Monday, December 31, 2018

The typical year end post

Hey folks!

This year was a weird one. I didn't release much of anything as far as quantity is concerned. I spent a good six months working on the "return of the blue baron".  Which left me very tired.

I've slowly in the last few weeks regained a bit of inspiration. I wrote a barrow mound for Matt jackson, which was fun. I'm hoping to do at least one more.

I'm currently working on a layout project for d-oom products, which has been a lot of fun. Lay out work is right up my alley.

Now that I've finally figured out how to make a pod using lulu, I may try and revise (rewrite) all the three toadstools stuff. Time will tell on that.

Gaming wise, I intend to quit my 5e group, as the game is really not for me. Nothing against anyone in the group, I just don't like the mechanics.

I've been invited to a bunch of osr games online, and am hoping to get off my duff and play.

Dming wise, I got nothing at this point. I'd like to run blackmarsh with swords and wizardry white box at some point.

Writing wise, I just want to do more of it. Head down and write.

I've got a few half cooked ideas, that I'd like to finish and put up on the blog as downloads. My mutant future idea for one. The more I think about it, the more it's a "hey here's a thing", rather than a here's a paid for thing. If that makes sense?

There have been a few rumours flying about the demise of if that happens I'll move somewhere else, no biggie.

Anyways, I know this is melancholy, but I hope to get a few things done this year.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Watcha watching? OSR Actual play youtube channels

While shows like "Critical Roll" and others are at the top of a lot of people's playlists, I figured I'd do a quick post on more OSR centric shows.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post over at mewe.

Drunks & Dragons:
Drunks and Dragons is an award-winning actual-play, comedy podcast using Dungeons and Dragons as a framework for creating a (mostly) improvised narrative.

Drunks and Dragons has been releasing weekly since November of 2012, and has built a considerable fanbase for a completely independant podcast. As of December 2017, DnD has an estimated 70,000 unique monthly listeners world wide, and over 600,000 monthly downloads. DnD has even spawned an annual convention.

Red Dice Diaries
For the second season of our Rose of Westhaven Midderlands campaign we decided to re-focus the game and settled on the idea of a group of church sponsored monster hunters. The game timeline has moved forward ten years, there is a new King on the throne and–against a resurgence of pagan cults and practices–the Church of Westhaven sponsors hunters to try and restore order to the Havenlands.

Jason Hobbs
Jason runs a online game called Kalmatta, including a international version with our favourite anchorite Mr. Colin Green. I'll have to double check with Jason on what system he runs.

God Emperor Leto II:
Jeff runs super fun games (I've been a player in a few sessions).  His games run the gamut of Blueholme, TMNT, Survive This!, DP&D and MYFRAOG.

Antonio Bravo
Just one session on this channel so far, but it's a great Lab Lord game!

Okumarts Games:
Super fun stuff, with lots of minis and great production.  Check it out.

Uncle Matts D&D Studio
If you haven't heard of Uncle Matt you maybe living under a rock.  He runs some old school swords & wizardry and 5e.  The heroes of Jordoba

Foreign Beggars (DCC Show):

If you have some fav's please post in the comments below.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Tonight! is layout city

I've been working on a layout project for a friend of mine (which I've talked about on and off the past few months).  The gist of which was "I can't figure scribus" etc.  I'm using openoffice for this, and it allows me to embed fonts properly.  Anyways, as I've been slowly procrastinating, this evening I'm going to get down to business!

Last week I wrote up a fairly deadly adventure for Matt Jackson's Barrow mounds.  You can get more info here:

After doing a quick proof on Matt's adventure, I was filled with inspiration.  So I started writing.  Which was nice, as I've been in a back and forth slump for a bit.  I have a few maps to draw, and one to redraw for it.  The premise is simple "go get rid of the bandits".

Here's some screen shots.

It'll probably be stated out with S&W I think.  Just for ease of use.

There was a few shane-isms in the first draft that I'm going to have to go and deal with.  But for a creative spurt I'm happy.

It probably won't up being any kinda release other than "here! here's a download, have fun".  Which IMHO I really enjoy doing.  Hopefully I'll get it done by Christmas.  First up though, is finishing out the layout project.  As it is 6x9 I've been looking for inspiration in RPG books.  I've settled on basically looking at anything lotfp I can get my hands on and B/X Essentials.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

I nominated rotbb for the ennies

I decided to nominated rotbb for the free product category in the Ennies next year.  For the simple sake that a lot of work went into it, and a lot of great writers were a part of it.  I personally don't need any kind of accolades, and I have no intention of spamming people when the noms come out with "hey vote for me" (other than one time).

When sending out the pdf copy, I just dloaded one from drivethru and I got the typical "hey thanks for the purchase" message.  I realized that I've made an oversight.  Here's the message:

Please note: A POD version of this will be released soon.  It will be at cost.  As well a black & white printer friendly no art pdf will also be released.  We appreciate any feedback, reviews and errata information that you can provide.  Thank you very much! 

Well the POD version has been released, and it's on amazon (as I couldn't figure out how to get a pod to work properly with OBS, a thing that I'm finally starting to figure out on another project).  

NO the thing that I totally forgot about was my intention to make a BW Printer friendly copy of the book.   I apologize, I have not done this.  And honestly I don't know if I will.  The baron took a lot out of me this time, more so than the first.   Maybe I'll revisit this idea down the road.  In the mean time I should change that message (along with a few other of my drivethru thanks messages). 

You can get the pdf of rotbb here.

and the pod here. 

The other thing that I wanted to mention about the Ennies is that they ask you to forward a mp3 in case you win (apparently it gets played when you walk up). 

I decided on a solo acoustic version of "The entertainer" written by Scott Joplin and performed by a dear friend Jim Flett, who passed away this year.  I felt like it was appropriate, and that it sticks with the baron's schtick. 

Here's Jim jamming with Patti & Jeremy. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Anti Promo and other things

A few things on my mind today.  Whenever I release a new 3 toadstools thing, I am not going to do the typical social media promo.  (ie spam people all day).

What I am going to do is the following:
1.  Send out a few copies and let the word of mouth spread.
2.  Send out a few emails via OBS.
3.  Blog about it (but not repost, share the link).

The reasoning isn't much of anything other than I just don't want to be "that guy".  I'll let it take on a life of its own, if that happens great.  If not fine.

The other thing I was thinking about today, was from what I gather (reading some discussions online) that people on the outside of the OSR believe that is full of "toxic shit".  To put it lightly.

I think what I'm going to do, is write a post basically explaining the best parts of the OSR, as well a introduction and why it's cool.  Basically like "hey, so this osr thing, what is it about?".  Especially for someone whose only gaming experience might be fifth ed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Update CC Map

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

The License: You can have a non-exclusive, non-commercial license to use any of my maps.  Any 
maps can be used for home adventures, blog posts, online provided full credit is made to 3 Toadstools Publishing (Cartography by), and also include a link to this blog. You cannot use these maps and or license to publish in a commercial product including free products.  

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Early free map friday.

Currently in the middle of a long winded recording session, with a few people who don't know the chords to the songs......

Which mean's basically they are practicing (They are paying so evs).

So I drew a map.

Licensed under creative commons yadda, commercial, home use etc.  (If you click on the map link page above the license is there, do what you like).

At this point I have had a chance to clean it up yet.  I tried something different, used a regular assed pen, and then a permanent marker to do the outline.

The reason its free map friday, is cuz today is my friday! I get tomorrow off. 

Happy Turkey Day everyone down south of me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Update on Greyhawk campaign ideas.

I spent a bunch of time reviewing the pantheon for Greyhawk last night.  Comparing the Fifth edition PHB Gods to the original Greyhawk (well the reddish box), there are a few subtle differences.  A few of the quasigods, or demigods have been raised to greater god status in the phb.  My guess is that they were raised to god status somewhere around the whole 3rd edition? "living greyhawk" setting. 

Anyways, what I did was take the basic "greater gods" from the greyhawk setting and then copied all of the domains and stuff from 5e.  There were a few that were missing, however I managed to create appropriate domains for them. 

I intend to have some kind of a confrontation between St. Cuthbert and Iuz (who are both demigods in my version of the campaign).  As the greater gods, are just well that.  They don't have any real world implications other than the specific domain for clerics. 

Going thru the boxed set, I've made some notes on regions around the Grand Duchy Of Geoff for the players.  Things that they are aware of. 

I'm on the fence about the ruler of Geoff, Owen I.  Rather than him be a typical Good Ruler, Godly king dude, I'm considering making him somewhat of a tyrant, that wants to keep the people of Geoff were they are.  A Tyrant, who is scared of loosing power.  Possibly the uprising of followers of St. Cuthbert may in fact freak him out.  He may possibly make a deal with Iuz (not sure).  Another thing I'm thinking about is the idea that Keoland may considering invading Geoff at some point.  Of course the only way to get there is thru the marshes. 

I'm slowly working on the City of Gorna, using this map maker, and fleshing out a neighborhood for the players.   Which would be the typical things (Armourer, Trader, excellent tavern, etc).

For player backgrounds, I intend to create a random table for each race.  Example


1.  Hornwood
2.  Dim Forest
3.  Village in Geoff
4.  Gorna


Another thing I've been slowly thinking about is factions, and religious orders.  I think the factions in my game may not be the world wide ones (like the harpers in FR), but smaller on a scale of basically factions within the Duchy.  My intention is to basically stick to Geoff for the time being (or at least to a specific level).  Still working on this.

First adventure, after the initial "You are here" session will be the following:

(I stole this from somewhere)

The basic gist is a local rich merchant is retiring and he has bought a old manor that need's to be fixed up.  The manor is located on the outskirts of the Dim forest, near the valley of the mage.  This will hopefully lead the players to the valley (as that's going to be the centre piece of the campaign).

The players will have to clear out the surrounding area of monsters and the like, make friends with some suspicious elves, and probably clear out the manor itself of some bandits that are holed up there.  A intend to drop a few clues about the valley. 

In the mean time I'm going to re-read the post I put up with links regarding point crawls, as that is my intention (and I've never really written one).

Ohkay that was a giant amount of typing diarrhea.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Adventure writing links

This post is sort of a place holder post for myself, ie I need to go and re-read these posts after a brief skim this morning.  They are a collection of 3 links, all of which are about writing adventures. 

However, You may have seen these before, you may not have.  They came up on a discord server chat.  They might be helpful to you.  Prosperity sake.

Hope your monday is going well!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Finally a new anchor episode!

So last night, I did a great episode! I was super excited.  However bad mojo, nothing saved.

I have attempted to recreate that energy today.  Here it is:

Anchor link. 

Queen of spiders expensive ebay link! 

1st Ed character classes

And here is the start of the house rules document.

Monday, November 12, 2018

D12 forest quests

1.  A local ranger hasn't been seen in more than a month.  She/He will usually show up in town once a month.

2.  A group of halflings emerged from the forest missing limbs and bleeding. They are unable to speak.

3.  A shrine has been built on the outskirts of the forest. Every week a internal organ is left on an altar near the shrine.  No one has seen anyone near the shrine.

4.  A rolling fog/mist moved thru the forest border, paralyzing anyone in its path.

5.  A alchemist needs some specific plants that grow in the depths of the forest.

6.  A curious map has been created near the entrance to the forest, it details the route of a previous group of explorers.

7.  Giant spiders have fled the forest. What scared them?

8.  An elder tree has grown sickly and black, it's disease has spread to the surrounding forest floor.

9.  A local merchant has had his shipments go missing, sort of.  The carts magically return thru the forest, carrying no merchandise, save for promissory notes.

10.  A group of near human Neanderthal's have been pillaging the borders of the northern forest.

11.  A monster, that can only be described as a "pastiche of parts", has shown up on the outskirts of the village.  It is unable to speak, but signs towards the forest with fear in its eyes.

12.  A river runs thru the forest, the fish in it have doubled in size, so have their teeth.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dancing over fireball - 5e toa session report

Had a wildly entertaining session last night. It had combat, a bit of roleplaying (thank the God's) and lots of exploration and puzzles.  I suppose this is why people like delving into dungeons right?

The previous session was all combat which I found quite boring.  Part of it is because of the heavy math in 5e.

Anyways , my thief got into a variety of old school trouble. (at one point it was mentioned that I was playing like it was first edition), considering everyone else is overly cautious about their characters.

I went into a room that was magnetized, realized that and left my bag of goodies in a hall. Went into the room and all the metal studs popped out of my armour. Whoops! Wearing clothes for the rest of the game. At least I have a stylish hood.

Went into a tunnel that was a mouth of a large skull. Found a coffin and some weird flaming skull  which claimed it was a little girl trapped.  Rped a bit, told it to calm its shit.

Got into a fight, found a weird staff. Oh I got possessed! Awesome. Honestly.. Awesome.

During the fight the blast lock (warlock, sorcerer, cleric) blasted a fireball into the room, while I was standing on the coffin. I saved, no problem.

The skull returned fire (fireball). I saved again! Lol

After the fight we did some more exploration, found a weird pool of water. (in search of the Unknown?). I think I drank from it.

Found three treasure chests. I got in them, turned the keys inside, lost all my weapons from magnetism (great success!)

Prior to that I opened a unopenable chest.  In the end I believe we rolled for init, verge of a fight. Then called it.

Here's the DMs report. 
Before our heroes are able to complete their long rest, the secret door that Nic had found sides open, and two lumbering hulks clad in plate armour burst into the room, waking everybody except Ranion and Ebon up. The party quickly discovers that nonmagical weaponry has no effect on it. Shaun and Maim take point, with Shaun only able to dodge attacks, as his aren't effective. Maim has Ranion's magic mace, and is able to do some good damage against the enemy. The rest of the party peppers them with spells, and they are able to take them down rather expeditiously.

The party finishes their long rest, and explores the room to the north. In the room along the western wall is a statue of a knight with a shield. Maim and Nic feel pulled towards the statue; all metal objects seem to get attracted towards the shield. Maim tries to hit the statue with her sword, only to have her sword crumble to a pile of rust. Nic flies through the air towards the shield, whereupon his studded leather armour disintegrates as soon as it touches it. Ebon is able to dispel the magic of the shield, seemingly turning it off.

They keep exploring to the north, to find a fountain. Ebon fills a jug with water from the fountain.

They also explore the river south of where they rested, and find a treasure chest filled with gold,a jug, and a scroll.

As they continue to explore the first level, they find a grand staircase leading down, and a pale dwarf wearing a mask resembling the head from the tomb entrance looks back up to them. As they argue what to do, the dwarf makes his escape to another area of the tomb.

Also in the grand staircase, they find a pile of bones, which animates and tries to run away when Ebon starts jostling it about using mage hand. Ebon lands a critical hit on an Eldritch Blast, blowing the skeleton completely apart.

Continuing to the east, the party finds a giant skull carving, with a room with a sarcophagus on the other side.

Nic and Ranion decide to go through its mouth. And Nic hears a panicked child's voice in his head, asking why it can't see and how it got there.

As Nic tries to brush off the voice, it seems to take offense, and attacks.

Ranion is able to turn it, however as Maim tries to rush in and join the fray, the jaws of the skull outside clamp down on her and she finds herself stuck.

Swarms of spiders flood into the room, and attack Nic and Ranion.

Ebon sees the spiders, and decides to throw a fireball into the centre of the room, killing off most of the swarms, and roasting most of his friends. Nic dances around the flames and avoids taking any damage.

The flying skull decides to throw a fireball of her own, and most of the party decides to get out of Dodge, leaving Nic hidden in the middle of the room.

After a few more brief rounds of fighting, the skull finally succumbs to overwhelming damage from Ranion's mace.

The party searches the room, and Nic finds a wooden staff with a serpent carved on it. He looks shocked for a moment when he picks it up, before handing it to Ebon.

The party continues North from the hallway that brought them to this room, where they are encountered with a long hallway - where Nic observes that the entire floor is a big pressure plate. Down the hallway from where they are is a large propeller made of adamantite.

Ebon walks across the walls, and sticks his immovable rod in between the blades of the propellor and activates the trap, but the blades of the propellor cannot move the rod, making it so that everybody is able to pass safely through the hallway.

At the end of the hallway they find a pit, a sarcophagus and three chests. One made of black onyx, one of rusty metal, and a third made of silver with a sheen of frost on it.

The chests all have keys in the kids, however the keys are unable to be turned while the chests are opened.

Nic goes into the rusty metal chest and turns the key. A button appears on top of the sarcophagus, and Ranion pushes it. Everything metal Nic has on him that isn't magical crumbles to rust, leaving him without any weapons, and most of his gear.

Nic decides to try the silver chest next. Once Ranion pushes the button Nic takes a blast of cold air, and suffers a lot of cold damage.

Maim decides to get in the third chest, however Ranion refuses to push the button. Ebon steps up the the plate and pushes the button. Maim has a sense of impending doom, however she suffers no physical effects.

As soon as the third button is pushed the sarcophagus turns to clear crystal, revealing a mummified su-monster clutching a frightful mace.

With no clear way to open the sarcophagus, Maim smashes it with her mace.

As soon as the crystal is shattered, the mummified su-monster rises up and attacks...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Skyrim puzzles part 1 - Skyrim Arkngthamz Puzzle Solution

As I stated previously I started replaying skyrim.  In hopes it will be the last time.  I'm guessing probably not.  I just finished up a delve into a dwemer ruin, and was struck by the fact that the puzzle within could also be a equally cool D&D puzzle.

Here is some information on the tonal resonator puzzle in the game.

Below is a spoiler alert video on how to do it in game.

And here are my thoughts on a D&D puzzle.   Rather than use 5 different tonal resonators (which might become difficult for players) I would suggest using three.  A clue, like in the game could be left by a dead npc to the correct first position.


Correct Sequence:  The resonators need to be pushed in the following order.
2, 3, 1

The resonators can be labelled the following: 
1.  Left 
2.  Middle 
3.  Right 

In the case of 3 being pushed first, geysers of flames will blast the players 2d6 damage. 

In the case of 1 being pushed first, a pit trap will open dropping the players down 10 feet (1d6 damage) 

In the case of the second number being incorrect, a group of 1d4 automatons will burst out of the walls and attack:  AC 9 (10) HD 2 ATT 1d6+2  

As an alternative, you could use face cards from a card deck and have the players attempt to put them in the correct order. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Peninsula - World Building.

And so it begins, the first real snowfall, the one that will probably last.  It's a weird time of year, when the inevitable starts to creep into your soul.  It's a good time of year to reflect, to think about things that you want to accomplish while being stuck inside for a good few months (like 8 or so).  Sure there are crazy Canadians who enjoy this weather, and spend time outside.  Those people are nuts.  All kidding aside, I do have a few things that are on my mind today.

I'd like to start world building more on this blog.  So the following are ideas for a plane of existence I've been working on.  The theme is Greek Mythology.  The plane is into between life and death, a place where restless souls go.  There is however life within the plane.  When the dead cross over, they are sometimes left in purgatory, wandering the wastes of this little section of Hade's realm.  Eventually they may make their way to a small city.  Within that city, are jobs in the afterlife.  A whole community of people who are not completely aware that they are dead.  Eventually they may end up in the fields of punishment, or Elysium.  Until then, they work.  The city is guarded by the evil Dracaenae. 

You might ask, how this plane came into existence? Here is the story so far.

Long ago the telchines were scholars, seeking to learn about the ways of nature.  As their power grew so did their knowledge.

As time passed they yearned for more, and struck a deal with the god of knowledge, increasing their power ten fold.  The telchines were deceived by a god of trickery, believing that they were in communication with a god of knowledge. They were already masters of the elements and now had the ability to warp living things. The forests and plains in which the Telchines inhabited slowly became warped from their power. Living things rotted, animals died, strange abominations grew.

A group of satrys swore to put a stop to the evil of the telchines, the resulting war was one for the ages.  Many died.

During the battle some of the telchines were into a void. Hades saw the land for what it was, a place to keep the souls of the dead.  

Not much is left of the original lands, a few miles perhaps in each direction. The peninsula has become the domain of Hades, a purgatory between life and death.  The people who lived will find their way out of the peninsula to Elsyuium, the ones who did not move on to the underworld. Across the dreaded plains the near dead make their way towards the city and death.

Most mortals believe that the world ends at the Northern coast, it does not. The cliff of the coast is many miles down, below the ocean waves smack against the rocks. All one needs to do is take a leap of faith, one step off. They will find themselves in the land of the dead (one of many).

Once you are in, there a only a few ways to get in and out of purgatory.  All the monsters the reside within the peninsula carry small trinkets that can be combined together into a rod that will open a portal.  Finding a lost telchine you may be able to get you out.

PLEASE NOTE: As the idea is slowly forming in my head, and has been for quite some time things will slowly change. I have about 11 pages of notes at this point.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

In response to "I'm Bowing Out" - Hack & Slash


"+I engage in social media less. I read it, but now the only time I actually engage is to talk to artists or other creators. I'm tired of being sick to my stomach over stupid discussions online about shit people don't have the first clue over anyway. I'm tired of the never ending rant of just a few people who desperately want someone else to take their side or back their cause. Have you noticed I'm more quiet on social media? It's because I'm bowing out of the arguments online. That's not the fight. That's people trying to profit from the fight. I win the fight when I vote, volunteer, and fulfill my role to my community, family, and planet. Not when I'm pushing an agenda."

You can read the entire blog post here. And once you are done that, you can check out the awesome index of cool stuff on Hack & Slash here

The above quote is basically how I feel nowadays.  I'm also going to bow out of discussions that can turn into arguments.  I used to spend a LONG time responding to dumb shit like that.  The one thing I've learned about online arguments is:  Person 1 has an opinion and will not be swayed, they want to sway someone else.  Person 2  has an opinion and will not be swayed, they want to sway someone else.  So stale mate. 

This is me bowing out. 

I'd rather talk about RPGs and D&D.  Like this post which was salvaged from a G+ discussion.  

In the mean time I'm working on my mental health, and dialing back the amount of time I'm spending on social media.  I also re started playing Skryim, which should hopefully get me thru the winter.  Halloween is this week, and I have a curling game this evening, and a concert on thursday.  Oh and I have friday off! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Silver Bloods

I started playing Skyrim again this weekend.  This time around I'm playing basically "meat", a Orc wielding a hand axe, shield and heavy armour.  I decided not to do all the typical quests, but just go out adventuring. 

Rather than go directly to Whiterun, and get the house there, I thought about how I really dug the house in Markarth, since it's built on dwemmer ruins it's kinda nifty.

Once I got to the town, I remembered about the Silver Blood family, and how they pretty much run things in Markarth.  This gave me a few ideas for gaming.  Specifically when you have a faction that owns a lot of real estate and has some power, their influence will grow.  Regardless of the fact that there is an appointed Jarl within the city.  This is proven when you walk into Understone keep and are stopped by a member of the family wanted to speak with the Jarl.  As well pretty much anywhere you go in that town there is discussion of the Silver Bloods.

If you were running something like Keep on the borderlands, and wanted a mine nearby you could use my adventure "The Overrun Mines".  Maybe have a family who owns the mine, and is pouring money into shops in the keep.  The casetellan may have decided to get some of the monsters from the caves of chaos to infiltrate the mine, in a sense closing it down.  This adds to the intrigue of both modules.  Of course having an influx of silver in town will up prices for things.  Poor adventurers!

Anyways, just a few thoughts this morning.


I should note, I'm still kinda blotto, and I may not be blogging and participating a community discussions for awhile.  This was just something in my head this morning that I wanted to get out there. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Not RPG related. Just getting this off my chest.

Not specifically a RPG post.

The other day I learned something that I already knew.  I'm a "obliger", or in layman's terms I'm a "people pleaser".  This causes me undue stress and frustration.  I am also a perfectionist, which is problematic.  What I'm trying to do right now, is work thru things like "creating boundaries" and "saying no".  I know it's sounds silly doesn't it? Don't want to do the thing, say no.  Simple!

It actually isn't.  The other issue the goes along with this, is doing things for yourself.  Because I am always up to the challenge of "doing this thing" or "doing that thing" I never make time for myself.  If someone tells me to do something, I will.  example "drink more water", alright no problem.  If I tell myself, that goes by the wayside.

So there are always things that are weighing on my mind, because I feel obligated, and in some cases because there might be other things involved.

A good example is, I'm unhappy with my current gaming group, however I feel obligated to show up because of:  History, Lack of players, because it's "fun", because I'd have to answer questions as to why I don't want to continue, presents, etc.  So in order to quit it, I have to "think about it a lot" run thru all possible scenarios (however wacky they are).

This of course extends to my biggest source of anxiety, my work situation.  Which has been degrading more and more over the past few years.  The next few months are going to be a crazy state of flux.  We are currently in the process of moving, and my bosses basically lean on me for everything.  Like any question, they just ask me.  It's a 1000 a day.

Long story short, I need to learn how to deal with things, instead of putting them off.

What keeps me up at night, besides all of the above is the obligation I feel to the RPG community at large, my friends & collaborators within the community, my fans, and myself.

In order to start doing things for myself, the first step is quite simple.  Just log off.

I've always thought of publishing, and blogging as a hobby.  I really need to do more writing, and not really for a specific purpose, just writing.  A lot of the time I sit down to work on something and either get distracted, or compare it to other things.  In the grand scheme of things, I'd be happy to just draw a map or write an adventure on a piece of paper that will sit in my ottoman.  The problem is my brain stops me before I start.

This also goes for other creative outlets like making music.  I won't pick up a guitar just to learn something, but if I need to because the band wants to play it, or a client needs a guitar track I will.

Thanks for reading this.  (here's me pleasing again.....) I hope I didn't come off as a grumpy prick.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Things in the desert.

1.  Rocs circle above the party
2.  One member of the party trips over a trap door.
3.  Four large statues of beast men , each pointing in a cardinal direction.
4. Crow men feasting on a carcass.
5. An old stone temple, fourty humanoids pray in front of it.
6. A treasure map etched into the side of a cactus.
7. A herd of wild camels are stampeding a cross the plains.
8. A large fifteen foot flame erupts from a obsidian circle.
9. A fight between a green dragon and a gold dragon. 
10.  A small garrison of skeletal warriors stands at attention near a large hill.
11.  Fresh bodies litter the ground, all are decapitated.
12.  A individual sized glider is buried in the sand.
13.  A large pit, with a well used trail, leading down.
14.  Cannibals!
15.  A glass palace, stretches a mile square. It is guarded by a group of dogmen.
16.  A mile of large animal skulls, all of which will bite if given the opportunity.
17.  A makeshift tent village.
18.  A stone labyrinth, the entrance is close by.
19.  A altar with strange runes that glow green.
20.  A pyramid being constructed.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Advanced Fighting Fantasy Adventures!

Last night I cracked open my copy of Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2.0, which I hadn't read in awhile.  Just flipping thru the pages, my mind filled with a pile of adventure ideas.  I think I may write an adventure (and post it here) for AFF.  I just sent a message to the publisher in regards to what the legality's are of posting things.  Below are a few adventures & resources. 

Here are a few resources/adventures for AFF.

Arion Games on Drivethru.

Advanced Figthing Fantasy Quickstart

MEWE Community

The Crooked Cup (adventure)
Welcome, brave adventurers!  You are no doubt walking your way across Titan in search of fame, fortune and more than a little glory, so lend me your ears and I will tell you of a place so foul with the corruption of evil and chaos, and yet so full of the gold and renown you seek, you'll wonder if the risk is worth the rewards.

Do you dare seek out the Cup of the Crooked King, and risk eternal damnation for the chance of more riches than the King of Salamonis himself has ever seen?

Of course, I know what your answer will be.

This is The Crooked King's Cup, an Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition adventure for an experienced adventuring party, although it will be easy enough to adjust the statistics of the foes and dangers to suit any level of skill.

Inn Of Lost Hope (adventure) 

The old Inn stands derelict and rotting.  But within is rumoured to lie a great treasure, stolen from dying adventurers by an unscrupulous landlord.  Dare you enter to try and find it?
This new self-contained adventure for Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Ed describes the Inn and it's terrible denizens and can be dropped into almost any AFF Campaign with ease.
Requires the Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Ed RPG

The town of Chalice is in danger from a very unexpected source: A Floating Dungeon!
This new self-contained adventure for Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Ed sends the Heroes into this unusual dungeon to stop the rain of undead overwhelming the Allansian town.  What could be up there and can the Heroes stop it?

Titan Wiki - Handy resource for AFF & FF fans. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mini Settings, is there a need?

There was a really good discussion over on mewe regarding Mini Settings, brought up by Marcus Burggraf. I've since had a few more thoughts on them.  I suppose the biggest benefit to a mini setting is that it's not completely fleshed out.  Allowing a enterprising GM to put their own spin on it, and not tying their hands in the process.  The biggest settings in the D&D world have years of canon, books, supplements which are all well and good.  They do tend to be wonderful things to read, not always the easiest to run (especially in the case of players knowing more about the setting than the GM). 

I think a good starting point for a mini setting is as follows: 

1. Factions (and how they work, or don't work together ie realtionships). 
2. 6 - 10 well fleshed out NPCs 
3. Quest ideas 
4. A good overland map 
5. Places of interest 
6. random tables for monster encounters/loot/random events (or hexes). 
7. A few smaller dungeon maps/smaller hex locations.

As far as the amount of content and pages, I think erring on the side of "leaving them wanting more" is a good place to start.  Being clear and concise with the above bullet points (2 paragraphs?).  As far as the amount of pages, once again I wouldn't set a limit per se but enough to have the setting fleshed out. 

As far as content and the idea for a mini setting is concerned, there is more than enough of the "typical fantasy" settings out there.  (my favourite is Thunder Rift).  That being said, go ahead and create your heartbreaker "typical fantasy" setting if you like.  The idea of pushing the boundaries a little bit maybe more marketable (but could also fall flat).  This is where I'd like to be.  I had started a mini setting a few years ago called "Crimhuck" which could use a bit more fleshing out.  It was a barbaric land, very swords & sorcery but with aliens.  It seems that people are attracted to weirdness.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Things to remember before sitting down at the table

A few GM tips I came up with over the weekend.  I posted the original set on mewe and have since added to it.

1.  Don't read aloud the read aloud text. Paraphrase.
I personally completely tune out read aloud text when I'm a player. 

2.  If playing with DC's, say the DC aloud prior to the players roll.  (except in the case of knowledge or perception based checks, because its far more entertaining to leave that unknown, as per suggestion by Zak.

3.  If you have a player doing mapping show her/him the starting point.

4.  Come up with at least three silly voices in your spare time for NPCs.

5.  Look around the table. Is someone bored? Engage them.

6.  Roll wandering monster checks.

7.  Don't show the players a picture of a monster. Describe it.

8.  Rule something, look it up later.

9.  You are there to facilitate the descriptions of the world.  You are not on the monsters side, or the players side.  Do your best to remain impartial when you can. 

10.  Railroading is silly.  However if something needs to "happen" and it doesn't, you can always arrange for it to happen at some other point.  ie "The Quantum Ogre Theory". 

11.  How much prep you do is entirely up to you.  Knowing the adventure you plan to run (inside and out can be helpful).  At the very least having a few NPCs ready to go will save your bacon.  NPCs don't always have the PCs interest at heart. 

12.  If your players think you are fudging, roll the dice in front of the screen. 

13.  Roll dice randomly behind the screen, look down, nod.  Move on.  

If you have more to add, go for it.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Response to "OSR Guide For The Perplexed Questionnaire (Send it around)"

Zak came up with a cool idea.

1. One article or blog entry that exemplifies the best of the Old School Renaissance for me:

2. My favorite piece of OSR wisdom/advice/snark:

Art on every page - Zak S.  Runner up "rulings not rules" - Some guy who wrote D&D books. 

3. Best OSR module/supplement:

4. My favorite house rule (by someone else):
I believe James West came up with this idea, or at the very least he uses it.  Basically it's like inspiration, but instead you get a Luck stat which allows you to reroll any dice (for the amount of times you have luck until it runs out).  I've allowed PCs to roll 1d6 at the start of the game, and that is the amount of luck that they have. 

5. How I found out about the OSR:

I've written about this before.  I have no idea how I actually found out about google plus, but I logged in one day.  Typed in D&D because I was feeling nostalgic, and the OSR community came up.  I was like "What the heck is this?".  It's a god damned rabbit hole is what it is! and it's wonderful.  

6. My favorite OSR online resource/toy:

7. Best place to talk to other OSR gamers:

It seems to be mewe nowadays, but I really really like Anchor. 

8. Other places I might be found hanging out talking games:

9. My awesome, pithy OSR take nobody appreciates enough:

I really like playing low wisdom characters, it's so much fun. Or characters that dont' have superior stats.  Balance is silly. 

10. My favorite non-OSR RPG:

Well since I basically only play OSR games, I'm going to go out on a limb and say either Munchkin or Herosquest.  Both of which are considered board games.  I personally feel like Fighting Fantasy is considered OSR, but if you disagree then that's my answer to this question. 

11. Why I like OSR stuff:
The idea that someone is sitting at home writing or drawing something that is in their mind and then it's released out into the public makes me very happy.  The constant flow of cool useable things. 

12. Two other cool OSR things you should know about that I haven’t named yet:

13. If I could read but one other RPG blog but my own it would be:

14. A game thing I made that I like quite a lot is:

d100 things found in pockets.

15. I'm currently running/playing:

I'm currently a player in a home brew basic fantasy campaign, player in blueholme "return of the blue baron" game, player in 5e TOA.  I'm plotting N1 Against the cult of the reptile god using S&W whenever I get a decent laptop. 

16. I don't care whether you use ascending or descending AC because:

math is math, and as long as people stick to the same unarmored number in their releases it makes no matter.  Descending 9, and Ascending 10.  

17. The OSRest picture I could post on short notice:

Thursday, October 11, 2018


This is a work in progress.  The intention is to create a zine, however I figured I'd put this out there for the time being while I work on a few more ideas.  This may end up just being this blog post and that's it.  Time will tell.

Here's the link:


Ant’s are very interesting insects aren’t they? Really strong, colony minded with indomitable spirits.  In our fantasy games, they generally make an appearance as “GIANT ANTS!”  (ACHK! RUN!!!!), these are fun I suppose?  Really though, all they are is giant version of the creatures we step on from time to time.  Anything giant is scary.   The thing is there’s a lot more we can do with Ants, and for that matter Giant Ants.  So without further ado, why don’t we take a little trip and learn some new things about Ants shall we? 

Ant Names


Antoomuns Class
Antoomuns Requirements:  Strength 9
Prime Requisite:  Strength 
Hit Dice:  1d6
Maximum Level:  10

The general populace is made up of Antoomuns (everyday worker ants).  They are very strong and skilled warriors.  They get a +1 when attacking with missile weapons (their favourite being spears).  Antoomuns have infravision, allowing them to see up to 60’ in the dark.  Only female Antoomuns can become Queens.

Hit Dice (1d6)
+2 hp only

A world beyond the Colony
While the antoomun society is home for most, there are some who desire more out of life.  Those brave souls who leave the colony in search of adventure, treasure and great stories to tell.  Beneath the colonies and into the depths of the earth there are wondourus adventures to be had.  Most adventuring companies are made up of a group of friends, that have decided to see the world.  Often they will return to the colony, to regroup, heal and happily spend their hard earned coin.  Upon returning to the colony, it is known that a tribute must be paid to the Queen, ussually in the form of a magical item or a tithe of gold.  The society doesn’t look down upon these brave souls, but instead lauds them for their great courage.  Parties are usually made up of six individuals, some with magical powers, others with a God looking over their shoulder, the rest with a firm grip on a weapon.  
Magic User Spells

Without a trace
(first level magic-user spell) 
Range:  see below 
Duration :  see below
This spell will follow all previous trails and passages of the wizard, cleaning up any footprints, trails, scents, leaving no trace.  The spell will clean one mile of trail per caster level. 

Bear hug 
(second level magic-user spell) 
Range:  touch 
Duration:  1 round per caster level 
When cast this spell will imbue the caster with great strength allowing them to do 4d6 damage on a successful attack.  The spell increases the strength of the caster to 20.  

(third level magic-user spell) 
Range:  30’
Duration:  1d4 + caster level 
When this spell is cast it will disorientate 1d4 creatures who fail a saving throw vs spells. The effect is a dizzying amount of stars, lights and sounds centered around the targets head.  See duration and range above. 

Enabler:  There is only one of these per colony.  The Enabler enhances the queens ability to send out commands to her population.  When worn by non-ants, it will allow the wearer to “charm person” at will four times a day.  When worn by any Ant other than a female, it will degrade their senses, leaving them as a pile of unresponsive meat. 

Wicked Wand Of Wanderlust:  When this wand is held, the carrier feels an extreme need to go out on a quest.  The wand is intelligent and will hint at places to explore.  The wand can cast a beam of electrical energy once per day, doing 2d4 damage on a successful attack roll. 

Time Trident:  This gold inlaid trident allows the caster to back track thru time to the previous day.  This effect can only be used twice.  When used as a weapon, it does 1d8 damage and adds +2 to hit.  

The Undying Scroll:   The scroll appears as a regular piece of parchment, however when unfurled it shows a random spell.  The scroll can only be used once per day.  Roll 1d6 to determine the type of spell:  1.  Magic Missile  2.  Cure Light Wounds  3.  Bless  4.  Invisibility  5.  Fireball  6.  Charm Person 

The antoomun society is a Matriarchy with the Queen holding the absolute position of power.  Generally all females are held in a higher esteem than males, they have better jobs, their pick of lovers & partners.  Unlike certain dark elf society's males are not looked down upon, but are subservient to the females needs and whims. 

From birth to the age of ten ants spend their life in a egg, living in a world that they believe is real. 

Antoomun’s follow a variety of Gods and Goddess’s, most notably “Giz” and “Galof”, twins born from the union of the first ants.  Giz and Galof fulfil the spectrum of alignment, Giz being wholly evil and Galof being the epitome of goodness.  Within the society, clerics & priests can be either male or female.  Each colony will have a religious leader, dubbed “The Grand Laith” who overseers day to day activities of the church and leads all religious holidays.  

Becoming A Queen 

A female Antoomun may become Queen by doing one of the following things:  1.  Create a resistance within the colony and overthrow the Queen in a vote.   2.  Create her own Colony, bringing part of the population with her.  3.  Challenge the current Queen to a fight to the death.  Only a Antoomun of level 9 or higher can become a Queen.