Tuesday, December 29, 2020


It occurred to me the other night that there must have been someone out there that used the civilization 3 map editor to create their own fantasy kingdom at some point.  I fondly remember creating maps for civ 3 and for Warcraft 2.  This might have been where I got my mapping love from.  

Much like everyone has a "fantasy heartbreaker" set of home brew rules, I'm also starting to believe that people have their own "fantasty hearthbreaker" world.  Whether it's actually in use, or just in their imagination.  In working on the nightwell barony, I started to think about my old basic fantasy campaign (read the play reports here),  And Crimhuck.  

What I may do when I have some time is amalgamate the BF campaign world and the nightwell barony, and possibly crimhuck into a large continent using Inkarnate (or maybe the Civ 3 editior!).  Alternatively I can always jump into hexographer (Which I'm still amazed that I found a mac osx version of!).  

The idea that these players co-exist has crossed my mind before.  Who knows what will happen when I draw out the areas that are "known", and what happens with the unknown regions? Maybe the muse will be light and I'll find new places for my players to explore (plunder and maybe die?).  


I need to delete facebook.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, its an epic waste of time.  I intend to use my tablet in the mornings having coffee and catching up on things.  I used to spend a lot of time on twitter, and may post there more often.  What I am going to do, which is FAR more productive is put my tablet away in my footrest and leave AD&D books beside my coffee table.  When I think "Hey I should see what is up on FB" I"ll grab a nerd book instead.  Wish me luck. 

There are so many places to find like minded RPG nerds nowadays, but I still long for G+. 

The problem with spending time online, is that I don't really get anything done. 


Does anyone know of a primer for teaching 5e players about 2nd Edition? I know that they are very similar, but the style of play is vastly different in my opinion.  The endless "I'll make this check" rolls d20 is starting to get to me. That and I have a TON of AD&D books that I want to use again. 

Maybe its time for a new campaign! hahha.... Shane finish the one you are on..... finish it.....

Okay that was a TON of ADHD today.  Have fun kids! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The village of Longtooth starts to take shape

Longtooth has become the homebase for my 5e group.  I think inadvertently I've been working on the Gygax 75 Challenge.  I will likely start that again, with the Nightwell Barony.  I managed to get a bit stumped the last time around, but because I've been running this (Mostly off the cuff) its started to take some shape.  I already have some ideas, its just a matter of getting the pen to the paper.  The nice thing about putting it down will be the fact that I have a better document to work from as the adventures continue.  

I posted the other day about the Friday Five Minute map thing that used to be a lot of fun.  I went ahead scanned it and detailed it a bit. 

After sending out the completed image to the Grognard chat on google hangouts (well its not called that, but a bunch of us who play games together have a long running chat about all kinds of random things), I got a message back from Vance at Leicester's ramble, he went ahead and created a backstory for Longtooth!

Lots of good stuff there, and some of it isn't too far from what I had in mind.  I'm going to likely borrow a bunch of ideas from it.  Thanks Vance! 

As it stands what i have for longtooh is the following: 

There is a small marketplace at the crossroads of the Town.  Andre’s mill is further up the road to the southwest. 

  1. Test

  2. Test

  3. Crazy Arnie’s Outfitting & General Merch 

  4. The Wicked Wench Inn & Tavern 

  5. Test

  6. The One Horse Stable 

  7. Wynthorpe The Mayor’s House.

Obviously Crazie Arnie's is going to be replaced with Vances far superior idea! The village is currently made up of mostly humans and halflings. It doesn't have much in the way of a town guard (and doesn't really need it either, at least not at this point). It is part of the barony and owes taxes to the higher ups in Port Nightwell, however the village doesn't get a helluva a lot of support from the capital. Once a year a tax collector makes his way down to the village for the money that is owed.

The stable is legit a one horse stable, much like the town is a one horse town. Everyone is quite poor and horses are a luxury. As well goods are very limited in the town. Most of the townsfolk are farmers, mill workers. It is a quiet place, where not much happens.

Which is perfect for the PCs to fuck up. hahaha.

The players do have access to it. I am doing my best to try and keep any information I write about the barony in one spot. I tend to have random files saved in a pile of different places!

Which reminds me I should probably start downloading and trimming all the random stuff I have on google drive. Or pay for more storage!

Happy gaming!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Nightwell barony session 3 play report

 Just finished up the session and boy was it fun!  The PCs left off at the edge of the city ruins.  In the morning they got up and ventured in.  The city is all stone buildings, lots of rubble.  Some vegetation creeps up here and there becoming overgrown in spots. 

The follow what's left of the road thru the city and come upon a fork.  They can go southeast or southwest.  To the southeast they can see a bridge in the distance.  To the southwest they can see the inner part of the city where there are far less destroyed buildings. 

They decide to head towards the bridge. 

They are smart enough to sneak around the city (they are halflings) along the edges of buildings, staying in the shadows as much as possible.  They hear a moaning sound coming from a little ways away. 

The wizard hafling roscoe sends his wolf/sheep to investigate the moaning sounds.  They quickly stumbled upon a well and find a trapped human way down at the bottom.  

The realize quickly that they don't have a rope.  She however does and throws it up to them.  A few dex checks later a halfling grabs on to it.  This is where a question of weight ratios comes into play.  A very light halfling is at the top of a well holding onto a rope with a reasonably heavy human at the bottom of a well!  Thankfully with a combined strength check they managed to get the cleric up to the top of the well.  

Her name is Walda, and she has been sent into the ruins to banish a great evil.  She dreams of a giant floating eye with huge teeth and tentacles.  This is what her god wants to destroy.  

They set off with the cleric in tow.  

They stumbled upon a building that is in decent shape and decide to search it.  They find a room full of skeletons.  A fight breaks out and the PCs managed to get the upper hand very quickly.  Mostly due to acid spray on the part of the wizard.   

Searching the room they find a weird metallic object in the form of an L.  It turns out to be a blaster gun.  Wildly futuristic.  

The world is a fantasy world based upon a civilization that had an apocalypse.  That race was the an advanced version of Elves, very technological.  

They also find a hackcard for a computer. 

They head off towards the bridge, see a sign that is crudely painted that says "pay the toll or die".  Sneak around a bit, and notice a gurad on their side of the bridge sleeping.  As they are sneaking they make a bit too much noise and the bandits on the other side of the river start firing a trebuchet at them. 

They manage to kill the guard on their side, who has stumbled awake, drunk and searching for his sword.  

Sprinting across the bridge they nimbly get thru stones that are falling from the actual bridge, and rocks being shot at them from the trebuchet.  The wizard catches the trebuchet on fire and 2 of the bandits run down to the crick (super shallow river) and attempt to put out the fire.  Yeah they are a bunch of morons!  

They kill the bandits save one and interrogate him.  Eventually they get enough information from the stuttering scared for his life bandit to know exactly where the bandit hangout is. 

And that is where we left off. 


I drew this map today, it's longtooth.  It's a five minute map.  I believe Matt Jackson was the guy who started "friday five minute maps" on google plus.  I'm going to keep doing that.  It's something to get over the curbside pandemic boredom. 

Check out Matts Maps here

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Play report nightwell Barony session 2

Jumped back in last night.  The plan was to shoot for Friday evenings, however since we all work in retail this Friday will be hard.

The players left off at the town, getting prepped to leave for the old city ruins south of the village. They quickly made it to the small bridge over the river.   The bridge was wide enough for a wagon to travel over it. It also looked well used.

They noticed a skeletal hand protruding from the waters edge, and went down to investigate. 

A giant crab and its kin were close by, and the players attempted to run up the river bank. One of which slide down into the mud. 

They managed to intimidate the crab enough to investigate the hand. There they found a body weighed down by a sack of lead. In a bag was a potion, and some silver pieces. 

They head out from the bridge and keep going towards the city.  As time goes on the wander towards the city thru tall brush, and a well used trail.  Eventually they come across a wagon.  The players attempt to sneak up, and get hit in the head with a rock.  2 goblins are also investigating the wagon, and have claimed it as their own.  The goblins speak very limited common, mostly one word answers.  Things come to a head very quickly and one of the goblins screams BREE YARK!   

The players decimate the goblins in no time and move towards the wagon.  There they find 3 barrels, 1 with black grog ale in it, and the other 2 with hops.  They also notice that the ground is very trampled and not with goblin footprints, but human.  

In the mud they found a note: 


The scouts have seen a caravan skirting the edge of the city.  Keep you're eyes peel and intercept. 


The pcs decide to take the wagon back to town and sell off the kegs to the bartender Isaiah. On the way back to town they found a strange grove of trees, that wasn't there the last time they passed this way.  There are 5 large boulders covered in runes.  They realize quickly that they can sleep here and be protected.  Its a weird magical grove.  When they wake up in the morning, they find that their weapons have been silvered as they slept, they weigh less somehow and have magical properties (+1).  Written in the side of a tree is a magical spell, which the halfling wizard quickly copies into his spell book. 

(I know I'm giving them too much treasure....what are you gonna do! it's 5e and they don't get XP for treasure anyways).  

Just before they are about to leave for town, a small rock rolls up to them with the following scrawled on it. 

"ned halp!" 

They look up to see 6 very small goblins.  The goblins plead for help, their princess has been kidnapped by a giant spider! The warriors of the group had been killed (the wagon guys) and they can't save her by themselves. 

The PCs opt to head back to town.   

And that is where we left off. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Play report nightwell Barony session 1

 That was a lot of fun! I had a bit of anxiety as I haven't run a game in a long while. And I haven't ran 5e in years. Seems like everyone had a wonderful time. We ended up playing for a bit 3 hours, which is just on the cusp for my brain.

The PC's came to the village of long tooth, because their cousins aunts ex brother in law needed some help with his mill. (hopefully you catch that joke!) 

Apparently the 2 halflings were from the town of "anywhere else", which I'm going to incorporate into the setting.  They notice a wanted poster in town, looking for galrick. Inquire with the guard captain. 

After having a nice supper with their cousin at his mill, he told them about his apprentice who is wanted for being part of a local gang. The gang has been causing havoc with the local merchant caravans. The cousin Andre believes that his apprentice may be caught up in something. Possibly not by his choice. 

They wander off to the one and only tavern for lunch the next day. The town is super quiet. They meet up with some farmers who have been having trouble with wolves and goats going missing. 

The bartender claims he is almost out of ale due to missing his shipment of hops. He hopes the PC's can find him some. 

Upon leaving the tavern in search of the captain of the guard, they find a weird scene. 3 villagers are attempting to get the one horse in the town into a stable but it won't budge. It's scared. 

A shadow flies over the players, a giant bat comes into view zooming towards the horse. 

A fight breaks out. During the fight the PC's see the captain of the guard show up. He's overweight and out of breath. He leans against a pole. 

They finally kill the giant bat and meet with Elgin, he talks about the fugitive and how he wants to torture and jail him. They realize quickly that this guy is useless. 

The PC's decide to check out the farm and figure out the wolf issue. Speaking with the farmer they quickly realized that the farmer doesn't know how to count. One day he has 20 goats, next day 5, next day 46.  

After some investigation, they find a trail. It is however a goat trail. Which is odd. 

They find a small goat in a burrow, it slowly changes into a wolf cub. What is weird is that it has the exact same eyes as one of the halflings child hood pets, a goat. As he as always wanted a familiar, this seemed more appropriate than a wolf battle. 

We left off having met with the Donald Sutherland Esq mayor who promised to pay the PC's for the capture of the fugitive. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

First adventure for the nightwell barony

 I just completed the first adventure for the nightwell Barony.  I've been posting about the barony a bit here. I have one last encounter I have to write, but I figure I have enough for a few sessions. Friday night I'll be running it on hangouts and roll dice with friends.

It's been a long time since I ran a game and even longer since I ran 5e. The good news is it's actually quite an easy game to run. I'm just using the basic rules (as I've given away my phb and dmg to my nephew). 

I managed to find a downloadable homebrew dm screen.

It's a bit busy but works. 

I sent over my initial draft to a friend. He gave me a bunch of suggestions for it, which I incorporated.  This will likely get released in some kind of a format at some point. 

This morning I'm going to spend some time working on a small town map, with some help from YouTube. 

I'll post up a play report sometime this weekend. And maybe a screen grab of the village. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

20 Questions about the Nighwell Barony

I do find the 20 Questions by Jeff Rients invaluable for world building and helping to cement ideas in my head. I haven`t quite decided if this is something to share with the players. Part of me says yes, and part of me says no. I`ve thought about the idea of letting this world grow as it`s played in. Writing these answers out cements somethings that could change. So letting that out into the wild isn`t the best idea right away.

Whatever the case, here is what I`ve got. Thanks Jeff

What is the deal with my cleric's religion?

There are 5 Demigods who make up the religious pantheon.  None of them are named at this current time.  The actual Gods died long ago during the apocalypse.  The Demigods do from time to time meddle in the affairs of Non Immortals.  There isn’t any real organized religion in the land, most people believe in fate. 

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Most towns and villages have small general stores.  Depending on how far they are away from Port Nightwell the prices can be a bit higher on most items. 

Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?

Find a dwarf. 

Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? 

This is a bit of a bone of contention.  There are at least 6 very skilled magic users living throughout the barony.  On rare occasions they duel (usually because one of them wants to try out a new spell).  As is typical, wizards tend to stray away from large centres and live in moldy towers filled with books.  I’d find one of those. 

Who is the greatest warrior in the land? 

Once again, there are many.  The most famous is Commander Grill, the leader of the barons army.  She is famous for her reflexes and her sword “Black Orchid”.  

Who is the richest person in the land? 

Some would think that it is the baron, unfortunately that is not the case.  The black boss as he is known is the richest person in the land.  He runs many criminal organizations.  He has never been seen, and some believe that he is just a figment of the imagination.  

Where can we go to get some magical healing? 

Elves, Gnomes, wayshrines of the Demigods, Cults, Priests of the five.  Most small towns do not have any real magical healers, although sometimes you can get lucky.  

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

See above. 

Is there a magic guild my magic user belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

There is a guild of the ``higher order of magical research, technology and cross stitching`` in Port Nightwell. 

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

Generally speaking port nightwell for most of these.  However on occasion you can find these speciality NPCs out in the wild or living in a small town. 

Where can I hire mercenaries?

Real mercenaries?  Port Nightwell.  Alternatively you can bribe a gang of thieves and bridgands, or hire some farmers and give em pitchforks. 

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

In the smaller villages like longtooth and stonewall magic isn’t outlawed but looked upon with disbelief and superstition.  As well when a magic user casts a spell in a small town they are inundated with requests to fix warts on toes, broken limbs, tell the future, etc.  It can be rather annoying.  

Walking around port nightwell brandishing any weapon visible is looked upon as bad form, as well wearing armour will usually cause citizens to ridicule the wearer.  “Hey Tinman! Need some oil for yer joints!” 

It is illegal to wear black on the weekend in most parts of the barony.  If caught it is a 5 SP fine.  

Which way to the nearest tavern?

The Wicked Wench in Longtooth 

Drowned Rat in Stonewall 

Balding MInotaur in Port Nightwell

What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?

There's so many.  Gral the berzerker is the first that comes to mind, he's the last of the giants and lives in the Greyridge peaks. 


Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

Not as of yet, but there are always forces considering taking Port Nightwell and the rest of the barony. 

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

Yes! There`s an arena in Port NIghtwell.  There's also hamster races in the Halfing village of Stonewall. 

Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?

Assassins guild in Port Nightwell, The Black Bosses thieves guild...err ``collection of well meaning upstanding bakeries and trinket market stalls``.  There is also a group of elves that feel the humans have grown to far, and they have been trying to upset the power struggles within the barony, regardless of how the upstanding elves feel about it.  

What is there to eat around here?

The salted pork is particularly excellent. 

Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?

The lost book of Narlharner, detailing the accounts of the world pre-apocalypse.  The throne of the great beard (A famous dwarven king), The sword of the lifestealer, fabled demonic sword lost during the apocalypse. 

Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?

Legends say that a black dragon lives within the muck marsh.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

So very freeing

 I started working on the first adventure for the "Nightwell Barony" last night.  It is very much an event based adventure (ie a railroad).  I'm writing it for fifth edition, but it will be easily convertible to an old school adventure. Mostly because I'm an old school dude.  I've realized latetly (which I've realized before) that to attempt to sit and write something for mass consumption is a bad idea.  It's like sitting down with a guitar and saying "alright I'm going to write a hit song".  It's not going to happen.  

see this:

I've had far too many "bright ideas" over the years, that I've posted about on this blog.  I get going on them, and then get a new idea, and start that.  And the cycle continues.  In some cases this is because of the hit song analogy, or I see a void that could be filled.  That and the fact that I have terrible ADHD.

What I've come to the conclusion is that I'm really in this hobby as a hobby.  Last night I spent about an hour and a half with my old laptop, no distractions and a pile of nerd books covering the couch as I wrote.  It was in a word, glorious.  I've got most of the one shot adventure written (with no maps yet).  I'm hoping to have it completed on Wednesday and run a game in the next week or so.  I'm excited, I'm writing and its a lot of fun.  The words flowed really well! 

Nightwell is my version of fantasy, which is a mashup of all the fantasy I've read (including all of the OSR modules, 2nd edition etc).  It's not tolkien, but there's bits of that in there, same with greyhawk, etc.  It's inspired by the basic rules for 5e, and all of the other basic rules for osr games.  Most specifically the monster section, I threw in some dinosaurs, cuz why not!  Sure there's a lot of the "usual"troupes as far as races are concerned (grumpy dwarves, wise elves, hungry halflings etc)  I mean if it ain't broke? But it's mine and the players to decide on what happens. 

I started working on a players guide to the barony, which will become a living document.  One thing I'm not going to do is write too much.  I'd like the players to help create it.  I've decided for example that there are 5 demigods.  The actual gods have either been destroyed or lost in the void.  I'm not going to name these demigods.  I'll wait for the players to come up with something.  

If you haven't guessed it by reading this, the whole damn post is ADHD! 

Long story short, I felt like I accomplished something last night.  And the reason was that I was doing it for myself and my players.  Not for some fictitious gamer who may or may not run an adventure or world that I create.  And I feel amazing. 

If you would like to read the beginnings of this railroad, it's right here:

*It seems that there's been a mass exodus from facebook to Mewe.  And I just decided to take a break from both.  I'll likely jump back on mewe at some point.  That being said I'm here rambling if you miss me.  

I better get my butt in gear and go to work! 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Repost the vanishing tower 

I really like the idea of using what you can, throwing out what you don't need. I've been working on a one shot lately using a Goodman games module, possibly adding a few other adventures as it goes. Also the idea of letting your players help world build is great. I started writing up a players guide and then decided against it. I'll let it come out naturally.

An example is that I'd like to have demi God's rather than actual Gods in the setting. Rather come up with silly names I'm just going to say there are 9 demi God's. Let the players fill in the blanks. Especially since this is a one shot, theres no point getting into way to much background info. That said, my gm brain is thinking long term just in case! 

Should be fun! 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Step thru the portal

Figured out how to do a fantasy SciFi game last night. First session starts off with a very mediveal setting and basic adventure. At some point the PC's find a very weird portal in the dungeon. They get transported to a new world.

When the PC's finally wake up, they are on a beach with strange trees. 

Making their way to North they stumble upon a village of aliens. The aliens have rudimentary tools, and appear to be a bit lower intelligence. They use large creatures for work. The creatures are a cross between a moth and a cow. 

The adventure area is a overgrown swamp, there's ruined cities, villages and strange flora and fauna. Along with large cracks in the earth. 

Encounters are just as weird. Animals the PC's have never seen before. 

Maybe there is a way home.... 

In the meantime welcome to the Isle of dread. 

Yup that's right.

With a few tweaks you can create an alien world using the Isle as a backbone. The rakasta can be similar to the Martians in John carter. Descriptions of the dinosaurs can be changed easily. You can throw in giant mushrooms if you like. Whatever works. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

It's funny how as soon as you get rid of something...

 I lent my 5e books to my nephew as he's currently writing a campaign for his buddies. It's based around the last Airbender with custom monk classes. He's been playing for a while now with his friends. I introduced him to swords and wizardry a year or so ago, playing some Isle of dread.

Since I wasn't really running anything, and wasn't really running 5e I figured he could use them for a bit. From what I gather he's currently at home awaiting results from a covid test. Hopefully everything is fine. Good news is he has a pile of reading and creating to do! 

I've really been loosing my d&d steam lately. I think the anecdote is to run a game. A few of the boys at work want to play a bit. So I should probably just rip that band aid off and start working on silly voices eh? 

I've been a big fan of the basic rules for 5e since I read them. Mostly because I like a few less rules and options. As well since that's all I have now, because I divested myself of the other books, that's probably what I'll use. When I've played as a character I've only used them. Despite other players looking at my odd! 

I have 4 of the Goodman games fifth edition adventures, which are cool and open ended setting wise. I'm going to reread them. I'm sure there's a way to put them all together somehow. 

I'll just have to create a few backup NPCs to fill out the ranks. 

Here's the download for the rules.

Here's the Goodman games stuff.

And I know... I'm an old school guy. Forgive me for this one lol. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Lets just call it a dungeon : level 2 WIP


Level 2

24 rooms

2 big bads :  red dragon, Shrieker (or something similar) 

Level 4 monsters 

  1. Monster no treasure owlbear Neither light nor darkvision can penetrate the gloom in this chamber. An unnatural shade fills it, and the room's farthest reaches are barely visible. Near the room's center, you can just barely perceive a lump about the size of a human lying on the floor.

  2. special , monster - illusionary stairs, werewolf Rusting spikes line the walls and ceiling of this chamber. The dusty floor shows no sign that the walls move over it, but you can see the skeleton of some humanoid impaled on some wall spikes nearby.

  3. Trap, treasure, monster:  arrow trap 1-3, 1 in 20 posioned, yellow mold

  4. Monster, huge spider

  5. Monster, trap:  magic user ring of insect control, 

  6. Trap, monster , trap and empty  shoot to level 3.  Boring beattles, This chamber is clearly a prison. Small barred cells line the walls, leaving a 15-foot-wide pathway for a guard to walk. Channels run down either side of the path next to the cages, probably to allow the prisoners' waste to flow through the grates on the other side of the room. The cells appear empty but your vantage point doesn't allow you to see the full extent of them all.

  7. Monster - no treasure or traps .  gargoyle

  8. Trap, no treasure - 10 foot pit trap You open the door to confront a room of odd pillars. Water rushes down from several holes in the ceiling, and each hole is roughly a foot wide. The water pours in columns that fall through similar holes in the floor, flowing down to some unknown depth. Each of the eight pillars of water drops as much liquid as a stream in winter thaw. The floor is damp and looks slippery.

  9. trap , monster and trap : pit trap, large spider A dim bluish light suffuses this chamber, its source obvious at a glance. Blue-glowing lichen and violet-glowing moss cling to the ceiling and spread across the floor. It even creeps down and up each wall, as if the colonies on the floor and ceiling are growing to meet each other. Their source seems to be a glowing, narrow crack in the ceiling, the extent of which you cannot gauge from your position. The air in the room smells fresh and damp.

  10. Monster, fighter:  

  11. Trap magical pool : transporter 1 -2 up to level 1, 3-4 level 3, 5-6 outside back in town. The room is mostly bare, except for small sliver of fir and a small pile of stones near the room’s northwest corner. The air here is still, but noticeably cold. A pool of what smells like fresh blood, near the room’s northwest corner, causes the room to reek.

  1. Monster Beetle boring The room is mostly bare, except for a bit of hair from a wolf and pottery shards on the floor near the room’s North wall. A strong, constant air current causes a howling sound here.

  2. Special:  wall sliders to close one of the 2 doors. Or door.  Room fills  with gas obsuces vision. 

  3. Special:  

  4. Trap:  anti magic room This chamber holds an odd contraption of metal and wood. It's a 20-foot-diameter circular platform that is tilted heavily to one side. Beneath it you can discern mechanisms that seem to attach to a large crank not far away. Above the platform hang metal weights on thin chains, which in turn are attached to discs and belts that are attached to other winches. It seems as though turning the winches turns and tilts the platform and sets the weights to moving.

  5. Empty A glow escapes this room through its open doorways. The masonry between every stone emanates an unnatural orange radiance. Glancing quickly about the room, you note that each stone bears the carving of someone's name

  6. Monster  bug bear The floor is covered in bits of rock and rubble, as well as a torn banner near the room’s southwest corner. The air here is still, but noticeably cold. A pile of what probably is entrails and gore, crawling with maggots and buzzing with flies, near the room’s southwest corner, fills the room with its stench. Spots of black mold dot the room.

  7. Trap chute down to level 3 Several exits lead from this room, but only one is within the mouth of a man. The door opposite you stands within an intricate stone carving of a man's wide-open mouth. The man's nose and eyes loom over the door while his sculpted hair splays out across the wall on either side.

  8. Empty

  9. Monster blink dog The floor is covered in bits of rock and rubble, as well as a ripped wineskin on the floor near the room’s North wall, dry leaves and twigs near the room’s northeast corner and mold on the ceiling near the room’s North side. Enough of a downdraught flows here that it could be considered slightly windy. Spots of whitish mold dot the room.

  10. Special

  11. Special 

  12. Monster werewolf 

  13. Empty:  The room is mostly bare, except for claw marks in the dirt. There is nothing special about the air here. Slime molds seem to be growing near the room’s northwest corner.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


 So I read this the other day:

and thought "Fuck now I have to write a mega dungeon".  Here's the WIP for level 1.

Dungeon Description & Origin

The dungeon was previously an old city.  During a time of great cataclysm, the old city was buried in sand.  Recently an entrance to the city was discovered.  The original city was built in and around a large crevasse, the upper levels were those of the merchants having easy access to the outside world & trade routes.  The middle levels were that of middle class dwellings.  Deep within the lower levels were the rich, living in extravagant underground mansions.  

Nearby the ruins of the city is a small village, where the PCs make their homebase.  Many adventurer’s have looked long and hard for the entrance to the old city, many have never found it, and many have died, never bringing back tales of the city.  

Level 1 

24 rooms.  Monsters include Assasins hiding out in the dungeons, and a group of Bakula’s (Beatle humanoids), The BBEG is a medusa, Something similar to orcs. 

*Theme is an old city, warehouses for mechants, destroyed square with wagons, etc. 

1. Monster:  There are a pile of broken wooden wagons, small merchant tents, refuse.  The square is littered with skeletons in states of decay.  A few of the wagons contain CPs, decent goods, rope, etc.  There’s a large pool of dark tar occupying most of the room, its a about 8 inches deep in the centre.  The area is home to a small group of dwarven miners & excavators who have travelled here from their homeland in search of gold.  Among them are members of an assassins guild. These could be great additions to the adventuring party as hirelings.  A few of the dwarves have setup shop selling wares to adventurer’s and some of the denizens of the first level.  The alliances between the dwarves and the Bakula’s are shaky to the say the least. 

2. Monster:  Turquoise slime.  This is the remains of a tavern.  The slime is on the ceiling of the tavern.  The bar contains 4 giant kegs.  Behind the bar is 300 GPs under the floor boards.  On the walls are ancient paintings worth 50 SP each.  

3. Monster:  Fire Ticks (like beetle).  A former dwelling with furniture, beds, hearth etc.  The remains of a giant creature (actual giant humanoid) are on the floor.  Bites have been taken off of all the limbs.  A family of fire ticks occupy this area.  The giant had a warhammer of smiting +3, can only be carried by someone of 15 strength or higher.  On a 19-20 it does double damage.  It’s inlaid with runes that appear to be made of ice.  

4. Empty:  This was likely a brothel or bathhouse at somepoint.  The entire area is filled with skeletons wearing next to nothing for clothes.  Some of the skeletons are still in their evening wear, while relaxing in the pool.  The water in the pool is potable.   

5. Special:  An ancient temple, statues.  To gods that have long been forgotten.  Praying here will grant bonus clerical spells once per day.   

6. Monster:  Cobra snake, 

7. Trap:  sliding staircase that dumps the players into the second level..  ROOM #  

8. Trap:  illusion left here by a group of assassins to kill off the bakulas.  It appears to be a giant bee hive filled with honey, the honey is dripping all over the floor.  

9. Special:  This room holds the remains of a dragon.  Inside are the zombies of the men that killed it.  There are 20 fucking zombies in here.  There’s also a lot of fuckign treasure.  So whatever.  Go for it.  

10. Monster:  Bakula lair guards, guard eels? Sure eels that somehow can move onland, and wildly innarporiate.  Like they will kill people but also think they are in fine physical shape and comment out there behinds.  Honestly I’m just writing at this point, so it doesn’t really matter, but I feel like this might be fucking hillarious.  Alright next bit. Note the whole idea behind this is to write, and not actually edit shit.   Just goto town, and then deal with the consequences at some other point.  Okay next thing. 

11. Monster:  Bakula lair kitchens and stuff

12. Monster:  Bakula lair + the leaders area.  

13. Empty:  

14. Empty:  A small medical centre that held areas to help the infected, inflicted, etc  

15. Trap:  Spear trap near a door, if the door is opened with out checking, 4 spears will penetrate from the ground and the ceiling, impaling whoever is in the doorway.  Here is some treasure of the bakulas.  

16. Monster:  Medusa lair.  The room has 12 statues that only go from teh torso down, in some cases only feet.  The medusa has been thwarted a few times from this room and is no longer here.  THe statues were originally full length, but over time and battles have been destroyed. 

17. Monster:  Gnome trader, who is working with both the bakula’s and the dwarves 

18. Trap:  this trap has been set by some of the dwarven miners to stop monsters getting too close, there is a large treasure chest filled with actual gold.  On every side of the chest is a pit trap which is triggered by the floor.  The only way to actually get at the gold is to come cfrom above? Nope that sucks.  

19. Trap

20. Monster

21. Trap 

22. Trap  

Sunday, September 27, 2020

d30 Crowd sourced "Jerk henchmen" table

I rejoined mewe last week, I had taken a bit of a break from RPGs and social media while working thru a lot of tests for my job. Jumped on the osr forum and suggested creating a table. Here you go.

Big thanks to: Arthur B, GLG Johua, Shane E, Bud, Steve C, Rod T, Kryinn E, 

1.  Bakall, never seems to have a sharp weapon, or a weapon handy.

2.  Awet, runs at every monster, except rats. Totally skeeved out by rats.

3.  Magal, greedy swordsman that counts loot whilst engaged in combat.

4 Ronaldie, wildly flatulent.

5.  Jessica - has gotten banned from every tavern on the coast due to her wandering hands.

6.  Nutsy, always leaving a trail of peanut shells wherever he goes. Occasionally, the odd person turns pale at this and quickly moves away.

7.  Barrelhouse Baskil, a mediocre and craven swordsman, who constantly subverts the characters plans by saying "You really think that's a good idea? Huh."

8.  Jaynal the Anal. A foppish middle-aged human who constantly complains about everything.

9.Born Again Bran, overshares his personal Testimony, loudly, every time the party stops.  Worse, he's a Nugganite from Discworld.

10 grojan, always wants to turn right in the dungeon

11 some people call him Tim! He always suggests the longest way possible

12.  Terrek the Foppish, a mediocre wizard with great taste in foppish hats.

13 quibd, stops to tie his shoes at inopportune times.

14.  Kam Fantac, illustrious thief and bard, who sings about all his party's recent exploits...

15.  Gotago - needs a pit stop 10 minutes after the party enters the dungeon.

16.  Tassel, barbarian braggart that suffers from extreme rhabdophobia, to the chagrin of the party wizard...

17). Tanzer, M-U, won't stop talking about how everyone confuses him with Tenser.

18 Neb, critizes all party decisions, doesn't offer solutions until after. Woulda coulda shoulda.

19.  Pardu of Pallmall  - stalwart lancer who frequently talks about how cool his previous adventuring party was - their priest had the best God  ever, their magic user knew the most awesome spells...

20 Laz, carries a large extremely dull sword.  Which matches his wits.

21.  Nudford is a wiry halberdier who has a monster brain eating fetish; he sometimes "accidentally" makes too much noise to attract them.

22.  Rasp, a cursed cleric with two tongues, you never really know which one to believe...

23.  Money Bags, the party gambler who looses half the loot carousing in the tavern on the first night back. At least he always makes certain that sacks don't have holes, like that wretch, Spills...

24.  Harkin, Spends most of the time charming himself into oblivion.  The rest of the time he smokes random plants he finds and dries.  

25.  Galwit, Much better than his brother Halfwit who died when a tree he was cutting fell on him.  Galwit tends to tell that story often, even to people who have heard it before.  

26.  Horah, A wonderfully excellent thief, her sneak ability is a bit low due to the rather large heeled boots she wears.  

27.  Goolang, A troubadour who only sings songs that rhyme on sundays.  Every other day are haiku's that are in a extremely weird time signature.  

28.  Nahgi, claims to have every alchemist ingredient known to man and elf in her backpack.  In reality, the backpack contains dust, spider webs, weird triangular shaped dice, and medieval hair spray

29.  Abrati, A reknown healer, who is a complete fraud.  He does however talk a big talk, and every town he enters people know of him, they tend to even give him money.  

30.  Jabjib, An half orcish smuggler, who wears rather loud jingly bells on his boots. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


 I just joined Matt Jackson and the guys last week for a fun session.

Here's the play report.

We are playing barrow maze with ose. Which I'm digging so far! My mage misstep took a misstep and died. Good news is I have two backup characters. And there's always this generator

Looks like this is a every Thursday thing for a few hours which is nice. 


I was talking with Ray otus the creator of the gygax 75 challenge about my difficulty with completing it. I figure I'm going to start from scratch at this point. I always try to think too big or outdo myself and fail. Smaller is easier. One big thing is to really decide on the system ahead of time! 


As is typical I have way too many creative ideas and not enough time. 

Current thoughts. 

Write and record a 7 song punk record

Build a better studio in my basement. 

Order a fuzz box or guitar kit and build it. 

Start a rpg zine. 

Complete any number of half started writing projects. 

OH and just play guitar. 

Maybe get a game going on Wednesday afternoons. 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Tone when gamesmastering

 I've been thinking a lot about tone when running games. I find that most of the games I run, or have played in have been very "chuckle fuck".  Meaning lots of giggles and not that serious. While the overall tone maybe dark, there's still a lot of room for enjoyment.

Obviously it depends on the group and gm, but I believe that pretty much any module can be run in any fashion. I've run keep on the borderlands very silly and very dark. Adventures from lotfp could be run non dark and gritty, you could even turn it high fantasy if you want. Long story short, don't worry too much about written tone, play it the way you want. 

In other randomness, I've been thinking about running an open ended game using the judges guild ready ref tables and the 1e dmg tables. No map or plot, just start the players off having escaped a possible slave, and go from there. The idea that the gm won't know what's next really appeals to me. One version of DnD that I haven't really tried is first edition advanced, so I may give osric a go. 

Yesterday I added a few new blogs to the blog roll. 

If you didn't know, grognardia has started posting again! Which is exciting. I've been reading everyday.

Friday, August 14, 2020

It's funny how as soon as you play a game, you get the bug to write more game stuff.

Super fun game last night.  Got together with Jeff and a few cohorts from the One Shot Group on facebook to play some Star Frontiers (Which I've never played).  Jeff was using the Zeb's Guide version, which has the oddball faserip style charts in them.  (See below)

Jeff was borrowing stuff from Zeubulon's guide as well as the Knights Hawks and a lot of dragon magazine articles.  The whole premise of the game is super neat, basically post apoc earth, everyone lives under water.  The world is managed by corporations rather than governments.  Not exactly waterworld or shadowrun, but there's waves of that which is cool.   This is my first d10 style game that I'm playing in, and my first non D&D game that I've played in a long time.  We went thru basic character creation last night, and got the intro to the world and backstory.  Afterwards it was starting to get "early" for one guy (whose in England), so we pulled the plug at that point.  What I really enjoy about playing in hangouts games is that 9/10 we tend to all chat about games afterwards.  I spent about an hour and a half talking about OSR games, was labelled a Grognard (which is awesome!).  A few of the players are only just recently getting into OSR (hence the grognard thing), so we discussed some of the history, G+, etc.   

One thing that I did come to the realization of was that I really just like playing games on hangouts (or zoom I guess if I have to), whilst I don't mind roll20 it often becomes very boardgamey.  I tend to spend more time farting around in roll20 and creating maps than I do prepping a game.   I just find the whole player agency thing to be really wound up tight when you are playing only theatre of the mind (and playing a system that doesn't bog you down with +/-s and other nonsense).  

One of the guys I was talking to last night wants to get into writing more, so we talked about that and the 5 room dungeon model (Which he hadn't heard about).  

Coming away from this discussion and the beginnings of a game I've got a WHOLE wack of inspiration and a few good ideas to start working on.  It's funny how as soon as you play a game, you get the bug to write more game stuff. 

I'd like to jump back into the Gygax 75 challenge, but with a few tweaks to the process, more 5 room dungeons, less one big close by dungeon.  I think enough time has passed that I have a few more concrete ideas to put down.  I was discussing my thoughts on character creation last night, and how I'd like to have everyone get one magical talent, likely from a d20 list.  The suggestion was made that I do the table DCC/Lotfp style, where at a starting level you roll a d20 and as you level up your roll on the same table but it's a d100.  Fucking genius! This is the real trick with writing for me, is bouncing ideas off of people! It gets the juices flowing.  

*damn it! I started the challenge in frigging April! It's august! What the heck shane!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

House Rules For Swords & Wizardry FMAG

  1. You will earn experience points for overcoming challenges, and for gold acquired.  Note that you don’t necessarily have to kill the monster to overcome the situation.  

  2. We are playing in an open world, which means that you can pretty much do anything.  Think outside the box and have fun!  Obviously there could be consequences.  

  3. At 0 hit points you are unconscious, at negative your level you must make a saving throw or die.  On a success you are returned to 0 hit points.

  4. Each character starts out with 2 luck points, these work the same way as inspiration and can be used to re-roll any dice.  

  5. After a fight, a player can bandage their wounds for 1d6 hit points. 

  6. Consumables are important!  Don’t run out of food, torches, arrows!

  7. Each character will get one hireling.  You will be responsible for this character, and in the case of things going sideways you will be asked to “check the morale” of the hireling.  They may flee, or stand tall.  The hireling can be used as a backup character in the event of death.  The hireling character will be expecting payment. 

  8. Every encounter (monster or otherwise) will have a reaction check, this means that not everything will attempt to kill you right away. 

  9. Surprise will be determined on a case by case basic, by rolling 1d6, on a roll of 1 you will be surprised (same goes for monsters).  Prior to rolling Initiative the players will state what their intentions are.  Initiative is handled by rolling 1d6 for each side (players and DM).  No bonuses are added to the roll, and the players will take turns rolling initiative for the group.  In the case of a tie combat is resolved simultaneously.

  10. Critical hits will be double damage.  ex you roll a 5 for damage, which means you do 10 points of damage.  
  11. Critical fails result in the loss of a weapon, in the case of an ability check some awful will likely happen.  
  12. Ability checks are D20 + Stat Bonus.  Target number will be determined by the GM. 
  13. Your attack bonus is added to your d20 roll, and your strength or dexterity modifier.  Only fighters add their modifier to damage.  Ex d20+Attack Bonus+Dex Mod = To hit.

  14. Encumbrance:  You can carry 20 items, not including gold.          
  15. Levelling:  Upon levelling up you can re-roll any stat, if the number is higher than the current stat you can keep it.  You regain all lost luck, and gain 1 extra.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Adding a few basic adventures to the Isle Of Dread

As we all know, Isle Of Dread is an awesome sandbox filled with a lot of adventure options.  If you need a few more options for the campaign, or even a U-turn, here's a few extra ideas using some basic era adventures.  Alternatively you may have a whole new crop of Characters (after the demise of the last bunch) and you might want to keep them on the island, but with a different scenario.  

I know that a few people have replaced the major city on the isle with the dwellers of the forbidden city.  Which is a perfectly logical and evil thing to do.  I do like the idea of placing the city down south between some of the villages.  In the intro to dwellers, a Chieftain finds the PCs and tells them that trade has been hijacked by the denizens of the mysterious city.  I like this because you can play off all of the villages.  The PCs start in the main village of Tanora, they find out about some of the other villages and the trade issues.  Maybe they've been expecting a shipment and the PCs catch wind of it and investigate.  

The Lost City.  It easy for the PCs to get lost and run out of food on the isle.  The Pyramid doesn't have to be the typical Egyptian styled one, in the middle of the dessert.  It could be a Mayan styled one, deep in the jungle.  A fun intro could be that the PCs have wound up on shore after their boat sank, they have plodded along thru the jungle and finally stumbled upon the pyramid.  Eventually maybe they will leave the pyramid and explore the Isle.  

In Search Of The Unknown is a great dungeon that you can pretty much pop into any campaign.  Having it reasonably close to the village of Tanora means that the PCs can investigate and make their way back to town often. 

Keep On The Borderlands is another great adventure that you can pop into any campaign.  My twist is a bit different however.  One version is that the keep was built long ago and its location was lost in time.  The keep is now overrun with Orcs, Goblins etc.  Hiding in the caves nearby are Cavemen who have no memory of the keep.  Alternatively the keep can be a forgotten outpost from the mainland, it manages to keep its head above water (jeez that was all kinds of puns there....) by trading with local pirates and some of the villagers.  Cue usual kotb activities and the caves of chaos.  

Horror on the hill is meant to be a self contained location north of a river, it could easily be popped onto the small island north of the isle of dread.  To the east is a smaller island where you can put the town from the original adventure.   Once again, this is a good spot for the PCs to wash up on shore, or possibly float by in a raft as they discover the rest of the isle of dread.

Another one that comes to mind is "rage of the rakasta"., which changes the way the Rakasta are in Isle of dread, but could setup some interesting stuff.  A lot of the adventures from Thunderrift could be ported over to the isle. 

In September I'll be running the Isle weekly.  I'll be using Swords & Wizardry FMAG for rules.  Should be lots of fun!  

*This will be the second time that I've ran the Isle.  I'm looking forward to it.  Some of the above ideas may make their way into the adventure.  Or may not.