Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bundle of awesome!

Well holy crap! The bundle for Contessa is available now.  
Check it out. 

If you don't know about Contessa, here's the elevator pitch. 
We are an organization dedicated to increasing diverse representation in tabletop gaming by running events led entirely by marginalized people, and enjoyed by everyone. We run our own conventions online, and attend popular conventions around the United States, bringing games, seminars, workshops, and panels using our innovative convention-within-a-convention format. We aim to provide open, inclusive, and safe environments that diversify what a leader looks like within our hobby.


There is so much awesome in this bundle, including Fire on the velvet horizon, which is available in pdf (this one time only!) So that right there is worth the $10.

Seriously there is a thousand dollars worth of awesome in this thing!

A heap big THANKS! to +Dyson Logos for organizing this!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dungeons on my mind

I haven't drew a map in awhile, but last night I started on one.  I actually started by writing out a few rooms, not using a pencil and drawing rooms.  This is a bit different for me, usually its draw a map and figure out how to fill it and with what!

I've been feeling quite inspired latetly and I want to start working on a new dungeon, something I can post up here.  (also I haven't been posting much, I apologize).  The inspiration is coming from the following resources:

The 1e DMG:  If you don't have this book, and you don't have the fifth edition dmg, I suggest getting this. Even if you have the fifth edition one, get this.  There's lots of fun stuff in it.  In the back of the book there is a set of dungeon creation tables, NPC traits (much like the 5e version), things found in rooms etc.

DCC Starter Rules & VAM (see previous post).

As well the other day +Mike Evans posted about Mega Dungeons and that lead to an interesting conversation.  Mike does this cool "Discussion of the day" post, every day is different.  During the discussion +Wayne Rossi mentioned that he likes when he has new players at the table, as it changes the dynamic of what is known within the dungeon, and I quote:

"The other thing to understand about megadungeons is that they're not optimal with a stable party of four adventurers who start at the top and work their way down. They work best with an open table."

And of course +Wayne Rossi wrote this great article about Megadungeons that got me thinking.

Anyways, I'm not saying I'm creating a mega dungeon (that's just silly talk that I've said before and didn't follow thru on), but these guys inspired me to start working on a dungeon level, and then hopefully another one and so on haha.

thanks Wayne & Mike!

*Further to an open table theory, I was thinking last night about having my players have 3 different characters, possibly in different parts of the mega dungeon, if a character dies then they can use a different one that they rolled up.  Or alternatively it can be a BIG party where the players have say 3 characters (there are 3 players) and the adventuring party is 9.

and rambling....

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#freerpgdayleads to some awesome loot and ideas!

Which I think is the point right? Well that and getting people into games that haven't played before.  I will start off my tale with this, I noticed "Vagina's Are Magic" pictures cropping up on saturday morning, and prior to that I had heard about it. My first thought was "there is no way there will be any copies in Winnipeg".  My second thought was "my wife is going to love this".

After a brief discussion with +Dyson Logos I learned that stores participating in the day get a case of stuff, and it seems to be all the same stuff going out all over the world.  That awesome fact combined with the fact that OSR is nonexistent in this city, meant there was a real chance that I could get a copy.

Saturday afternoon we headed out to a Comic book collectable store first, as I knew they had some old school D&D books for sale, and I thought I might be able to pick up a module or two for not a ton of money.  Turns out the store sold all their DnD stuff to the next store we were going to!  Which was Game Knight in Winnipeg. (Very cool store BTW, and it was first the time I checked it out, must go back).

So we wandered in, my wife grabbed a copy of VAM, and I grabbed the DCC starter rules (which I'm quite excited about as well).  I asked a dude if they had an "old school DnD" and he pointed me to a stack of orange spined books.  (F**k yah).

I managed to pick up a copy of the 1e DMG (now I own 3 DMGs! more on that later).

*note: this maybe a bit of a long post, but I am making up for being a bit quiet latetly.

I should note that the store was running pathfinder. And If I knew about DCC before hand, and If I had a "in" with the place I totally would have ran DCC.  I do plan to talk to the good folks at the store.


Alright, I'll admit it.  I'm just as bad as the next guy when it comes to shopping on amazon, in big box stores.  I hate myself for it, and I try not to do it as much as I can.  For almost all the rpg stuff I've purchased its either been online, or at a local gaming store.  For other things I've went to big box stores.  Come to think of it, I think I only bought one thing on amazon, and it was a hard to find thing.  Whenever I get around to buying some more new 5e stuff I'll be going to a FLGS (specifically gameknight as its a cool store), rather than saving the $3 and buying it on amazon.  Now I am aware that I'm a publisher, and I've been cutting out the local store and selling directly online.  I am however going to change that, when I have something nice and decent sized, well packaged to try and sell them.  From a marketing standpoint (I've thought about this for awhile).  The only way that I sell an OSR type product in this city is to have a set of rules that come with the product.  And of course be priced in a reasonable range.  For a few reasons.  1.  If someone is going to buy something they will buy a brand they are familiar with (or something compatible with that brand) especially when they have limited funds to do so.  and 2.  The city I live in is notoriously cheap.  haha.  Anyways, that's that tangent.  The gist of which is I need to get something completed to put out there.  And then maybe get a few other titles together for down the road perhaps.  Or write for that audience.  Or get a OSR thing happening.

I've had a bit of a cursory read of the book, and it's pretty cool.  The layout is awesome, the spells are cool, and the art is NSFW.  (but also pretty awesome).  The whole point of grabbing this book was for one reason (okay two, I wanted to read it as well).  To get my wife to read an rpg thing, and take ownership of an aspect of the game.

The fact that it states on the back of the book that it's for female characters (not females in general, dudes can use the book, they just got to play a female character).

What I'm hoping is, she reads the book and get's excited about the spells.

Then she can go ahead and create a character with them, and light whatever adventure I plan on fire.


Okay, the first edition DMG is awesome.  It is a bit of a mess layout wise, and how some thing flow into completely "what the heck?" things. And in some spots it might be a bit "ranty".  (large swell of gygax fans crucifying me in their minds).  This book has some really great advice, regardless of what version of the game you are running (or what version/clone osr game you are playing).  It has some awesome fun tables.  I cannot wait (I repeat) cannot wait to use the table for mixing potions!  I was telling this kid in the store about it.

It was rather funny, after I grabbed the DMG and our loot, I went up to the counter to pay.  There was this young dude working the till and when he saw the book he had this moment of AWE.  "WOW! I didn't know we even had this!!! WOW, just WOW!".  I proceeded to show him a few of the tables (including the potion one) and then explain OSR.  He had started with D&D 3.5 and was now firmly entrenched in pathfinder.

Anyways, of the 3 DMGs I own (wow I own three), this is one of my favourites!  The fifth edition DMG is also very awesome, and handy.  I have to admit, the 2nd edition one is about my least favourite and least helpful.  Although there are some nuggets of cool in it.


While I have no idea if using VAM and DCC together will blow up the game (I honestly don't care, I intend to do it), if my wife, or someone else creates a character with vam they can try it out.  The DCC rules came with 2 adventures!  And the basic rules.  Which I've sort of read, atleast the beta rules which are online right here.  And here's a quickstart guide.

One thing that's not yet straightened out for me (and I can't find anywhere.. help?)
Where does a player find their initial reflex, will and fortitude.

Anyhow, if someone could let me know about that.  With the 2 adventures that came with the startup rules (one of which is a funnel) and the trolls of mistwood that I grabbed awhile ago. I have more than enough DCC entertainment for awhile.  When I first read DCC I didn't quite get it.  I think mostly because I never really played 3 on.  That and the funky dice threw me for a loop.  (they still do).  But reading the starter rules again with fresh eyes, it makes sense to me.   As well I think my group will really like it.  Because it's just about having fun in the dungeon really.  We tend to drink a lot and act like goof balls when play rpgs.  Plus they are all metal heads.

DCC seems just crazy enough for me, and it looks like it will be fairly easy to DM (as far as checks, combat, etc are concerned).  I just wonder how many times I'll be looking up tables.  I might have to dog ear them.

So whenever we want a one shot that could become a few more adventures, I'm totally prepared.  (Once I read the rules of course).

PS I need to take an RPG shelfie.   It's grown by leaps and bounds in the last year!  I am honestly enjoying collecting and reading some of these long forgotten books.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stellar Adventures released on pdf

I'm stoked about this!  After a successful kickstarter Stellar Adventures has been released on pdf.   Stellar Adventures is based Advanced Fighting Fantasy, a role playing game set in space.  Written by +Graham Bottley and Johnathan Hicks. 

Here's the blurb. 

This standalone game will allow just about any type of SciFi adventures from soldiers in powered armour vs vicious alien monsters to the command crew of an imperial frontier explorer ship.  Small time traders moving between starports to space bounty hunters.  Dystopian robot hunters to rebels fighting against a corrupt government.
The core rules have all been planned out, and the first draft of several chapters have been written, but we would like interested KS backers to join the playtest of the game as soon as the campaign has finished.
The game has the same core rules as the fantasy version of AFF, but has new skills, talents, weapons, armour and rules.
The provisional Chapter list is:
     Chapter 1 - Hero Creation
     Chapter 2 - Game Rules
     Chapter 3 - Combat
     Chapter 4 - Equipment
     Chapter 5 - Robots
     Chapter 6 - Starships and Vehicles
     Chapter 7 - Psionics
     Chapter 8 - Aliens
     Chapter 9 - Trade and Organisations
     Chapter 10 - Setting Ideas
     Chapter 11 - Campaign Ideas
The book includes artwork from the original fighting fantasy game books: Rebel Planet, Star Strider and Robot Commando. 
It appears that the print copies are in the works as per the kickstarter 
"I am uploading the print versions today and so hopefully should be in a position to order test copies in a week or so"
Also I just noticed that the "Starship Catalog" has also been released on pdf: go here
This supplement for the Stellar Adventures RPG provides statistics and descriptions of a wide range of starships, component modules and weapons.  Presented as a Dealer’s Catalogue, every item here for sale is fully illustrated and includes a sales pitch from one of our highly experienced and knowledgeable salespeople (or salesrobot). 

Included within you will find:
53 Starships
26 Modules
10 Weapon Classes

Considering how well the updated version of AFF2.0 was written, I'm sure this will once again be a great rpg system to run.  Graham stuck with the original concepts and rules and tweaked them to fix the leveling problems in the original version of the advanced game.  I remember fondly playing Star Strider & Robot Commando when I was kid, and enjoyed them thoroughly.  It never dawned on me to use the aff rules to play a sci fi game, partially because for whatever reason when it came to RPGs for me it was all about the "dragons, dungoeons, elves, etc".  

I'm curious to see how this book is in relation to the AFF rules, I'm sure having both in hand you could do some interesting stuff.  Just like gamma world, you could run a game with characters starting off in a medieval society, and then getting better technology.  Or the mashup I've been working towards, a Thundarr the barbarian game!  

I like the starship catalog, it's cool having some extra mini's for games.  If you haven't checked out some of Graham's mini's please do, they pretty awesome.  Here's the link
Damn it I'm excited. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Elf Game Hexes

I decided to start a crowd sourced hex map for "elf games" on the facebook "Fuck Yah DIY RPG" Group.  If you want to get in on it, come on over

Here's the info. 

Feel like making a hex?
Description: Traditional "elf" games map. (Wizards, Orcs, etc)
*Not every hex needs to be done
*Add rumours,location based events, descriptions.
*system agnostic please
*There's plenty for everyone!
*Don't worry about writing this in numerical order, I'll sort it out later.
Note: In the end I'll put it together and create a free downloadable pdf.
Here's a bit higher resolution pdf

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blog title retraction and Rakastas!

Alright so I titled yesterday's post "Making Fifth Edition more crunchy".  It really should have been "Making Fifth Edition more smooth peanut butter".  But that makes even less sense!  In reality it was a quick way to make Fifth edition more deadly.  However that title has been used to death already in blog posts.  As stated, if you want to make fifth edition more like an old school game, you can follow what I posted in the previous blog.  OR you could just play an old school game.

Now I've been working up the idea of running Isle Of Dread, and stumbled upon the fact that the Rakasta are not in fifth edition, so this tonight I'm going to take the stats from "Rage of the rakasta" and use the quick conversion guide, and start prepping.

One thing I was thinking about the other night, was in the DMG they placed the Isle of dread in the plane of water for some reason.  I guess just changing the lore a little bit.  The idea rolling around my head was to finish the starter set, and then somehow whisk the players off to the Isle of dread, either by taking a ship out of neverwinter, or maybe waterdeep.  I had a few ideas about running the "mere of the deadmen" after the starter set, and I still might.

*Please note if your one of my fifth edition players, I won't be running the starter set, mere of the deadmen or Isle of dread.  I will be running something entirely different than stated, so don't read ahead.

As a side note, I've been a bit quiet on the blog.  I honestly blame summer.  It's nice outside, I'm spending time on the deck enjoying the weather.  I'm going to guess that the 3 Toadstools blogposts will ramp up when it gets colder out.

That's my 2cents for the day.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Making fifth edition a bit more crunchy

What I'm talking about here is throwing out challenge levels and making the game a bit tougher.

This blog is prompted by a discussion from the DIY facebook group, on making fifth edition a bit more crunchy/old school.  There are a lot of ways to make the game a bit closer to Old school, here are a few ways:

*  Roll attack & damage dice in front of the screen.  Don't use any averages from the monster manual

*  No feats or boons

*  No cantrips

*  Save or Die.  Increase the amount that needs to be roll from 10 to 15+. (Use B/X tables as per fighter level).

*  Magical items, one time use, or limited charges

*  Throw out CRs.  The world is a big place, the players may not always stumble upon something they can handle.

*  At first level roll your hit points, don't use level maximum.

*  Do away with skills, and just use ability checks.  (use roll under on 2d6 - easy, 3d6 medium, 4d6 hard!)

*  Short rest you regain 1 HD worth of Hit points.  Provided your rest was not interrupted.

*  Long rests can only happen once a week (or whatever the optional rule is in the back of the DMG, check that).

That being said, honestly fifth edition is balanced, it was built that way.  If you really want a crunchy game, play an actual old school game.  Here is a list