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.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

My "mewe" experience so far

I believe today is day 3? I'm not sure.  So far so good.  There's a lot of nice things about the new platform.  No add's is wonderful, limited space for picture uploads isn't the best (but hey it's free right! this is how they make money, you get 8 gigs to start which is fine). 

A few things I've decided on, and thoughts:

1.  I'm not going to join as many communities as I did on G plus, for the simple sake of seeing less cross posts of "hey I got this new thing, check it out!".

2.  When posting an update I intend to use a hashtag first, this will allow a reader to skip over if they are not interested.  example:  #life "something about my life you don't care about".  #gaming "totally killed a dragon, here's the play report".

3.  If a "advanced fighting fantasy" isn't created in the next day, I'm going to go ahead and make one.  As I still care about what is happening with that game.

4.  It's fairly easy to tailor your experience.  And they are apparently working on things like "Circles".

5.  Everyone is fairly cheery in the OSR chat, this morning there was a lot of "Good mornings".

6.  Feels a bit like a community again.

7.  Thus far there hasn't been a lot of political posts.  Hopefully it stays that way.  I haven't really seen any "alt right or left" things cropping up. 

8.  I feel like there is going to be a lot more blogging going on, which is good! (Let's get back to our roots).

9.  I am getting a whole new friends list, which is great.  On g plus I had a lot of people I was following who A.  Stopped Posting   B.  May have been spam  C.  Started following, and then I realized that they were not really posting about games.

So far, so good.  You can find me here:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Mass Exodus! How to find me! and new blogs!

So apparently Google Plus is shutting down.  Which sucks.  It seems that a lot of people have decided to adopt MEWE 

A google plus community called "G+ RPG Escape Rocket" is organizing where everyone is going.

One pretty cool thing that has come about because of this "running for the hills" is that everyone is putting up their contact information (links to where they are).  I know have a HUGE blog list that I'll be adding to my random acts of roleplaying. (all new stuff that I wasn't following before).

Here's the list:

I jumped into MeWe:
My Anchor Podcast is here:
I have a twitter account, but barely use it (same with reddit):
email: shanepatrickward AT gmail DOT com.

I have a few thoughts on the mass move.  First on mewe, I'm not intending on joining a lot of communities.  For the simple sake that the echo chamber of "hey check out my new thing!" will be cross pollinated in the communities.  As it stands I joined the OSR and OSR Anchorites pages.  I am hoping that someone creates a "Advanced Fighting Fantasy" page, as I'm still interested in the going's on there.  As well, hopefully someone creates a DIY/RPG page.

I have to admit that I think I will probably spend a LOT more time blogging/podcasting and focus less on the social media part of the RPG community.  That said mewe seems pretty cool so far.  As far as facebook is concerned, I've often considered dialing it back a bit (as it's giant tire fire, time waster).  The one super cool thing on fb is the "Table top one shot group", a lot of games are organized thru it. 

I think if I pull back a bit on the social media part of the RPG community it will allow me to get shit done.  I tend to do a lot of "comparing myself to others" (which social media doesn't help with). 

Long story short, I'm going to miss google plus, and I am very thankful for all the friends I've met on it and the resignation of playing RPGs that it provided me.  The best way to contact me is the above at this point, specifically mewe.  I may tweet more often, but I always found it rather clunky.

And of course you can always me. 

Keep those dice rollin!