoming In the Phantom's Wake. 
The DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Game Box is needed to play this adventure 
Recommended for a single character, levels 2-4 Can be played with or without a DUNGEON MASTER Includes a large map sheet and twenty stand-up figures Introduces new monsters, new magic items, and a new character class Can be played as a sequel to Quest for the Silver Sword or as a stand-alone adventure.

Honestly the Isle of dread is the perfect campaign system.  You could consider it "mini", but there's so much you can throw in there.  I intend to run Dwellers of the forbidden city, the lost city and a few other modules hopefully. 

Another super cool thing about the adventure (rage of the rakasta) is that there are rules for using Rakastas as player characters (which begs me to play b/x!)  

+Eric Fabiaschi has written a ton of great posts about Isle Of Dread, if your curious jump on over here

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New adventure in the works

Just started working on a new adventure this week.  I decided to use blueholme, as it's just a wonderful system to write for.  As well I went and mined Dyson's blog for a cool map.  (something that I am probably going to do more often!).

The adventure is inspired by a local metal band that I'm friends with.  I actually talked to them about it and they are super cool with it!  So there will be a little cross promo going on, which is going to be fun.

There is something that I really like about writing adventures for levels 1 -3.  Maybe its because a LOT of games start off that way.  Maybe it's the ease of having less rules, less damage, the very real possibility of character death (that's probably it actually).

I can't honestly wait for the new Blueholme Journeymanne Rules to be in my hands, however from a writers stand point the Prentice rules just turn my crank!

I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Thus far I have 19 rooms.  Now to just come up with a cool name for the series of adventures I have planned (yah I just said it... series.....).  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The FY DIY RPG Community Strikes Again

We just finished putting together a new table "Clues That There Might Be A Secret Door Nearby".

You can download it here:

And you can join the community here:

I decided to try and make it as close to a DCC type release as possible.  Mostly to see if I could do it.  I'm quite pleased with the results!

I am going to host all of the files on this blog.  You can check them out here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New plan for old school group

This is inspired by +Wayne Rossi and his posts about mega dungeons.

Our group has started a few campaigns here and there, but haven't really finished anything due to time, we tend to get busy over the summer.  Everyone has a busy schedule, campaign play becomes difficult.  Mostly because no one can remember where the heck we were from the last time we played.

I've decided to run a somewhat mega dungeon, well let's say its a decent sized dungeon rather than mega.  I've often waxed about wanting to run "The Endless Tunnels Of Enlandin", but I haven't got around to it yet.

Using the rules of FLAILSNAILS  I'm allowing all characters from previous campaigns in to the new campaign (Including one much beloved dead one... i know... he was a well loved character).

As a chassis to run the game I'm going to use b/x & basic fantasy.  I am going to allow Vaginas are magic though.  (or a hack I build... which maybe the plan).

The idea behind this will allow players to come and go as they please, If I can get everyone around the table fantastic! If I can't cest la vie we play on.  Those characters not at the table will be relegated to the background as npcs for the session.  

Should be interesting!

Here's a couple posts about Enlandin.

Download it here. (except my players DON"T DO THAT!)

The nice thing about the module is that it's been revised for basic old school play, leaving out ACs and most stats.  Just hit points and what time of monster.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

meat for the sake of meat

I fall into this trap sometimes, where the bad guys are just armour class and a weapon.  I've written a few tables for monster motivations, and I'm planning on trying to incorporate those more often.

When considering a mega dungeon (or atleast a bigger dungeon) its nice to have an idea of what the goals might be for a particular bad guy, or faction.  Maybe those goals change over time? Maybe there are different goals for say the leader of the hobgoblins and his second in command?

This little post was inspired by reading the 1e DMG (and to a lesser degree some of the tables in the 5e DMG for npcs).  That and I was flipping thru the monsters in B/X.  What was striking me as I was skimming was not using monster typically.  An example, let say the classic vampire.  You can play a vampire the way we have always seen them portrayed, the angel of death, the monster masquerading as a human lord, Strahd, etc  What if maybe the vampire was more like Louis from interview with the vampire?  Maybe he wishes for death, and hasn't made his peace with being a vampire yet?  Maybe he feeds on the local goblin populace only?

This has lead me to think about injecting a bit more personality into monsters, weather they are cannon fodder, or the "big bad". 

In the adventure I'm currently writing, I'm writing tables for each of the factions within the dungeon.  As an example there is a group of goblins that have been helping the local tavern owner smuggle gems out of the city for the thieves guild.  (yah that's a excellent hook right!)

Now obviously the second in command goblin (let's call him Harold) wants to stop this nonsense and keep the pretty gems for themselves.  At odds is the leader goblin, who is enjoying the money, and the suspense of smuggling stolen goods out of the city.  What there end goal is though? hmm

Goblin Adventure Paths

1.  The leader has had a change of heart and plans a big heist, taking the gems and stolen goods deep into the dungeon

2.  The leader has fallen ill recently, Harold has decided to challenge him for leadership.  The shaman requires someone to go off into the underground wilderness in search of a cure.

3.  The settlement is going to move deeper underground, leaving their tyes to the surface world behind.

4.  A raid is being planned on a dwarven kingdom

5.  Some peons have found the entrance to an old human tomb.

6.  The food supply has dwindled, and the goblins need to find more food, wether by stealing, or growing it.

Vampire Personality Quirks & Intrigue

1.  Instead of seeking a cure for vampirism, the vampire enjoys reading stories of other vampires.  Currently writing a book.

2.  Enjoys finding new swimming holes.

3.  Likes to communicate with the dead (even recently deceased victims).  Holds seances with the local goblinoid populace.

4.  Has a flair for the theatrical, and puts on one man musicals.

5.  Has resigned itself to being immortal, however it's bride wants to die, or find a cure.

6.  Has a pet medusa that it uses to create a wonderful maze filled with the deceased.

Obviously the above needs a bit of work, but what I've been thinking (and maybe its a bit to real world) is why are these bad guys under ground? what are they doing, how do they pass their day? what is their main goal in life? etc

Also what makes a mega dungeon a mega dungeon vs what is just a big dungeon? Probably a loaded question.  I don't think 3 levels is a mega dungeon, but maybe 5? Or just lots and lots of rooms! I dunno, that's a thought for another day. 

Just some thursday randomness for you.

Note:  I'm currently writing an adventure.  Yeah me! it's been awhile.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Web hatching? Sure why not.

Last week I started playing around with a new mapping concept.  I haven't quite finished up the "Web-hatching" on this particular map yet, but it's coming along.  Pictured to the left are a before and after shot of the webbing.  I have also filled in all of the lines on the map darker (which I haven't taken a picture of yet).  What I might end up doing is scanning the map the way it stands now, and then finishing up the web hatch in pen, it's currently in pencil.  That way I can always reprint it if I don't like how it goes.

Whenever I get this into gimp, what I think I'll do is add a dark grey layer, and then possibly do some airbrush stuff and see how it comes out.

Of course I have a few ideas for this map.  For example, there is a crypt? is this in the basement of a church? Why are there other two entrances? Where do they lead to? A tavern basement perhaps?   Further there are also 3 sets of stairs leading into the depths.   Where do these go? what monsters lurk below?

This feels like its going to be a 3 level b/x dungeon.

With a little help from some 1e DMG random tables.

Whenever I get around to filling the map, I intend to not draw all 3 maps and then fill them.  Instead, I am going to do one at a time.  This way it's not so daunting!