Thursday, August 25, 2016

A brief look at the "form" - Pyramid Of The Lost King

A little more information regard "the Pyramid of the lost king".  This time a introduction of a new race.  "The Form". 

Rather than copy & paste text from the book, we are introduced to a race of intelligent, giant ants who live within the desert surrounding basq.  They are known as "the form", and they are believed to have access to dangerous technology.  

Okay, sorry smart ants with tech!  I'm going to change my underpants. 

Naturally they are of hive mind.  Which leads me to believe, that once the adventurer's figure this out they may go straight for the Queen in an attempt to destroy the race.  Obviously this maybe thru a rumour, or thru meeting a group of mysterious individual that also make their home in the Desert.  Of course these mysterious individuals will remain a mystery for the time being.  

Now, as someone who tends to get the creepy crawlies when it comes to bugs, giant anything makes me super queasy!  However I do love running these types of creatures as a gamesmaster.  Having a hive mind in combat could also be quite interesting.  

Picture this: 

The heroes are in a fight with a bunch of giant ants, they are all spread out all over the place.  One hero per ant.  Now depending on initiate order, one ant might be aware that another PC is sneaking up on them, as another ant is letting them know about it thru some sort of crazy ant ESP.  That'll f**k with your players. 

Player:  Alright I'm going to sneak up and stab the giant ant thing in the back. 

GM:  The ant turns towards you just at the moment that you were going to stab him, it pushes your dagger away with a stroke of one of its limbs, what do you do now? 

Oh this is going to be a riot. 

Now as far as this tech is concerned, I do need to read a bit more of the manuscript that I have, but its got me thinking.  If I was the leader of a race of giant scary bugs with access to technology, what would I do? Would I attempt to dominate the races around me?  Would I try and sell this tech to the highest bidder? What is the end goal? 

I love this kind of stuff, as you can tell its already got me thinking about what happens next.  

End Goals Of The Form 1d8

1.  To hide away technology from the prying eyes of other races.  

2.  To acquire all other lost technology for safe keeping. 

3.  To enslave all the other races under one hive mind rule, possibly with forms of mutation and mind control 

4.  To create alliances with the other races, in order to increase trade. 

5.  To find a place of their own, a home that is safe. 

6.  To sell off all technology to the highest bidder. 

7.  To procreate with other races, in order to create a new hybrid. 

8.  To explore the rest of the outlying areas, in search of technology, races, etc.  They believe themselves to be the great "scribes" of the world.  Keeping records of everything, and studying the world as it is and how it is changing. 

Now obviously none of these maybe the case, or maybe bits and pieces of these are the case.  Who knows!  This is the great thing about the writing in this book.  It's already got my juices flowing as to what happens next. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Campaign Developments - Old School Session

Last night, I barely slept.  Mostly because coffee.  I had to learn a few new tunes for my upcoming recording session this weekend.  Since I'm usually bagged when I get home, I decided I'd send coffee to the rescue.  Dumb idea.

On the docket to learn: 
Zero - Smashing Pumpkins 
Come Out & Play, and Self Esteem - The Offspring
Pretty Vacant - Sex Pistols 

Anyways, after jamming out for awhile, and realizing that I did in fact need to change my guitar strings (tonights to do list).  I realized that I have a old school session coming up and I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING WRITTEN! Insert panic.  

And then insert, starring and ceiling and planning things.  

The characters are currently on their way to Elerd's Keep.  We just finished up a session, where instead of DMing I switched and became a player for a one off.  (To which I need to write up the play report for that, as it was FANTASTIC and funny as hell). 

My head filled with plot ideas, and trying to decide whether I should do the following: 

1.  Find some time to write a bunch of adventure paths and a few dungeons for when the PC's get to the keep.  

2.  Scrap (and or take a break) the campaign and start a new one with modules, so I have time to work on other things at home. 

3.  Alternatively, whilst on the way to the keep they get derailed with Against The Cult Of The Reptile God. Which would leave me a bit of time to finish up the writing I need to do for the campaign.  Problem is I'm a procrastinator by nature, which means I'd just run the lizard bad guys and then be buggered up again, in panic mode. 

The other thing I've been kicking around is running "The Secret Of Bone Hill" as the site of Elerd's Keep.  Still kicking that around in my head.  

As it stands right now, the plot hooks for the current campaign are as follows (ie the shit that was running thru my head last night): 

*A woman's sister has been thrown in the dungeons of the keep, and is unable to afford to have her released.  The twist is, that the 2 sisters, along with another are witches.  One of the PC's had a vision about them.  This would further the story. 

*The woods to the north have been beset by a hobgoblin force.  Whilst hanging out at the keep, they meet up with a few wizards who have made a pilgrimage to talk with Elerd.  CUE Gandalf world ending quest situation. 

*Villagers have been going missing.  Possible werewolf situation. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Steam City & The Venetians

I've been slowly working on "Somewhere In Deep Blue Space" for the B/X Campaign challenge.  Here's a bit more information on the world as it were..... the Blue Planet.

Steam City:  Steam City is the capital city of the Venetians, it is built in a deep crevasse.  A long winding path makes its way down into the city proper.  Most of the buildings have been built from stone, excavated from around the crevasse.  The entire city runs on a huge steam plant built beneath the city.  Huge pipes pump out steam, which surrounds the city creating a foggy mist from afar.  The city is filled with strange traders, stores, drinking establishments and the like. 

The Venetians:  As well as being the original inhabitants of the blue planet, they are also the preeminent race.  For the most part the Venetians are law abiding farmers, merchants and peasants.  Of course there are always a few bad eggs in the bunch!  Their stronghold lies within Steam City, however thousands of small villages and towns dot the landscape of the blue planet.  The Venetians are a fairly technically advanced race, having harnessed the power of steam.  They have created a system of currency using steel & brass that they have mined on the Blue planet. 

Currency:  Being the most populace race on the blue planet, the Venetians created a currency made of steel (SP), which is a small square coin.  There are also brass triangular coins (BP).  10 Brass pieces (BP) equal 1 Steel piece (SP).  

Artwork -

Monday, August 22, 2016

#rpgaday2016 Days 15 to 22

Here we go again, another few days.

15.  Your best source of inspiration for RPGs? 

Comic books, movies, even just random TV show plots, I'll often think while I'm watching something/reading "That's a perfect idea for D&D!".  Honestly it could be anything, I've watched a kids cartoon and had a good idea.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Recently i was watching a interview with billy corgan and it inspired me just to keep writing things. 

16.  Historical person you would like in your group? what game? 

I'm going to say that a lot of people would probably mention Gary Gygax, cuz you know he created the game and everything.  Honestly though, you know would be super cool Shakespeare! Playing a Bard.  Also this question really reminded me of Bill & Ted. 

17.  What fictional character would best fit in your group? 

I think its a tie, between Samwise gamgee (cuz Sam!) and Bruenor Battlehammer.  Although I'm leaning towards Bruenor, because mostly we drink a lot and play D&D, and having a dwarf with the ability to pull tankards of ale from behind his shield would be awesome. 

18.  What innovation could RPG groups benefit the most from? 

Some kind of scheduling app.  

19.  Best way to learn a new game?

I've said this before, and I think I made a post about it, but for me the best way to learn a game is to do character creation, and then once I've got a few PC's I run some mock battles against monsters. 

20.  Most challenging but rewarding system you have learned? 

I haven't really had any experience with challenging systems per se.  I guess I'll just say fifth edition.  Although I'd like to point out that I'm not really finding it rewarding.  For the most part I really like rules lite systems.  

21.  Funniest misinterpretation of a rule in your group? 

Well, I don't know if I have specific example.  However, we have basically house ruled Charisma checks as "Swagger checks".  Which is hillarious.  Player "I'm going to do the Matthew Mcconaughey walk up to the orc".  Rolls a 20... laughter ensues. 

22.  Supposedly random game events that keep occurring? 

Well since I'm the DM, I'd say that none of the events are random and I've written them all ahead of time.  But that's not the case!  ever.  I am a big fan of having recurring bad guys.  And in my current campaign the scope of that is slowly starting to take shape.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Some news of note.

A bunch of cool stuff has cropped up lately!  I'm sure you are aware of it, but if your not here it is! 

First and foremost, Brave The Labyrinth is back! 

Small Niche Games and Barrel Rider Games have joined forces to announce the return of Brave the Labyrinth, the Labyrinth Lord OSR magazine! We're looking for submissions! You can learn more here -

I've been talking on and off with +James Spahn and we were both of the opinion that Labyrinth Lord has gone by the way side a bit.  We were trying to figure out what to do about it.  There was some discussion about doing a podcast, but doing so requires a lot of time and forethought.   Not to mention gear. (to which i have some...)  Alas its a big time commitment.  Our discussion ended briefly, as I had to jump back into actual work.  Next thing I know there's the announcement of the NEW mag!  Woot.   Now to try and figure out what to write about for the book.  

From what I gather this all sort of came about because of this blog post -


Super excited about this one!  I've been following a few posts from +James V West as he has been working on it.

Rabbits & Rangers

Product Description:
Remember when four-fingered talking animals wielded magic swords, cast spells, and fought demons? No? Well grab your Labyrinth Lord and dice because you're about to enter a world of properly wild critter crawls! Herein you will find rules for running funny animal campaigns including rabbits, ducks, mice, lions, bears, fossas, and many more!

Rabbits & Rangers is a supplement written for Labyrinth Lord describing 50 cartoon animal races and various rules tweaks that let you get a slightly more cartoony vibe out of your game. Fully illustrated, this book also contains new spells, monsters, and magic items. I mean, who couldn't use a Ring of Ahkme that will let you mail order any device required to achieve your genius goals? Act now! GET IT HERE


This was just released the other day, I downloaded it right away.  First off, it looks slick!  I have a copy of S&W whitebox, and its similar but there's a few added extras.  For one the Thief class, which does a great job of creating a mechanic for "thieving stuff".  Something I'm going to use.  In all honesty, just reading this is making me want to do a switch from our current system.  It's just a bit more rules lite.  And I had been thinking of similar ideas for my own house rules version.  As well the art is awesome sauce. 

White Box

Product Description:
White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game is an update with new art and layout of the excellent Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox game.  This is not an official S&W publication. It is my own version with a few added ideas from various other OSR sources. 


The Hench 

Product Description:
Henchmen: the forgotten underclass of the adventuring party. Often cast aside or used in ways that no sentient should be, this playable class for Labyrinth Lord allows you to experience life as a henchman/henchwoman/henchthing. 
  • Low barrier to class/career entry!
  • Progress quickly through initial Levels, and then switch to an adventuring class!
  • Develop a number of skills and abilities that enhance and support all adventuring parties!
  • Rise above the ranks of other Henches who don't dedicate themselves to being all they can be!
  • Become an actual Meatshield, but with the skills and training to survive being thrown at things that will kill you dead!
  • Three variants: the Cavalryman, the Infantry, and the Scout! GET IT HERE


And a few more cool things! 

Great blog post by +Wayne Rossi about open source gaming & basic fantasy 

And +Dyson Logos is working on revamping "Challenge of the frog god idol" which I am immensely excited about! 


As for me, I'm all over the place lately. 

I am working on a set of space rules for the B/X campaign challenge, based on holmes D&D. 

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my current old school campaign, doing a bit of writing for it.  The PC"s are currently on their way to Elerd's Keep.  When they get there I'll need a couple of dungeons & adventures paths for them. I'm considering running this -

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Demon Symbiote

I posted briefly about this on G+.  I was doing some google searching that somehow managed to lead to "VENOM" from Spiderman.  I think I'm going to throw a demonic symbiote at one of my players.  Here are the stats thus far.

When the demon attempts to take over the PC's body, have them roll a saving throw vs spell at -2 on the roll.  (Cuz you want this to happen to them!).

Once possessed.... (k not the right word).  Once the 2 are melded the following occurs:

The Demonic suit acts as Plate Mail, as far as AC is concerned.
The PC becomes immune to charm spells, however susceptible to Sleep spells (Saving throw at -2 on roll).

Have the player roll 3D6 and mark this down as "Self" stat.

Whenever the player decides to do something "good" orientated there is an internal struggle.  (this doesn't need to happen every-time).  In this instance i might decide behind the screen to use +Venger Satanis 33% mechanic.

Roll in front of the screen a contest of wills between the PC and the Demon.  roll a 20.  Whoever is highest wins.  In the case of the Demon, the PC will not do what they intended but the complete opposite.

Deduct one point from the "Self" stat.  Whenever that stat reaches 0, the PC has fully become the demon and has lost all self.

You may consider adding one point back when the PC wins that is up to you.

In order to remove the symbiote, the following must happen.
1.  a Remove curse spell
2.  Kill the PC, to detach the symbiote
3.  A Resurrection spell

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Whistling Towers.

I acquired a copy of the world map of Basq, and its super friggin cool!  The nice thing about this adventure/module is that there are sections that have been left up to the GM's imagination.  Don't get me wrong, the book is filled with encounters and backgrounds, etc.  However, as I said there's little bits and pieces with a description.  To a degree this reminds me of the 2e Forgotten Realms setting, in that there are descriptions, and a bit of a rumour for certain places, but that is as much fleshing out as there is, leaving a bit of play room.  I've never really been a fan of an entire setting being "set in stone".  ie the whole FR canon.  

But I digress, 
Another look at a section of Basq, The Whistling Towers, 
From Text: 

The Whistling Towers are large 200 feet high structure that dot the Saragubi Desert and whistle a haunting tone whenever there is a moderate breeze.  These towers have no traditional entrances and must be scaled to enter.  Near the top of each tower is a long, narrow slit that leads to the structure's interior which is just as devoid of life and accommodation.

Of course there's a bit more information in the text of the book, but this is enough to get you excited right? 

From what I gather these towers are in a sense man made perhaps, The first question that comes to my mind is, who made them? what were they used for? And of course, when the PC's find these, how will the scaling them go? 

Of course my first though when reading the above text, was something similar to the below picture. 

Which is not the case if they are in fact man made.   However these odd structures would dot the landscape of basq if i was running it.

This whole area, would be extremely creepy at night, playing up the weird wind whistling.  

Running thru my head, this is a great place to have some serious creepy bad guys, ghosts, maybe a pack of were creatures possibly?  What is inside these towers? 

Maybe the PC's stumble upon the ability to fly perhaps?  Maybe they are sent off on some mission to find a lost artifact buried inside the towers.   

My mind is rambling with interesting ideas here.  And that is part of the reason why I'm diggin this setting so much, it's got my creative juices flowing.  Now I'll just have to figure out a way to transport my old school characters from the world I created, to basq..... maybe a unfortunate time dimensional warp stone? Who knows!  

Another idea I've got kicking around, is to start off with B4 the Lost City, and then move from that to Basq proper.