Friday, October 28, 2016

Deal of the Fricking Day

It's Deal of the Day time featuring Frog God Games' Tome of Adventure Design. Tome of Adventure Design is made up of four sections or 'books' as they are called in the tome.  The first two are Matt Finch's Adventure Design Deskbooks.

I used these books a ton.  Especially the first.  These two were great toolboxes for constructing adventures and monsters.

The other two books included in the Tome of Adventure Design are Dungeon Design and Non-Dungeon Adventure Design.  I've used this book more times than I can count.  It's the best book on the market to get your imagination running to construct an adventure. 

I think it's the best adventure design book on the market.  

Normally the Tome of Adventure Design runs $21 for the PDF, but today it's only $8.40!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Onto the Next Adventure

Ever know a guy in town no one really likes?  Kind of a grumpy son-of-a-bitch you has nothing to say about anything or anyone?  Theodore Banks is that guy. He died 14 years ago, but seems to be feeling better now.

With the edits complete I'm hoping to release it tomorrow.  It's a zine style adventure, two levels and 8-pages long including the two maps.  The PDF will be available over on my Micro-Adventures Patreon page soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cracking Open Crusty Books

Today I was rearranging my office.  I needed to make it a bit more productive friendly.  Plus, changing up the furniture situation is always a good thing.  Gets the creative juices going.  When I finally completed moving things around I started thumbing through my Monsters & Treasure Assortment: Sets One - Three: Levels One - Nine.

I've had my copy since 1980 I think.  So when I say I cracked open a crusty book, I mean it.  So with this in front of me craving to do some random table plundering I asked Ivy for a title of an adventure.  Which she gave me, which I will not give here yet.  Cause I haven't finished it and I think it's fun.  As soon as she said it I got a couple of ideas.  Plus I had one of my older maps in the hopper for a long time and thought it would be a great time to use it.  

Not one of my best, but I think it suits the adventure I'm writing.  

How I Used the Monster & Treasure Assortment
So back to the Monster & Treasure Assortment.  I decided I'm making the ground level, 1st level.  So I rolled 2d4 to determine the number of critters.  I rolled a total of 4.  Then went to the First Level Monster table and started to roll.

(32) Black Widow Spider - 1
(59) Bandits - 4
(67) Centipedes - 3
(55) Gnomes - I rerolled this.  There is nothing wrong with being a gnome, except they are gnomes.
(70) Giant Gecko - 1

I decided to roll 1d4 for the number of treasures.  I rolled 3.  Then I went to the front page of the book where some of my favorite tables are located.  There are three 1) Treasure is contained in...   2) Treasure is guarded by...  3) Treasure is hidden by/in...  Love these tables.  For the latter two tables I roll one die larger than needed so if I roll above the table that means the treasure isn't guarded or the treasure isn't hidden.  For example, the Treasure is Guarded by table is 1d16. So I roll a d20, if I get a 17 or above the treasure is not guarded.

Treasure Contained in...
1. Loose
2. Small Coffers
3. Metal Urns

Treasure is Guarded by...
1. None
2. Spring darts in the front
3. None

Treasure is Hidden by...
1. Under a loose stone in the floor
2. Illusion to change or hide appearance
3. Disguised to look like something else

With those determined I rolled on the treasure table.  First off, no electrum.  I've got issues with electrum.  It makes me angry.  And I am okay with it.  I run a silver standard game anyways, to if the e-word pops up I changed it to silver.  

1. 100cp
2. 350sp
3. +1 leather armor

I scanned in my worksheet to give you a peek at what it looked like.  

So with these building blocks I number my map and begin detailing my adventure.  There will be a small 2nd level.  I am thinking of making it a 3rd level place to make a young party poop in their pants.  Probably one or two creatures at the most with a treasure of some sort, rolled on the 3rd level table.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Extra Life Gamathon

I've been enjoying the excellent contributions for Inktober.  Especially +Jim Jones.  I hadn't spoken to him before this started and when I see an artist with chops I want to trick them into selling me a few pieces.  I spoke to Jim briefly about this and he told me about 24 hour Extra Life gamathon.  I'll let his words explain it to you.  

It's a gamathon for charity. We play board games for 24 hour to raise money for Riley Children's Hospital. It is the hospital that saved my daughter's life with a cranial reconstruction when she was just over a year old. 
People come and play over 70 donated games. Each time they play them, they get a chance to take it home at the end of the event. We also have a silent auction with over 150 donated items, and we have various tournaments and a game show version of Wits and Wagers. 
The core group of people are sponsored players. They seek out donations from friends and family to play for 24 hours and generally raise about 60% of our funds. Last year, we raised over $10,000 and over the last four we've raise a total of over $23,700. It gets bigger each year and it is a lot of work (it takes up a couple of months worth of free time to plan and coordinate each year).
But we do it because we want to honor the hospital that has changed our life and the lives of friends and colleagues and community members who have similar stories to ours.
All the money that we raise as sponsored players and through the event goes directly to Riley. All our space and prizes and auction items and insurance are donated or covered by the community that has sprung up around running the event. It is completely volunteer driven. We're all very passionate about it.

Here is the link to Extra Life to read more about the event and to also donate if you chose.  I donated because it's a fantastic cause.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Gaming Stuff I'm Excited About

Over the next few months I plan on retooling my blog, GM Games store and Patreon site.  I think it all needs a fresh coat of paint.  I've been formulating, strategizing, devising and other words that mean the same thing.

Everyone once in a while its good to move furniture around in your room, paint the walls a new color or change up the routine a little to refresh your enthusiasm. At least for me that's the way it works.   My blogging has been lax and its not for a shortage of ideas or the fun I'm having in game.  Got lots of things I think of during the day or while I listen to podcasts.

Gaming Stuff I'm Excited About
Speaking of podcasts, one of my favorite finds recently has been the Gaming and BS podcast that features +Brett B and +Sean P Kelley yapping at one another about a topic of the week.  They are 109 episodes in.  They are great about getting a podcast out each week.  They have a Gaming and BS Patreon that I've joined.  What I like about these guys is they game...a lot.  Great knowledge about many games and neither are afraid to bullshit when they're unsure.  

Another podcast that has popped up on my radar is Old School Blues Podcast by Dead Games Society.  +Vincent Florio, master of the podcast and one of the creators of Mazes & Perils, and +Erik Tenkar  of  Tenkar's Tavern are four episodes in.  They pick a topic and hash it over.  Last episode Erik talked about Kickstarters.  Something he knows absolutely nothing about.  My only complaint about this podcast is, NO BLUES MUSIC.  Don't tease me with the title old school blues and then play some other crap music.

+Jason Sholtis accompanied by his goons at the Hydra Collective, have released a Kickstarter, Operation Unfathomable.  This is Jason's personal campaign world he's been running for years.  Oh yeah, he's a hell of an artist.  I know, I was surprised to hear he draws also.  Jason and crew have already reached their funding goal and I have no doubt they'll blow the doors off their stretch goal.  I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with Jason, he helped me out when I was just starting with my RPG business.  He's a great guy and he has a twisted mind.  Perfect combination.  If you have any doubt, take a sample of his, The Dungeon Dozen.  Oh, and I have to say this, this Kickstarter has the best video I've seen to introduce someone to the product.  It's fantastic.

And last, but not least, my Wednesday night group.  +Ken H continues to map into infinity with his Monteport megadungeon.  +Chris C. adds in adventures from his Ravensburg setting.  And recently +Rob Conley has rejoined the group. While the group is small, but the ideas we talk about each week, within the glut of our puerile humor, really gets my brain cogs moving.  These guys help formulate some of my adventure ideas and to peek behind the curtain of gaming philosophies.  And they all enjoy telling me when I am full of shit.  Which is often.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It Was a Three Dog Night

We rejoined our Monteport session after a two week delay.  Our brave party stood in front of two spider born of earth.  We had witnessed the battle between them and the giant ants and saw that their bite turned their victims into stone. This was after our GM, +Ken H's computer decided to update for one hour.  

While +Chris C. and I were about to engage the enemy, we heard from behind us, "Non-hostiles in your rear".  It was early and the best thing I heard all night.  It was +Rob Conley playing his clerical investigative duo, Muller and Skull accompanied by four dogs.  

We managed to kill the spiders in short order.  We then had a short conversation with our new party mates and continued further into Monteport.

Our party had the map from the previous party's exploration.  We'd set up a trade route with some of the factions within the dungeon.  Now we were focused on the dark spaces unexplored.

We traveled deeper into the ant tunnels and discovered a small horde of undead.  A mixture of zombies, ghouls and a vampire spawn.  It was a brutal battle.  We lost a henchmen named Skittle, Muller died from the spawn bite as did three of his dogs, including Goliath, which I think we mourned the passing most.  

After the battle and calculating the body count we investigated the casket and altar in the room.  Inside we found a treasure hoard and discovered that the casket belonged to one Sebastian Bynard Finister.  A known vampire that controls a section of Monteport.  

Until next week, this concludes this episode of, It was a Three Dog Night.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Stronghold #3 is a Go!

My blogger buddy/pal +Boric Glanduum has completed his 3rd issue of The Stronghold.  Boric sums up The Stronghold very well with this.
28 pages.  A mixture of 3.x and edition-nuetral materials.  A little bit of crunch, a little bit of flavor, a little bit of humor, and a lot of fantasy gaming goodness.
My completely bias opinion says get a copy.  Zines are fun.  How can it be bad to get some fun in the mail.  Or maybe you are just one of those people who only likes to get bills and advertisements in your mailbox.  If you're not, grab a copy of The Stronghold Issue #3 for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Place Between Places

I posted my 50th micro-adventure, The Place Between Places, on my patreon last night. I always offer the PDFs for free. My patreons at the appropriate levels get physical copies each month.

The physical copy is a zine with artwork from +William McAusland (who drew that gorgeous cover) and +Jeremy Mohler of Outland Entertainment.  A quick endorsement for these two, any publisher looking for quality stock art should go to RPGNow and grab a collection of their work.  It makes a simple adventure look epic!

The Place Between Places is a quick jaunt into an underground complex.  It has several little hooks that can lead the party into further adventures or into some interesting role-playing sessions.

This is a shot of a the cover and some of the pages within.  It is all black and white, eight pages, one page is used for credits and a cardstock cover.  I like the way it turned out.  At one point I added a short random encounter section, but I took it out because I felt the dungeon was too small for much randomness.

Please head on over to my Patreon and grab the free PDF and check it out.  Prepping for the adventure might take you 5 minutes, ten if you are blind in one eye.  And feel free to check out the other adventures.  If you like what you see then consider joining my Patreon.  Tossing in a $1 for a tip is appreciated, if you'd like the zine itself check out the reward levels and pledge.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dungeon Fantasy that Echoes Vancian Magic

There has been this thing, this Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter going around lately. You may have heard of it?  Well Steve Jackson Games has been releasing supplements of Dungeon Fantasy for years and every volume has been excellent. The latest, Incantation Magic, was written by +Christopher R. Rice and Antoni Ten Monros.  Chris writes the Ravens n' Pennies blog.  

Dungeon Fantasy 19 Incantation Magic captures the essence for the Vancian magic system and allows you to use it within the GURPS system.  Another optional magic system you can use in your game.  Which I like personally.  To give a different slant on magic from culture to culture.

Dungeon Fantasy 19 Incantation Magic is available in PDF for $7.99.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Map Part 2

Another map from the weekend.  This one is more old school.  Without the sissy blue.  Rooms, ninety degree corridors and doors.  Nothing fancy, added a little texture to the floors.  

Now to add do-dads, critters and shinies.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Map

A newish map.  I had it mostly done for a while and finally got around to finishing it.  Actually this is one of three I finished.  Here's one, I'll post the other maps later.  Milk them for more posts.  See how I am?

Not sure what the story/adventure is yet.  I'll work on it this week.  Which means I'll work on something completely different.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Waiting for the Worms

I wanted to thank all the folks who responded to my Resurrection post.  I received great input and ideas.  

This Saturday I find myself avoiding mowing the yard by organizing my office and getting my latest micro-adventure Waiting for the Worms laminated and ready to mail to my patrons.  

Waiting for the Worms is a situation adventure.  Party comes into the area and hears about the bad stuff from Little Gerry or happens to travel nearby.  Or those GMs of fortitude and foresight can blend it into a familiar village the party has some connection with.  

The cause of the sinkhole is a new critter I created, the web worm.  A large worm creature that spews sticky webbing to trap its prey.  The villagers inside the two houses are going to make fine fare for the soon to be born web worms.  nom nom

This adventure was one of those rare occasions where I wrote the adventure then drew the map.  With my computer problems last month it stifled my ability to produce content.  I sketch out a few simple encounter adventures.  

Oh, and thank you Pink Floyd for the title.  

My micro-adventures/locations are on my Patreon for anyone to grab a PDF copy.  If you like them consider throwing in a tip in the jar.  Some of the patrons I have get print copies.  Waiting for the Worms is on a 4" x 6" notecards that I laminate.  Some of them are on laminated half sheets or zine-style.  There are currently 64 adventures/location available on my Patreon.  They're fun, quick adventures that take 5 minutes to prep for a game. 

Enjoy folks.  To my patrons I'll ship out your copy after the holiday.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Resurrection, For or Against?

Resurrection, for or against?  It is an honest question.  I'm looking to see how others handle it in their games.   I'm looking to get ideas to rift off of.  I have my own idea about how to handle it for my particular campaign world, but I'm looking to add others.  Because like most campaigns there are different cultures with different beliefs.  

My Immediate Opinion 
I'll state right now that I am not a fan of resurrection.  Can't say I've ever been a fan of it even back in my pre-pubescent days of gaming.  Those who've read this blog for a while or know me personally, know I don't like many of the healing options in game let alone allowing the ultimate trump card.  I prefer a gritty, dark campaign world where the gods are generally indifferent unless there is something to be gained.

Rarity of Resurrection
The Resurrection spell is always one of a short list of the highest level cleric spells.  In most games that means it's a 7th level spell.  
  • AD&D you need to be a 16th level cleric with an 18 Wisdom to cast resurrection. 
  • Swords & Wizardry a cleric must be 17th level.  
  • Pathfinder a cleric must be 17th level.  
These are just a few examples of the game system requirements to cast resurrection.  So finding a cleric of that level I imagine in most game world would be extremely rare.  Add in the variable that this high level cleric would give two shits about the death of some dumb ass adventure who crawled in a hole full of monsters and ended up dead.  But say the cleric is available and does give two shits.

Details of Resurrection
Here are a few examples of using the resurrection spell.
  • AD&D for each level of the cleric the target can be dead for 10 years.  So the minimum level to cast it is 16th so a person can be dead for 160 years and be brought back.  The cleric must rest one day for every level of the person brought back to life. 
  • Swords & Wizardry no effect on the cleric.  Allows the resurrected person act normal immediately.  
  • Pathfinder uses the same time limit at AD&D for how long a person can be dead.  The subject gains one permanent negative level.  If the target is 1st level, it takes 2 points of Constitution drain.  
I believe somewhere it is stated or 'understood' that a someone who dies of old age cannot be resurrected.  Otherwise the range of a resurrection spell is vast.  A cleric could conceivably enter a tomb of a long dead hero and bring him or her back.  I wonder what the effect on a powerful undead creature would be?  Liches, vampires are for all purposes dead.  If a resurrection spell was cast on a lich wonder what would happen.  Interesting.  

What about the gods?
I guess part of my problem with resurrection is how often is used as a Get Out of Death card.  Drag your dead hero to the temple in the middle of the city and fork over the gold and wa-la, your boy is tap dancing on the tavern tables before nightfall. 

Because I tend to run a low magic, full of mud and shit, disease and corpses, the gods themselves while there, tend to be indifferent.  As long as temples are tended to, rites are completed and they are respects (or feared, they are no picky) they don't meddle.

List of Questions
What I am curious about is do you allow resurrection in your campaign?  Why or why not?

What are the gods attitude towards resurrection?

Is there any special tasks/requirements/sacrifices that need to be made to resurrection someone?

And always remember...

Friday, August 19, 2016

And Now Back to the Talking Badger

I was having a minor domino effect of electronic device failures which put a halt to my game time for about a month.  I started to develop facial tics.  Luckily, last night I was able to get back into gaming. Back into +Ken H's mega dungeon, Monteport.  With my trusty partner in crime +Chris C. we continued our adventure.

We left off with my guy Septimus, shooting a very big guy in plate armor doing a single point of damage.  Why did I shoot a very big guy in plate armor?  The telepathic badger they had in shackles told me to do it.  I couldn't think of one good reason why I shouldn't listen to the badger.  Ken ended it there as a cliffhanger.

So we start with initiative.  I roll a 1.  Glad I haven't lost my touch.  They go first.  Do some minor damage.  Our turn.  Mage sleeps them, fight over.  One guy got away.  He put on an invisibility ring and took off.  We didn't pursue him.  Monteport is not the kind of place you just run through.

We free the badger who can now talk once the shackles are off.  He's a fey creature.  Very polite. Lots of information.  He asked to be excused when we dispatched the opposing party of adventurers.  The badger did not like violence.  We then found out his name, which I've forgotten.

He told us about a trade festival that the other fey, ran by the goblins, have every few years.  It seemed like a great opportunity for us since our mission here was to establish trade and make money.  The badger told us about the rules of which we would have to abide and where it was located.  Location is difficult in a mega-dungeon, there is a lot of space between places.  The badger agreed to show us where it was being held.

This is where Monteport flexes its creative strength.  We met with a NPC we'd encounter in the previous adventuring party.  We'd established a history with this NPC.  And of course, time has not stood still, events have changed things.  While much of it was familiar we needed to learn it again in the context of the current situation.  Lots of fun.

We talked a lot about different aspects of the political make-up of the dungeon and what factions are trying to do what.  Our current boogie man is a batch of twisted dwarves who are demon worshipers who are buying people/creatures to sacrifice.  Monteport has no shortage of demons.  And out big boogie man from our previous campaign in Monteport might not be as dead as we thought he might be.

An excellent game session.  Good to be rolling dice again...even I keep rolling 1s.