Monday, December 13, 2021

Elf trances

 James West is working on cool stuff.

I remember starting this challenge in the g plus days. There's likely some posts on this blog from then. 

I dunno if I'm doing this but I started thinking about elves today. 

Elves don't sleep, mostly because of the cheer amount of coffee they drink. Instead they go into a deep caffeinated trance.

1.  Detect magic with 2 miles.

2.  Heal 2 + 1 hp per level

3.  Find source of food and water.

4.  Find a solution to the next quest or puzzle.

5.  One extra first level spell for the day.

6.  Increase save VS spells for one day. 

7.  Lightfoot gain sneak thief ability for a day.

8.  Gain power to turn undead for a day.

9.  Commune with elfin home or nature.

10.  Well that's as far as I got on my lunch break....

In other news, the art punk contest is complete and released.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The start of a greyhawk campaign

 I just started a new 2nd edition campaign using the Blue greyhawk boxed set. I originally intended on running a 1st level adventure from the book. "tears at the orphanage" where the players need to go out a collect presents for orphans for an upcoming festival. The players totally blew holes in the adventure and didn't take bait Hahahah. I wrote up a few of the 30 artisans they were supposed to visit.

Gran mamier : makes snow globes. It takes 6 knocks before she answers the door. You can see her pulling back the curtains every knock, but disregards the outside. She eventually opens the door but is very skittish.

Brolach the baker : sweet treats for children. The shop is super busy and the PC's are asked to wait. It is suggested they have a sweet treat while they wait. The treats contain a hallucinogens and the PC's trip balls for a half hour.

Cobbler : makes wooden toys. The Oldman is desperately trying to move a large stump from the lane into his workshop. He refuses to give anything to the PC's unless they help him. He complains that the delivery men just left the stump, didn't even wait for a signature! He keeps trying to move it with all his might, but it won't budge.

Tailor : fancy hair accessories and wristbands. The tailor is hard of hearing and thinks the PC's are trying to rob him. He yells till the night watchmen show up.

Merchant : she can't remember agreeing to giving away presents to orphans. It may take some convincing but she will eventually give the PC's money to buy gifts, expecting change back.  She claims she has no time to do it herself. She will feed the PC's biscuits. 

I'll post a rundown of what has happened soon. It's been pretty hilarious. It's become a bit of an evil campaign. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Troika! - ISMs (A sneak peak)

I have 2 projects currently on the go, which I've been trading off writing each.  The following are excerpts for the Troika! project.  


The Cottage of Bullwark the minotaur:  From a distance the cottage is quite noticeable.  It stands on the edge of ploughed fields and is double the size of any normal cottage.  The doors are eight feet tall.  Living here is Bullwark, a minotaur of grand renown.  In the past he was a great adventurer, now in his retirement years he tends to his wheat fields and flock of sheep. He has recently sold off most of his fleece and hay, and is living the good life of a job well done.  He can be found relaxing in a grandiose hammock behind his cottage.

Village Encounters

1)  Drunken disorderly soldier accosting a merchant for more pay.

2)  Thief trying to pawn a mysterious gem.

3)  A street brawl.

4)  Dog chasing a cat.

5)  Building on fire.

6)  Funeral procession.

7)  Merchant having trouble trying to load a cart.

8)  Magical duel.

9)  A lady being carried off by thugs.

10)  Town crier – rumour mill

11)  Preacher.

12)  Fortune teller.

13)  Traveling circus.

Forest Encounters 

Grove of the fore fathers:  4 wooden statues, busts of former leaders.  Fox, Mouse, Badger & Bear.  (Blessings can be receive here by paying one gold piece in an offering plate.  One plate below each statue).  Adds temp stamina and restores luck.

A few backgrounds

Foxian Ranger
You are the last of the famous redwood rangers.  Quick with a bow and arrow.  Your home is the forest, and you have a love for growing things. 
Skills:  Tracking 1, Trapper 1, Archery 2, Sneak 2, Climb 1. 
Possessions:  Bow, Camouflage Cloak 

Bear Brawler
You made a name for yourself wrestling, the reward was always a jar of fresh honey. 

Skills:  Strength 3, Weapon Fighting 2, Swim 1
Possessions:  Club, nice pillow for napping, jar of honey (a luck potion!).  

Raccoon Pilferer
If it’s shiny or smells good (or bad) you want it, usually by nefarious means. 

Skills:  Secret Signs 1, Traps 1, Sneak 1, Climb 1, Awareness 1, Locks 1, Slight of Hand 2, Acrobatics 1. 
Possessions:  Lucky dagger, lock picks, large sack. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

White lightning

 I've been re-reading my old 2e books, and I want to start planning a campaign.  But more importantly I want to re-start my DM binder and start filling it with things, world building, npcs etc.  One of the most important things in my brain is to pick a system when you start designing stuff (honestly its this weird ADD thing... its probably not that important).  

Couldn't sleep last night as my brain was filled with D&D ideas.  Here's the train of thought before bed: 

1.  5e group really hasn't had much time to play latetly, all good.  But its been leaving me thinking that I need a creative outlet for the upcoming winter months.  I just bought witchlight (review forthcoming). 

2.  I decided to post on a few forums "looking for players".  The plan would be discord only, as I'm not the best with roll20. 

3.  I started thinking about working on a small area to start with for a 2e campaign.  Nothing grand.  Just like in the bx rules, create a homebase, a dungeon and go from there.  

Made a decision to work on a map today after I got home from work.  I wanted it to be in the style of:

and this:

specifically this:

then I read this post this evening:

Wound up with something a little bit more Tron like: 

I've often talked about how If I ever run another game it would be very rules light because my brain just can't do number crunching anymore.  

Then I stumbled onto this interesting post, which is basically suggesting that If you blow away all the optional rules you are playing a basic version of D&D.  Which I like!  

Which has lead me to realize that I should infact create a

for any newbies or as a reminder of what the "house rules" will be.  

Now while I'd like to use and work on my 10 monster setting.  I think what I'm going to fill my DM binder with is just some traditional fantasy stuff.  I was thinking about the Gygax Challenge last night, and maybe using that as a bit of inspiration to get writing in the binder.  I likely will at some point.  However what was really making me wonder was my very first games of D&D, and my first writing.  Where did it come from?  In the gygax challenge you are supposed to note your references for your world.  In mine I was talking about Xanth, and strange fantasy novels that I've read over the years.  But what did 14 year me know about fantasy back then? 

What was my initial appendix n? 

fighting fantasy books (The green spined ones), the art from the 2e books, Forgotten realms setting, dragonlance novels, he-man, GI joe (I was a huge fan, not sure if it counts, but this is my blog so I guess?).  

I'll take a picture of my binder when I have time. 

Tomorrow's plan write up a 2nd edition Artifact.  The day after write up an NPC (Bullwark the minotaur). 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Nifty OSR Products Oct 1

YEAH! It's October! Here's hoping we don't have snow on Halloween this year.  Currently we are actually above normal temps, but that can change in an instant. 

Rather than finding the newer OSR stuff, I decided to do a bit more of a deep dive this morning to see what I could find. 

Scourge of the Demon Wolf
Three died. They were mauled beyond recognition. The Baron sent his huntsmen to kill the beasts and for a fortnight they tramped across the countryside. Between their whoring and drinking they killed twelve wolves, parading their skins through the village. They were hung on poles as trophies of victory. Then the huntsmen left, the beasts slain, the village saved… so we thought.

As the fields turned golden under the summer sun the killings began again. Four more died. Then the Baron's man, the bailiff, was killed on the high meadow in sight of Mitra's Temple. His screams could be heard well into the village. He was only identified after we reassembled the pieces.

With the priest's help I wrote a report to our liege, the Baron of Westtower. My report ended with,

There will be no harvest until the beast is slain and the killings stopped.

A 72 page adventure compatible with the Swords & Wizardry  rules and a setting supplement to the Majestic Wilderlands. detailing a small barony, a complete fantasy village, a conclave of mages, a crossroads hamlet, and a camp of wandering beggars.

Talespinner magazine, Issue One

Talespinner is a magazine dedicated to roleplaying gamespublished by Ganesha Games (Tales of Blades and Heroes, Familiars RPG). Playable materials are double-statted for Labyrinth Lord (tm) so they can be used by players of "Old School" games. In this issue:
Three short fantasy adventures ("The Crystal Heart", "Knock on Wood", and "The Crumbling Tower", all for low-power player-characters);
Swimming Rules for TBH;
New character types for Familiars RPG;
Monster Menagerie: Swamp Trolls (for TBH and LL);
The Martial Artist archetype for TBH;
Sneak Peek: Heroes of the Tales (TBH supplement);
Alternative Initiative rules for TBH;

Attack of the Frawgs

"The thing I love about Stephen Newton's Attack of the Frawgs is that you think everything's fine. This is just another adventure. Everything's cool. Nothing too unusual. Nothing crazy. Good ol' vanilla fantasy.  But when the frawgs hit the fan... all bets are off. Best "holy shit" reveal I've seen for DCC yet." 

Hex Crawl Chronicles 3: Beyond Black Water (Swords and Wizardry)

When the game was invented and sold in a little woodgrain box, the author told us a required supplement was an Avalon Hill game called Outdoor Survival. This was a wilderness survival game that consisted of a hexagonal map system that players would travel around, trying to find their way back to civilization, all the while trying not to die of thirst or get eaten by bears. This game map was used as the first wilderness "hex-crawl" for what eventually became D&D. Later, Judges Guild took this to a whole new level with the Wilderlands series. For many years, hex crawling was just the way the game was played. This series brings that back, or supplements existing games that use that system of travel.

The Purple Worm Graveyard

It is said that when the largest and most ancient of purple worms know that the time of their death is near, they make their way through rock, earth, and water to the legendary Purple Worm Graveyard.

The graveyard is said to lie somewhere in the barren Rockspyre mountains, but its exact location is unknown. Now and then an adventuring expedition sets out on a hunch or clue seeking the graveyard. Most return empty-handed and dispirited. Some never return.

But a few, just enough to keep the legend alive really, come back with whispered tales of subterranean fields littered with a fortune in purple ivory, unguarded and ripe for the take.

The Purple Worm Graveyard is a short dungeon crawl adventure that's best for levels 1-4. The adventure has 15 entries and is designed to provide a variety of challenges for a new adventuring party or one-shot game. It's got fabulous treasures, cunning monsters, dangerous traps, and ancient mysteries for players to discover and explore. It's written using the Labyrinth Lord rules, but will work with any dungeon crawl adventure game.


Shadowbrook Manor

This Labyrinth Lord adventure is suitable for characters of levels 1-3, and is usable with similar basic or advanced fantasy role-playing games.
Once a powerful proponent of Law, the Archmage Tazimack the Red was eventually driven mad by a fear of mortality. As he slipped into insanity his retirement home began to reflect the chaotic bent of his mind. Long after Tazimack's unnaturally animated body has disintegrated, his manor house remains as a shadow cast by a twisted intellect. Can the characters bring order to this chaos?

Creatures of the Tropical Wastes (Mutant Future)

Do you need more monsters and mutations for your postapocalyptic, sci-fi, or fantasy game? If so, Creatures of the Tropical Wastes is what you are looking for!

Fully compatible with Mutant Future - as well as Labyrinth Lord and other games that use the familiar and easy-to-use "Basic" role-playing game rules introduced in the 1970s - this collection includes:

* A Foreword by Derek Holland, author of several licensed Mutant Future sourcebooks.

* 50 new creatures, including the mysterious Ahas Folk, the insidious Egret Puppeteer, and the fearsome War Baboy.

* 30 new mutations, including numerous Plant mutations.

* Official Mutant Future Poison and Radiation Tables for convenience of reference.

* Original illustrations by fantasy artist Sharon Daugherty


Thursday, September 30, 2021

End of September update

The current 5e group I'm in is made up of co-workers, we've been playing online every other week for awhile now.  We are currently in Ravinica which is a lot of fun.  My first PC died mostly because I didn't really like him, and we needed a healbot/thief.  What I'm really diggin about these folks is the following:  We are fast and loose with the rules (ie no one is looking up things in a rule book).  We spend a lot of time giggling and roleplaying.  

Having used roll20 and google hangouts (or whatever its called now) I have to say Discord is probably one of the best options for doing non irl table top stuff.  Minus the whole map thing (which I'm sure there is a work around).  I noticed the other day on youtube a tutorial about playing nerd games using discord.... hold on for my google fu, ah here we go:

The other day on a total lark, and I mean total lark (I never buy things for myself, and I never buy things without researching them) I went ahead and bought "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight" for 5e. 


Nah not at all kids!  Don't worry.  This is actually the FIRST real thing I've bought for 5e other than the starter set.  I was gifted the DMG and PHB from a previous group.  

Do not fret good folks, I actually just downloaded this amazing organizational software for writing:

I'm trying to nail down the Gygax 75 challenge into a real thing.  I'm currently amalgamating ideas that I had written on the blog and in other various places (like notebooks and random google drive and libreoffice files).  The one thing I did wrong when I started the challenge in the first place was that I didn't decide on the sytem (sometimes I get analysis paralysis).  That and my ADD kicked in and I switched gears like I always do.  The good news is this software allows me to jump from thing to thing quickly.  As long as I maintain some focus on the overall idea.  

I'm trying to write something every morning for 15 minutes. 

Whether its shit or not. 

I'll hire an editor hahah. 

In other random news, I think I'm going to try and get some kinda roll20 western marches, marsh's? marshmellows? type game thing happening.  What my thought this morning was, was to basically use all the awesome online generating tools to build a hexcrawl and then let the players be in the drivers seat. 

Could be fun? 

It could also be my brain having the morning coffee kick in.

Mostly its because I'm not currently DMing a game, and that muscle is something I need to flex once in awhile.  

Anyways I'm off to work.  

Good news I restrung my strat yesterday and I've got it down to about 8 minutes.  That's almost pit crew level! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Nifty OSR Products August 18

 Some of these are new, and some of them I found whilst doing a deep dive.  

The Pool Below

A group of three teenagers disappeared recently. They all recently came of age, and the town guards merely assume they ran off to seek fame and fortune. The parents of the missing children are skeptical, and fear something more sinister has happened.

Additionally, the deacon of an old, burned out temple devoted to magic and portents is hiding a secret. Even though the temple is assumed to be defunct, an evil priest named Shukan is operating out of a secret chamber located in the temple’s basement. Shukan has connected a magical portal to the temple’s baptismal pool, turning the font into a gateway to hell and terror.

Requires Old-School Essentials. Old-School Essentials is a trademark of Necrotic Gnome. The trademark and Old-School Essentials logo are used with permission of Necrotic Gnome, under license.



From the creator of the Thought Eater podcast and blog comes the 12v12 RPG!

-D12s only!

-Fun to play!

-Intuitive rules and quick character creation have you playing in minutes!

-Easily adaptable to any setting or genre!

-Doubles as an SRD; create and sell your own products for free!

Check out Froth's blog here 


Lightspeed RPG

There’s a lot of dead space in the night sky, where nothing changes. Life, however, pops up in the most unexpected places. Across all of the great galaxy Regnum, civilizations have risen up in search of knowledge, power, and wealth. Though the darkness is cold and the voyage is long, starships of every shape and size streak through the void, always on the way to bigger and better things. Adventure finds its place in every dark alley, bustling port, and glimmering tower in Regnum. The heroes, villains, and opportunists who stumble upon it have a tendency to become great and terrible, and that is where your story begins.


Nutmeg in the dark

Nutmeg in the Dark is a standalone adventure written in Knave, though any OSR system will work.

Something has happened to the northern mountain pass, those who have survived to  return reported the smell of nutmeg before their party was ambushed in the dark.

The town guard is raising a party to go clear the pass. He enters the local tavern to conscript all the patrons, PCs will be generated from this group. (I thought this was an interesting use of the you meet in a tavern trope.) When PCs die they come out of the citizen pool. 9 characters, The guard, the players and NPC citizen soldiers, are active to fight, the rest hang out in back, waiting their turn to join when someone dies.



PINKHACK, put simply, is my personal collection of houserules put forth for (mis)use and cannibalization. I named it “PINKHACK” because it is a melange of Christian Mehrstam’s Whitehack and Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd (which is red), but also mostly because I very much like the color pink. The rules presented here are mere suggestions; there are no permissions granted or withheld, only inspirations. Everyone uses the system they are most comfortable with, anyways.



When I was a kid growing up with the first generation of personal computers, we played a LOT of shareware games.  As time went on we started attempting to create our own games using programming languages like ZZT , and re skinning Wolfenstein.  There was also an adventure game maker that we found that allowed us to create games similar to Sierra's Kingsquest etc.  

Latetly I've been doing a bit of research to find reasonably easy programs for creating Mac based games.  Just an idea I've had kicking around for when its get super duper cold out here and boredom sets in.  

In doing some basic research I stumbled upon GB Studio, which basically allows you to create Gameboy style games with a WSIYWIG editor.  NEAT! There are 4 games that you can test out (and play online if you like!) 

Which has lead my down a rabbit hole, attempt to combine Gardens Of Ynn with a Zelda style game. 

Yeah... I'm biting off more than I can chew.   But hey HERE'S TO TRYING NEW THINGS! 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Nifty OSR products August 5th

I figured it was probably a good time to start promoting neat things I find on drivethrurpg.  I am always quite happy when I find a cool thing that's PWYW or free, so I'll try and stick to those types of things.  

White Box FMAG Referee Sheets

This is super duper handy! 

This are reference sheets meant to be used with White Box FMAG. The various tables and some of the rules from White Box FMAG have been arranged to fit into four A4-sized portrait pages which can be used either as printed pages at the table or as inserts for a customizable GM screen.

Also included is a two page version where the 4-page A4-sized portrait version are placed two-to-a-page in landscape.


Commercial Map Pack 1

This map pack include / Ce pack de cartes comtient:

  • 1 small village / 1 petit village
  • 2 dungeon levels that can be connected together or both as stand alone / 2 niveaux de donjon qui peuvent être connectés ou utilisés de façon indépendante.

For personal and commercial use / Pour usage personel et commercial

If you use one of the map in a commercial product, please give me credit for the map and send me a message (see the link to my website) so I can discover the excellent product you will create!

Si vous utilisez l'une des cartes de façon commerciale, merci de me donner le crédit pour celle-ci et svp envoyez moi un message (voir le lien vers mon site web) afin que je puisse découvrir l'excellent produit que vous allez créer!

Download include: 1 Zip file (16 JPG files)


The Village of Penrath

Created by Jean-Claude ''Raznag'' Tremblay (@tremblay.j)

This map contain the village of Penrath and some description.  It also contain some adventure hooks.

For personal use only. 

If you are interested in a commercial use of this product, feel free to contact me.

Download include: 1 Zip file (1 PDF & 3 JPG files)


The World of Artrusia

“The World of Artrusia has seen much happen in its long history. Many legends have been told by ancient bards, through countless poems and sagas. These provide reminders of the long past before the arrival of the Lords of the Void (also called the Lords of Beyond ), their expulsion, and the birth of science, which even today transforms the world.Two hundred years after the expulsion of the Lords of the Void and the dawn of the era of reason, the rise of science of machines and the advent of mass industry, the world has undergone radical changes. Railroads, analytical devices, medicines and metallurgy have reached levels never seen before. The discovery of Aerolite as the main form of fuel brought changes to the sport of racing in our world."


UNCONQUERED - Free Artless Edition

You hold in your hands UNCONQUERED, a role-playing game. In it, one player takes on the role of Chronicler and presents a world full of peril and wonder; the others take on the role of Travelers, who describe how their characters act and react within that world. We play to find out where drama and dice may lead us.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Seven months of isle of dread comes to a hiatus

 We've just finished up a dungeon on the Isle and have decided to switch DMs for a bit.  If we don't get back to the game, I'm quite happy with the results so far and my appetite has been sated. Onto a different game! This time I intend to do a bit more prep and likely run a hexcrawl with swords and wizardry whitebox fmag.

In the meantime we are going to play 5e in ravinca which should be interesting. I decided to play a basic forgetful wizard.

I'm unsure as to whether we will record our games. If we do I'll likely post em as podcasts on my anchor site.

While camping this past week I started consolidation of some ideas I've had. I created a few character classes and wrote up a bit more backstory for the world and them.  I'd like to get back to the gygax challenge and complete it, with a few extra additions. Shooting for about 64 pages.  I've decided to make time in the mornings to work on it. Even if it's 15 minutes.

Anyway that's enough of an update for now, back to relaxing. Smoking ribs today. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Actual Play Podcast

The other night we recorded our game.  We are on session 11 of Isle Of Dread using basic fantasy.  Both PCs are level 5 currently, one is a human thief, the other a dwarven cleric.  They have 2 hireling NPCs with them, Zarot a Chimpanzee MU and Royan a human fighter.  This session is the 2nd part of the PCs wandering around the Lakeside Temple from Monkey Isle  (Basic fantasy adventure module).  

You can listen here:

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

One Page Dungeon Entry 2021

I've been kicking myself the last few years for not having submitted to the one page dungeon contest.  I finally got off my duff and got it done!  I made the map using (which is my new favourite resource!).  If you are going to submit you have till the end of July.  

Next up is trying to complete the Prince Of Nothing's NO Art punk contest.  I am hoping to use a bunch of the 1e tables and make it very typical of a 1e game.  I'll likely use OSRIC for the ruleset (and probably hock a bunch of fonts).  I guess homage territory? lol.  If you are going to submit you have till the end of August.  I'm going camping for a week, so I'm bringing my 1e dmg and a pencil & notebook.   

Here's the dungeon download. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Little update

 A long time ago I pondered the idea of running a open table mega dungeon.  I still may do that at some point.  Likely toee.   I've been really enjoying the looseness of the isle of dread games, we get together once a week for 2 hours.  Not a huge commitment, and if something gets in the way that's fine.  The isle is good for dropins! Thus far I haven't felt I needed more.  Although the gamer add hankering is always in the back of my mind.  

Summer always puts a hitch in the giddyup of gaming.  Currently on a hiatus from the Thursday game with Matt & co. The last few weeks of isle have been hit and miss as well.  The nice thing is when winter rolls around, I'd prefer to be in he basement gaming, summer is a different story. Typically in Manitoba, Canada we get basically three months of warm weather.  So it's preferable to enjoy as much as you can.

After isle we may jump back into 5e for a bit.  Likely I'll run adventures from the greyhawk adventures 2e boxed set.  Basic rules likely.

With my upcoming vacation, I'm going to spend sometime rereading the boxed set and possibly the core 2e books.

I've finished draft 1 of the one page dungeon contest,  hopefully I can tie that up before the deadline! End of July.

I started princes no art punk dungeon, but am having trouble getting it completed.  As is the case I'll likely wait to the last second.

Well I better get my butt to work!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Session 8 octopus!

 When last we left our heroes they were at the tip of a peninsula in search of statues and gold! They left royan and ramses with boat and made there way up a giant rock face.  They quickly found large steps,  tripped a trip wire that sent a large boulder hurtling down upon them.  

They managed to get a bit hurt, but pressed on and found more steps.  This time they were cautious.   After some toiling they made it to the summit.   Where they found a large stone statue.  Instead of sneaking or using a ring of invisibility they just walked up to the monster , which then took a swing at them.  

They destroyed the gargoyle and found some treasure. The gods blessed the Cleric with a better mace.   Just when they thought they were in the clear they heard another stone winged creature on the way.

They quickly finished off the second gargoyle and went back towards the boat, searching the rest of the area. 

In the bushes they spot movement,  and approach. They meet a humanoid chimpanzee carrying a magical staff.  He's curious and oblivious of his surroundings. Always In search of parsley! He is from a small village, although he doesn't remember where!

The pcs decide to camp for the night and then navigate around the pensuila to a spot further north.

Late into the first day they are beset by tentacles from the deep.  A giant squid!

They managed to row to safety, and decide to stay close to the shore not venturing into deep water again.

They came for the night.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The story so far (Isle Of Dread Play Report Session 1 - 7)

What follows is my best effort at remembering what happened during the course of the adventures to and on the Isle of dread.  

I'm currently running the game with 2 of my coworkers, using the Basic Fantasy rules

Most of our sessions run about 2 hours, sometimes less.  It's typically weekly but it really depends on the week.  

Session 1: Leaving town 

  • The players are escorting a large merchant caravan from Northern karameikos to the city of Specularm.  During the night a rather large thunder storm rolls in, making travel difficult.  A wagon becomes up turned on a dangerous downhill section, slips in the mud and dumps its cargo upon the ground. 
  • Helping the merchant dry off his wares, the PCs stumble upon the map and letter detailing the isle of dread.
  • The caravan makes camp for the night, instead of pushing on to the city (which is very close by).  The next morning they are beset by Bandits on the road, but quickly deal with them. 
  • Into the city we go! The carvan (which is huge, there's lots of guards other than the players) makes its way to the merchant quarter near the docks.  They get paid by Reginald Blackwater (one of the higher ups in the merchants guild.....) and decide to go out and find a boat. 
  • They ask around a bit, and find a local tavern call the starboard seagull.  A few patrons are in the bar, an older man catches there eye and they chat him up.  His name is ramses and he's a former sailor (looking for adventure), he knows where they can purchase a boat.  
    • It is unlikely that they have enough funds....
  • The PCs ramble down the dock to a acquaintance of Ramses who owns a boat (can't remember his name, not important pc I guess.)  
  • The Cleric pleads with the boat seller in the name of his god Havlav to give them a deal on the boat.  He uses his powers of persuasion and religion (basically scares the crap out of him).  They wind up getting the boat for next to nothing, in return the seller has the praise and mark of Havlav (he was blessed sorta.) 
  • They decide to set off with Rameses as soon as possible, gathering no supplies whatsoever for the long journey to the isle. 
  • I should note that this boat is a little bigger than a dingy.  Any real storm would blow it to bits.
Session 2:  The open water 
  • I believe that the PCs had about 12 days worth of rations when they left Port.  I decided to push the journey so that they would be on the brink of starvation by the time they got there.  Unfortunately there is only so many encounters you can have on the open seas before it gets boring.  A day passes nothing, you eat.  Day five oh pirates! Anyways
  • A few days pass with not a lot happening.  On day 5 the ship is attacked by bull headed sharks, that start inflicting a LOT of damage on the hull. 
    • I made one of the players roll for the HP of the boat on a set of d100s.  48 HP. 
  • The players managed to kill the sharks, the boat takes pretty bad damage.  The thief sneak attacks the shark.  Which lead to this silliness.  Ramses stuffs the holes with shark guts.  
  • Less than 2 days to the island, rameses spots a ship on the horizon.  They decide to get closer.  They realize very quickly its flying a Jolly Roger.  They turn tail.  A chase ensues.
  • The wind is with them, and they outrun the bigger ship.  
  • They safely make it within the vicinity of the Island.  I give them the opportunity to navigate around the island.  They decide to head for the village. 
Session 3:  The Village 
  • The PCs finally arrive on the island and are met with stand off ish Natives (not exactly Indiana Jones).  After some fast talking they managed to get a cool welcome into the village.  
  • They are showed around, and meet Meeka a small girl guide who speaks well.  She gives them the basic tour.
  • ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.  A Large Elephant/Mammoth is attacking the wall.  The PCs help out the Natives and managed to kill the beast.  A feast is prepared and the PCs are welcome guests. 
  • During the feast 2 interesting things happen.  The PCs notice the zombie workers, and are told mysterious stories about them and the Gods.  They learn of the ancients who built the wall as well.  They also see off in the distance a bunch of bandaged beaten up warriors being ushered into a tent. 
  • The next morning the inquire about the warriors and are met by the tribal leader Kuna.  They find out that the warriors were attacked on their way back from another village (they were delivering trade goods). The PCs decide to set off to find the Lizardmen and bring them a quick death. 
  • Ramses stays behind to fix the boat. 
Session 4 Lizardmen PT 1 First we gotta find the place 
  • So random encounters are fun.  Must write table with other interesting things to see and do in hexes.  
  • Run into a weird tree plant that attacks them and tries to strangle them.  They manage to burn the crap out of it and run away.  
  • They find one lizardmen and start following him, he is quickly scared off by a giant rumbling coming from nearby.  One of the PCs is up a tree looking down at the surrondings.  He spies a GIANT WALKING LIVING STATUE made of Crytal.  They noped out of that. 
  • After a few hours of searching they find a cave that they believe must be the lizardmen.  Turns out its a dancing spider (from BX).  One of them ends up getting bit and starts dancing (thankfully they had a cure poison potion).  Cue Magic Dance

Session 5 Lizard Men PT 2 They find the lair and destroy it 
  • Scrounging around and searching they finally with a bunch of dumb luck find the lair. 
  • Typical dungeon crawl I guess:  They find some prisoners and they become hirelings.  They find a statue of a Hawk that looks like it was made by someone else (the ancients?), they kill a bunch of lizardmen.  There's an altar they find with what appears to be the lizardmens god (I stole this idea from a game I ran of KOTB read here).   Which was COMEDY GOLD! 
  • They also find a head dress and a map.  It points to the east a peninsula with the caption "stone creatures carry lots of gold"
  • They bring the prisoners and loot back to the Village after a few days on the road.  The thief levels up.  Rameses is working on building a small hut near the village. 

Session 6 On the hunt for gargoyles found skeletons 
  • The PCS decide to take the boat and head off towards the peninsula in search of the stone creatures and the their gold.  On the way they skirt the coast line.  It quickly becomes nightfall so they decide to make camp on the west shore of the isle. 
  • IN the middle of the night they are attacked by a bunch of skeletons.  2 of the 3 hirelings fall.  Rameses is with them and he stands tall.  
  • They find a encampment nearby, with a few interesting objects including the following journal. 

It has been a month since we set foot on this god forsaken island.  The food is slowly starting to run out, the crew is starting to get ansy.  We set sail months ago for the Thaneegioth Archipelago, and were blown off course during a big storm.  We hit a reef and swam to the nearest island.  We sought shelter along the shore, but had a run in with some spear wielding apeman!  We managed to fight them off and get into some small canoes.  We made land fall that night to the west of the small island.  Our food supplies are dwindling…..  Of late my dreams have been dark, with a squid like face staring at me from out of the abyss.  I fear we will die here. 

Session 7 Beached ship and a pearl. 
  • They wake up and journey to the penisula, and discover a boat on a sand bar.  After a bit of back and forth, the thief swims up to investigate.  He finds trade goods in the boat that are worth a LOT of money if they can bring it back to the village.  They find a letter of intent from the merchants guild in Specularm (basically the terms of the profits from the expedition).  The one remaining hireling notices a pearl under the water.  The thief dives for it, and recovers it.  And not a moment too soon! A giant sea snake is following them.  It does however decide to leave the PCs be.   

If you read thru all this, Havlav Bless You! 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

This should be fun!

The kick in the butt I needed to blow away the lockdown blues!  I've got 4 rooms already.  Gawd I love collabs. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

On enjoying the campaign - let it go

Part of me thinks I should put a link to "let it go" here.  That's the silly music guy.

Anyways it's likely in your head.

I just finished up an incredible session of dungeon delving on the isle.   For once I'm not thinking about the next adventure I want to run, or the next rule set I want to try.  I'm just happy to be thinking about the current campaign setting, the players, what might happen next. 

There is a lot to explore on the isle, a lot I've  already thought of, a lot already written.  The place is huge! Every hex the players walk thru, there's new possibilities for adventure.  Not to mention the previous threads they are following up on.

Playing 2 hours a week really makes the whole thing spread out.  I'm honestly really good with it.  Just ride it out.  

While I do miss playing irl.   I like our when it works for everyone,  Monday night games.

It's just enough bandwidth for me, leaving room for other things.


I restarted my podcast, and did one episode.  I have realized in the last few months that I may have run out of ideas to talk about.  Partially because I'm not following the scene , and partially because im not seeking it out.  I may scrap it.

The blog will remain, but it will countine to be what it has become.  Rambly,  less focused, and infrequent. 

I guess I'm just happy playing games, and not talking about them as much nowadays.  Not sure if this is me, an over polarization of content,  the pandemic? Whatever the case, im having fun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Another page from the notebook

This is a slow burn, but I'm enjoying it.  I've started a few spots, a hex page detailing tidbits from the main map.  Now I've got this village drawn.  Sorta.  On the page next to it will be a couple of shops and npcs likely.  I'm still working on the white wyrm dungeon.  Although I'm not quite happy with the map just yet.  

The nice thing about this as I stated before is I can jump from thing to thing.  Later today I'm getting my first vaccine shot, so there's a good chance I'll be working on this.  

In other news:  The isle of dread game that I've been running is going quite well!  We have had a few missed sessions due to things cropping up.  However we are moving to Monday nights, which should make it easier for everyone. 

The old school game I'm playing in with Matt is a lot of fun!  Last week I split the party and there is a very good chance I'll die next game (which I'm fine with as you know). 

I guess that's about it for me today.  I'm going to play some guitar, change the pedals on my bike and maybe do a bit of raking in the front yard, now that the snow is finally gone.  

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Started a new notenook

Along time ago, I was complaining to Matt that I never complete anything. He made me a nice 6x9 booklet with graph and hex paper and lines.  It's basically 30 pages, which I'm going to attempt to complete.  Got pretty last tonight. What is fun, is I can jump from place to place.  Go from one idea to another.  It's a bit cramped with 6x9 but I'm having fun.

I may add the gygax challenge into this.  I grabbed a copy of Whitebox FMAG for some inspiration and the 1e DMG. 

This will be in my work backpack for those moments when I have some inpsiration.

Here's some silly photos.  It's nice to make mistakes and just move on. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Return to the isle

 I'm running isle of dread again.  I'm not thinking of other campaign ideas! I've done too much of that over the years (and lately).  We decided to ditch the 5e game as honestly it was making me anxious.  I was trying to write too much backstory and weave the plot.

I'd like to return to the nightwell barony, but old school.  That is another day though.

Things I've learned from attempting a 5e homebrew game and world.

1.  Don't

Okay that was harsh.  I'm obviously more comfy with an older game.

1.  Know all the rules backwards and forwards.

2.  Run a wotc campaign first before attempting a homebrew.  There's lot of tidbits that come up, lore,  game mechanics etc that are easier to deal with.  See 1.

Creating a less magical, only basic rules 5e game is extremely difficult. 

Even if you run a longer one shot, you will understand the play style a bit better.

Okay isle stuff....

I'm running basic fantasy and enjoying it.  Next game I may use ose or shanes home brew osr rules (you can backstab a shark with a bow in it).  I should write them down.

I have the basic intro sorta scripted,  in such that there are no events but * "If thens "  for some situations. Once they are settled on the island ,it's about exploration.

Mostly things like npcs rumours, some faction oppositions, threads. Enough to get them excited.

Another thing I did that I learned from another awesome gm, was pre rolling encounters. This allows me to add some detail, map out possible treasure or lairs, and stats.  Now what I'll do is roll if an encounter is present, if so move to one of them.

Here's an example. I rolled a giant elk, wolves, humans, and a giant snake.

First thing I thought was to combine the wolves and the elk.  Maybe the wolves are hunting it? Or eating it?

The humans could be other settlers, another tribe of islanders, pirates, maybe pirates who have been marooned? Oooh.

See the wheels turning.

The above humans could be cooking a giant snake over the fire, hunting the elk, getting eaten by the snake.

Another thing I wrote was some basic weather, and hazards like quicksand, rock slides, annoying insects, old skeletons,etc.

I am going to play up the ancient civilization on the mountain, as well I am going to pop the forbidden city into the southern part of the island.  Also possibly b4 lost pyramid somewhere. Another thing I considered was kotb, however it's abandoned and filled with monsters.

Of course someone is going to be hunting a giant ape.

This island is filled with possibilities. 

*If then, for anyone whose programmed basic.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

I need a ruling!

Dear Dragon Magazine: 

One of my players was in a boat and wanted to attempt to backstab a shark that was attacking the boat. 

I posed this question to the google hangout old school grognard chat that I'm a part of.  For the sake of argument I was playing basic fantasy.  Here my friends are the wonderful answer's that I received.  To keep with the anonymity of the chat group, I've just labelled everyone who took part in the conversation with numbers. 

1:  Does the shark have a backside? 

Technically the sneak attack is because the target is unaware of the attack about to hit.  I don't see why the thief would not be allowed to sneak attack target who was not aware.  

2:  Backstab is only with discernible "back" so shark is eliminated altogether. 

Grognard's quoting different editions....

2:  old school technically "unnoticed"  but considering a sharks eyes depending on species are positioned in such a way as to see above their back, the point is moot.  It's called  BACK stab, so it is clearly meant for humanoids only! 

1:  sharks have a spine, and therefore a back. 

3:  and you have to account for the fish's lateral line being able to detect living creatures in the vicinity.

2:  a spine not a back so WRONG! take a biology class again.

3:  the shark is always hunting, always hungry killing machine.  your pathetic sneaky monkey skills have no power over 400 million years of predation perfection! 

1:  I was going to say that a shark's eyeball positioning actually allow it to see nearly 360 degrees around its body and would therefore almost be impossible to attack it unawares. 


1: So while the rules would probably allow the attack a common sense approach to biology would probably prevent the attack  However any good DM worth his salt would probably make a judgement call in this situation and allow the sneak attack to happen for the sake of the story and fun of the game. 

Here's the official rule from Basic Fantasy SRD.

Finally, Thieves can perform a Sneak Attack any time they are behind an opponent in melee and it is reasonably likely the opponent doesn't know the Thief is there. The GM may require a Move Silently or Hide roll to determine this. The Sneak Attack is made with a +4 attack bonus and does double damage if it is successful. A Thief usually can't make a Sneak Attack on the same opponent twice in any given combat.

The Sneak Attack can be performed with any melee (but not missile) weapon, or may be performed bare-handed (in which case subduing damage is done; see the Encounter section for details). Also, the Sneak Attack can be performed with the “flat of the blade;” the bonuses and penalties cancel out, so the attack has a +0 attack bonus and does normal damage; the damage done in this case is subduing damage.

The one thing that I didn't realize was that a sneak attack only applies to Melee weapons.  In the case of the shark the player was attempting to use his bow.  I've decided that I'm fine with missile weapons as well.  In my game I will allow a sneak attack as long as the player can remain unseen, or the monster is unaware.  the only weapons not useable for a sneak attack would be two handed weapons. 

What I ended up doing was allowing the attack because when I described it the sharks were only aware of the boat and were running into it trying to flip it over.  I allowed it for one round.  There were 2 sharks and after 1 died I made the other shark make a morale check (which it lost).  It decided to swim away.  I mentioned it to the Grognard chat, which brought up a whole lotta "sharks shouldn't make morale checks! they are sharks, they are hungry, they should have a morale of 12!". 

In BF the bull shark has a morale of 7. 

What would you have done? 


Monday, February 1, 2021

The PC Graveyard PT 2

Jax windlehen 

A Black Hack Character from one of Matt's games.  I believe he died.  This may have been the adventure with the weird unicorn and the factory.  It was ODD! But super fun. 

Strength : 8

Intelligence :9

Wisdom : 10

Charisma : 12

Dexterity : 16

Constitution : 6

Hit points :8

Current hit points : 7

Lucky charm: fish hook made of gold

Attack damage: 1d6, unarmed 1d4 

Equipment : cloth gambeon (av1) 

Bow and arrows (ud8) 

Background : was a prisoner on a black ship, and the ship sunk off the coast. I was the only survivor. 

Below is Jax's pic.  I likely grabbed it from the now defunct 


Beauregard Brokennail

*A Holmes PC for one of Jeff's Games. 

1st Lvl Dwarf Fighter

Chaotic Good

Hit Points:  5

Current Hit Points: 4

AC:  4

STR:  12

INT:  9

WIS:  14 (+10% XP)

CON:  12

DEX:  11

CHA:  14

GP: 7

Equipment:  Backpack, Mail Armour, Helmet, Shield, Spear, Short Bow, 18 Arrows,Wooden  Holy Symbol, Rations, 1 flasks of oil, tinder box, Small sack, Steel Mirror. 


Breath:  15  Wand:  13  Gaze:  14  Ray:  12  Spell:  16


Beauregard is the pinnacle of dwarven grumpiness!  He grumbles about everything: walking, fighting, eating, cooking, doing the laundry, smells, other people, outside, inside.  The last group of adventurer’s he was with would continually charm him just so that we get a break from his grumbling.  His long term goal is to find a nice valley near some mountains, where he will build a cottage away from everyone. 


We are from the town of Portum.  

Characters:  Signet (cleric) Glenfell AKA Sister Gleam (Elf)





















(1st Level paranoid android) 
Another PC from Matts Game.  This was a OSE/Whitebox kinda one shot.  I remember having an idea of what ES stood for, but now I have no clue! 

Problem solving tech geek robot (anytime trying to solve tech stuff i get a +2) - Int replaces this. 
+2 anytime trying to repair some broken (space shipwise) 
+2 on reaction/persuasion 

AC: 12
HIt Points 12
Awesome Point: 2 

Warhammer made of plastic tubing from a spaceship wall. 

STR +1 ( to hit/damage) 
DEX +2 (to hit/damage)
CON +2
INT +3
WIS +1
CHA +0

I got left behind after a raid by the imperium because I’m a robot. 
I have the capability to be used as a flashlight! 

Was in a spaceship with what appears to be 3 other convicts.  The ship was attacked and we managed to escape our confines.