Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm addicted to drawing hex maps!

I kind of like the idea of having a small little campaign world, atleast for starters.  Easy map to hand out to the players, and its got all the numbers which is handy as well!  It can obviously be extended as time goes on.  So I took the liberty to create this.  I actually quite like the town/port names that I came up with!

Thankfully I have already previously written up a few things for villages and ports, so I should be able to snafu that and use it.


Letters from Izaheem-Ythk The Terror - Part 2

Journal Entry 20 

Its been about a month since Patricia the "prudish puffed up pedantic princess" has been my unwanted guest.  I've yet to see any knights storming my lair, although I so long for it!  She grows more irritating every day, constantly whining about her accommodations, the terrible food (what do you expect from goblin cooks I mean really?), the endless drone of "When will my father rescue me?, Why has my prince not come?".  If this keeps up I'm going to have to find a psychology book!  Of course that will be for my sake not hers.  Although I've never disintegrated someone on purpose, if this keeps up she may well become the first.  I've considered personally taking her home.  Its been years since I've flown the breadth of the land, I may have to stretch my wings soon and drop this dimwit off at her father's place, if this keeps up.  The real problem with flying, especially anywhere "civilized" is that you get the cries of "Oh my god! a dragon! get the pitchforks, the flaming arrows ready, battle stations!"  Etc.  Which goes back to my original problem of being lonely, people will always judge a book by its cover, especially when the cover has large teeth, breaths fire and is covered in "hard as nails" scales.  

A thought came to me lately, Patricia is obviously not scared of me, however there maybe something that can be done to get rid of her!  I still can't quite figure out how she finds me harmless, is there some kind of princess diaries that I'm unaware of?  Maybe a user group? 

Griglog and his band of minions have been more than happy having her annoying company, I've considered trying to get them to scare her away.  The unfortunate problem is that Griglog really doesn't communicate well.  During a recent break in the "drone" when she went of to use the the facilities I tried to explain my plan to Griglog.  

"Griglog! Come here" 

"Yesssss master? What can Griglog do?"

"I need you to get rid of the princess!" 

"Has Griglog done something wrong? Maybe I should make boiled chicken?" 

"No, Griglog your food is fine, that's not what I'm trying to tell you.  If anything she seems to like it.  I need you to get rid of the princess, scare her away!" 

"I do care for her from far away" 

"Nevermind" 

The goblin stood before me forgetting to wipe the drool from his mouth, starring blank eyed.  Mental note, find better minions. 

Alas, I've been working on some more conjurations, I've successfully been able to create a bunny from thin air.  I'm hoping with some practice maybe I'll be able to create something actually scary, which will frighten that half wit.  More research is needed. 

-Izaheem-Ythk The Apparent Terror





Monday, November 25, 2013

Letters from Izaheem-Ythk The Terror - Part 1

I can't count how many times I've tried to write my life story.  I sit down and try to put quill to paper, but I always stop myself for fear that no one wants to read my story.  I'm sure this feeling has overwhelmed other writers.  It can be disheartening.  After a recent conversation with a true friend, he talked me into atleast attempting to do this.  Thankfully I hadn't thrown out all of my journal entries, and I decided to post a few up here to see if there is any interest in reading my story.  - Izaheem-Ythk the apparent "Terror".  

Journal Entry 19, 

It's gloomy as usual in this cave, I should really try and find some new lair, maybe atop a mountain so that I can bask in the glow of the sunshine.  I've not exiled myself to the bowels of the earth on purpose, more to the point it is out of necessity.  You see it always seems that someone breaks in here on a "quest" or in search of  or "treasure".  Damn simpletons!  What about knowledge?  I'd honestly prefer to just have a conversation maybe even a friend?  The loneliness does get to me, although I have had my fair share of visitors here, some good and some bad.  Here is the story of a recent event (and when I say recent in your time it maybe a hundred years, my concept of time is quite a bit different).  But I digress, I had been leafing thru an old tome recounting the history of a elder Lich and its rise to lichdom, very interesting stuff, although not a light read whatsoever.  I hear this sound, well not a sound so much as an annoying tone, that was continuous!  What is that drone?  I raise my head to see what "fresh hell" has come thru my door, There standing before me is a maiden dressed in a flowing blue gown.  She is covered from head to toe with dust, I'm guessing from the caverns beyond.  (mental note I need the minions to do a better job cleaning)  I grumble, and do my best low growl voice that I can (its been years since I've said anything).  "What business do you bring?"  

The lass stands before me now, hand over the top of her head looking up at me.  "My name is Patricia and I've run away from home! I await rescue!".  I shake my head,  really another damsel in distress.  "I've left a note on my father's desk, he is to send a handsome worthy man to come and find me, while I wait, get me something nice to eat and a bed to sleep on will you" she flatly states.  

Why does this continue to happen? Another prudish puffed up pedantic princess awaiting rescue from the terrible Izaheem! And this one seems particularly annoying & demanding.  

"Dragon! I need a bed and something to eat! Quick"  She screams at me.  

I shake my head... why do I want visitors again? 

-Izaheem 

Realms Advice

I was re-reading the "Sword Of The Dales" and the campaign setting for Forgotten Realms over the weekend.  The Sword of the Dales seems like a good point to start with, especially considering the heroes can start with Shadowdale as the home base.  In the Shadowdale book (in the campaign setting) there is another adventure called the Twister Tower, which seems a bit too huge and daunting to DM as well for the PC's (apparently its levels 1-3, yet they have to fight some drow?)   The logical conclusion I'm coming to is to possibly start with the Sword of the Dales, and maybe pick up the rest of that trilogy (spiderhaunt woods, and return of randal morn).  then either move to the shadowdale adventure, which could lead to Menzoberranzan or possibly, Myth Drannor or the Zhentarim (I think there is modules for that?).

Has anybody ran these? I'm guess there is some people out there.  What I'm trying to figure out is what is the logical choices here, in order.  Obviously Myth Drannor is meant for some pretty tough hero's, as well as menzoberranzan.

Thoughts?


Finished up the halflings gem.

Such a great trilogy! If you get a chance read it.  I have the original series of Drizzt that I may start reading, and the "legacy" of the drow, however I only have book 2 & 4, and obviously something major happens in book 1 (which I believe is Legacy).  So I may have to go grab those other 2 off amazon.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Another Hex map I started.


The Halflings Gem - Conclusion To The Icewind Dale Trilogy

I'm deep into the last book in the Icewind Dale Trilogy "The Halflings Gem".  I love how much the characters in the book are you "typical" personality's, atleast as far as D&D goes.  Bruenor, the ever stubborn, scottish speaking grumbly dwarf, Regis the halfling "rumblebelly" brings to mind the Mary &   Pip from LOTR, more concerned with their belly's than adventure.  Of course the might Wulfgar, is so much Conan, its crazy!   However despite the fact that the books have a lot of these personality's they don't dissuade my from reading them at all!  I admit I'm a Drizzt fanboy, freely.  And since reading the first 3 dark elf books I've been hooked.

All that being said, reading books that take place in the realms, has got me re-reading a lot of my old D&D books.  I have the menzoberranzan campaign setting, the FR one and the Dale's sourcebook (which is apparently highly coveted).  I also just picked up a cheap copy of Myth Drannor, that i'm currently pouring over.

As to wether I will run the realms again I'm not sure as of yet.  I do miss Elminster.  As I posted the other day I sent home one of my players with my old 2nd edition books, in hopes that he may get into DMing as well (that makes me smile), but I also sent him home with the first 2 books in the trilogy.  Of course there is a possibility that we may end up in the realms after he finishes them.  I guess the thing about the Realms is that is very much the typical type of campaign world that we all quite like (or secretly like).  For instance just latetly I started working on a big Hex map that's 11x17.  looking back at it, its slowly becoming my own version of the realms.  Not to say that I should stop myself from creating my own campaign world.  I do love that idea, because no one can say "hey that's not right!".  Much like playing in a band when you write your own material, nobody can say your playing it wrong.

We have agreed as a group that we are going to need a re-set as far as RPGing is concerned.  As to wether we play D&D, Basic Fantasy, or AFF, is to be decided eventually.  The one good thing that we have agreed to is a semi weekly game.  Which begs the question "Shane do you have time to pull this off?".

That was a ramble!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interesting gaming convo last night

Enjoyed a nice big spicy pot of chili and a few glasses of wine with my players last night.  We didn't get around to playing any RPG's but that's fine, as we did have a really good conversation about D&D what they would like to do.

First things first one my players had been doing a bit of research (I love it when they do research!) and had come to the conclusion that is always better to have a DM run a campaign/game that he created rather than play something that is existing.  Which gives me more fuel to go ahead and create my own campaign world, etc.  :)

Obviously I"ll post it up when its done for other's to borrow, steal, use etc.  I'm now in thinking mode!

The other very cool thing from last night was that I sent home that same player with my 2nd Edition books, figuring after he gets thru all of them "here's a bit of light reading!".  In hopes that maybe I'll get to play a PC eventually :)

YAH!

So begins the building of a campaign world, and adventures.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ah!!!! Critical screw up!

I've come to the conclusion that I need to make a few quick critical miss tables for when ability checks go awry!  Rather than the PC attempting to try something again, have a epic conclusion to the failure of there check.

Roll a D4

Lock-picking

1 - break the lockpick, pick wedged inside lock
2 - drop lock on foot, door opens, 1d2 damage to foot
3 - poke lockpick into hand/eye, 1d2 damage
4 - fumble lock pick creating apparent noise

Sneaking/Move Silently
1 - trip and swear loudly
2 - walk directly into a torch light
3 - step on a crack, floor creaks
4 - Sneak so successfully that the other PC's can't see you!

Bartering/Charisma
1 - $ prices of goods go up by 5%, offended merchant
2 - It appears that the item you wanted to purchase is no longer in stock (backordered? lol)
3 - The item you would like is on hold for another customer
4 - While handling item you break it, (you just bought it!)

Climbing/Dex Check
1 - Fall and hurt yourself 1D4 short distance, walk with a limp
2 - snag clothing on something, decrease effectiveness of armor class
3 - Brick or tree branch falls, loud sound!
4 - Spill a potion, making climbing more difficult

Intelligence/Wisdom Check
1 - Total brain fart, you used to know what that item was, but can't quite remember
2 - Remember only partially what the item was used for
3 - Something catches your eye and you forget what you were doing
4 - Feel saddened by your stupidity -1 INT for the rest of adventure

Strength Check
1 - Drop whatever you were carrying 1D4 damage to toe, walk with limp
2 - Break your arm/leg/weapon due to overwhelming surge of strength
3 - Arms/legs give out.
4 - Tuckered yourself out, need a nap or food to regain lost energy

Some of these might be a bit silly, but may offer a bit of randomness.




Couple of quick pre-gens


The following are a few pre-generated characters for use with the gloomwood module.  Feel free to create your own using an OSR compatible game system.


Graglar Rufflestout
Male Dwarf Cleric 1st Level HD: 1D6

Str 10
Int 11
Dex 4
Con 16
Wis 11
Cha 6

Leather Armor 7(12), Mace 1D6


Wardur Blarginstone
Male Human Barbarian 1st Leve HD: 1D8

Str 16
Int 12
Dex 8
Con 9
Wis 11
Cha 13

Leather Armor 7 (12), 2 Handed Sword 1D10


Halan Semplewood
Female Elf Fighter 1st Leve HD: 1D8

Str 10
Int 11
Dex 13
Con 7
Wis 12
Cha 11

Leather Armor 7 (12), Short Sword 1D6, Short Bow 1D6.


Rishker The Sneak
Female Halfing Thief 1st Leve HD: 1D4

Str 10
Int  14
Dex 13
Con 8
Wis 9
Cha 14

Leather Armor 7 (12), Dagger 1D4, Short Bow 1D6.

Thief Skills %
Climb Walls 85%
Delicate Tasks 20%
Hear Sounds 3 In 6
Hide In Shadows 20%
Move Silently 30%
Open Locks 20%


Yizwig Feathertoe
Male Human Wizard 1st Level HD:1D4

Str 11
Int 13
Dex 12
Con 17
Wis 6
Cha 9
No Armor 9 (10) Dagger 1D4 Sling 1D4
Spells: Charm Person, Detect magic, Light, Magic Missle, Protection From Evil

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gloomwood Forest PREVIEW

Hey everybody! Hope you had a good weekend.  I just finished up my preview of Gloomwood Forest, The download is below.  It is OSR Compatible .  Quick note, this is a preview, I still have to finish the bandit camp section.  But if you get a chance to download it, and give me some feedback that would be great! I plan to playtest this, this week.  My PC's are currently playing in the "Keep On The Borderlands", so the forest in this module can be north of the keep.  Alternatively you can use this as a sidetrek adventure.  I plan to play with Blueholme rules, you can download them here - http://dreamscapedesign.net/

Download the PDF of Gloomwood Forest Here





















Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rulesets

A little discussion over at the OSR Google + Community has got me thinking about house rules & rule sets in general.  Not that I'm going to jump on this, but from all the retro clones I've read this last year I've come to quite a lot of conclusions on how I'd like to run a game.  Maybe one day I'll figure something out and create a system for myself.

Here's a few ideas.

Do away with the 6 D&D attributes and possibly goto the microlite 3.  Mind, Dex, Str or whatever it is.  As Base skills,  

Use Difficulty class for checks. - so simple.

Possibly incorporate "Skills" and "skill checks" from advanced fighting fantasy.  For me its a character development tool, but it also can be a bit hindering I suppose.  Depending on the situation.  A PC' try's to do something he doesn't have a skill in what happens then?

Include +Venger Satanis  33% Chance ruling.  Basically someone comes up with an idea, roll percentile dice, it its under 33% it succeeds.

Magic - Ugh.... I've never loved the idea of spells just disappearing.  I'd go with a magicka pool.  And probably a specific spell blast that can be used at any time.

Initiative & Morale - Gone... I don't like em.

Ascending AC - Its just easier.

Luck! - Rather than have save vs this or die, luck checks to avoid disaster.  Luck however is limited and does not refresh, so if you have a luck of 8, and you check it becomes 7.  As times goes on you realize that you can't always use luck.  Of course eventually it will return, but that depends on your character and actions.

Experience - I just read lately that one DM just levels everyone up after an adventure.  This is an interesting concept.  In AFF its similar, after the adventure is finished, everyone levels up and add's to their skills etc.  The reason I like this, is due to the fact I really don't like killing PC's, spending inordinate amounts of time coming up with storylines and adventures just to have them butchered isn't fun for me.  That and the fact that I can throw bigger scarier monsters at em!

Obviously there is a bunch of contradicting things above, that I'd have to figure out.  Every system has its downfalls & pluses in my mind.  AFF, I love the skill checks, but dislike combat.  Microlite is genuis in a lot of ways, the stripped downess of it, but then that can be a bit of a problem as well.  D&D , I really like Ascending AC, varied weapon damage, I dislike Initiative & Morale, Experience, 6 attributes.







Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Teaser Map for Gloomwood Forest

Got inspired this morning, and I have the first map created along with a rough outline of most of the adventure!  Here's the teaser map.  Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writing 2 campaigns at once, yup I'm nuts!

I currently have 2 campaigns on the go, one that I'm writing for AFF that's going to be semi railroadey for my players, and a greek themed module.  The AFF campaign is going along well, although I haven't actually put a lot of pen to paper just yet, mostly just all the ideas that are swimming around my head.  I really want this to be the most epic thing I can come up with.  Although that maybe doomed to fail saying that out loud.  The first adventure, the heroes are going to have to deal with a dragon.  Yup, screw the orcs, I'm sending em straight into the Wyrm's nest! What my plan is is to have 3 destinations (adventures) that need to be completed, regardless of order.  So the heroes' will have a choice in that they need to decide which one to do first.  As AFF adventures are written very much like a movie script , they are to a degree railroadey, although I think I'm fine with it at this point, as my players are newbs and this will allow them to really role play, which is what I think they want.  After the fiasco hack n slash of kotb, this should be a welcome change.  What I decided to do was to write up the bad guys stats first, to give me an idea of what they PC's will be up against.  All the political stuff is broiling in my head.  But the plan thus far is for the world to be 200 years into the future after the books are finished (terry brooks magic kingdom for sale).  This way some of the main bad guys are still around, but any specific characters from the books are not.

2nd campaign. I've taken a bit of a break from writing this, other than to work on some maps.  I still have loads of good ideas, but it will be a matter of really sitting down and working everything out.  Unfortunately I can't do both at the same time, so one has to take a back seat, and I guess it has to be the module for the time being.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lots of blogging today! Rules Mash up idea

I was thinking today about Microlite and Advanced Fighting Fantasy, and I had an idea about a very easy mechanic that might be fun to try as a mashup idea.  I quite like the Skill tests in AFF, wether it being a Skill Test + specific skill, roll under, and how microlite splits up skills into 3 things, (mind, str, dex i believe).   In AFF anytime you want to try something you test your skill, (and any extra specific skill) so for example, you want to pick a lock.

Skill 7 + Lockpick skill + 1 = 8.  Roll under 8 and you succeed.

While having just a one test thing to know if a specific action works is absolutely handy, and straight an to the point.  Having it split up into 3 things makes a bit more sense as well.  So instead of just a quick test.  or a Difficult class sorta thing.  What might be cool is to have a D6 based skills game, where the basic Skill modifier is replaced with the microlite kind of version.   Of course this would be dependent on class as well.  So for example

A Warrior may look like this - STR 8 DEX 5 MIND 4
Whereas a Wizard might look like this STR 4 DEX 6 MIND 8
and a thief, obviously the DEX would be higher.

The other thing I wouldn't mind incorporating is the ascending armor class, as it makes for one less roll per encounter.   In AFF the Hero & The Monster both roll there skills + dice roll, whoever wins then rolls damage and the other guy rolls what the armor reduces.

Wheras the D20 mechanic is roll over the AC , then roll damage.  thus allowing both the monster and the PC to inflict damage at the same time, which makes a bit more sense in a battle.

The other thing that's kicking around my head is Mass Battles, I need to re-read the rules stated on this blog - http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.ca/2012/08/advanced-fighting-fantasy-and-d-quick.html

But what I'm thinking is the following, same idea as AFF as far as the combat mechanic goes, minus the damage/armor stuff.  Basically the hero's would be in charge of a large battle with 10 different pieces in the army, and the bad guys the same thing.

Hero's Army

Fighting Men Skill 5 Stamina 14
Archers Skill 5 Stamina 14

Etc

Bad Guys
Orcs Skill 5 Stamina 14
Goblins Skill 4 Stamina 13

On a large board I would give little markers for each group with the stats on them, and we can move them around the terrain deciding who goes after who.  All damage would be D6 based.  More like the original version of AFF I suppose.  Of course thruout the battle I would switch to "What's happening in the now" with the PC's and have them battle a specific monster one on one, then back to the actual warfare.






MIN/MAXERS BE DAMNED! I WANNA PLAY A GOOFBALL

If i ever get a chance to roll up a character and play, I plan to be a extremely dimwitted halfling thief, I mean, whatever is the lowest intelligence score I'll go with that! (class restrictions) that way I can do shit like "My PC runs blindly into a battle with ogres, COME ON GUYS WE CAN TAKE EM!" 

The idea of actually role playing is what is sparking this (not roll), look at those attributes and figure it out.  Did you roll a low strength? play is up, "I see there's some bars that need to be lifted, take it easy barbarian, i got this!".  and then fail miserably.  

Its so easy to try and figure out the best min/maxing type PC and go with that, but what fun is there in that? I got a STR of 18 and + 9 Battle Axe, send me a demon! 

Just some thoughts this afternoon, sparked by a discussion with +Venger Satanis 

Read his blog here - 
http://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/





Christmas is coming don't forget your fellow gamers!

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, I've started thinking about Christmas! One of my players, who I just recently got into D&D, I decided I'm going to grab him a set of dice and print off B/X , just basic D&D for him.  Figured that's a great way to get a DM! hahahha  I'd love to play a PC one time.  Besides which I think it will be a nice semi homemade gift.

In other news, I'm still working on my AFF campaign for my players, its getting big and out of control at this point! I'm thinking because I've decided to use an existing book that I may have the players actually play Characters from the book rather than just creating characters that are in the world.  For example...

Years after the king has passed away, his daughter maybe one of the PC's that I create.  I feel like it will have the PC's roleplay a bit better, and get imersed in the story.  Rather than the plot device of the Daughter coming to the PC's for help, just make her one of them.

The premise so far, is that the king died fighting a demon, once the demon killed the king, he took the medallion that protected the lands from evil.  The demon then returned to the pits of hell.   Or when the demon killed the king, in the throws of battle the medallion was split into 3 separate pieces and scattered thruout the land.  I think that maybe the plan!

Now years later the Daughter is found by the kings wizard and is sent on a quest to reclaim the throne and the lands.  The medallion is magically imbued with a power that not only affects the kings castle, but the surrounding lands.  In the absence of the king the lands have become deteriorated, the castle tarnished.

A few of the main NPC's are a Dragon who once helped the king, the demon, a witch who lives in the mists.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hunt For Valathune

A few months ago I posted up a cover for a version of the "Hunt For Valathune", which is a basicfantasy module that I modified.  Well I'm modify it even more! Keeping my original map and adding another one I should have a semi new module to put up very soon.  I do have to blame my ADD for all these changes that I continue to make, but don't fret 80% of the work has been done lol! This is going to be a continuation of my current "keep on the borderlands" campaign.  I"ll keep you posted.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Movember Time!

I'm growing a 70's porno guy mustache! for Movember. I just built a page on Power 97. You can donate here, I'll post a picture shortly mobro.co/shaneward293

Movember (a portmanteau word from moustache and "November") is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer and associated charities. The November Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com.[1] The goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health."[2]
By encouraging men (which the charity refers to as "Mo Bros") to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides getting an annual check-up, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of any family history of cancer, and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.[3]
Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run Movember events to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression, in Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, events were launched in Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United States.[4][5]
It has spread from Australia to South Africa, Europe, and North America.[6][7] As of 2011 Canadians were the largest contributors to the Movember charities of any nation.[8][9] In 2010, Movember merged with the testicular cancer event Tacheback.[10]
In 2012 the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 NGOs (non government organization) in the world.[11]

Friday, November 1, 2013

One Page Dungeon

Every since seeing the awesome One Page Dungeons over at http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/ I've been wanting to do one, (if not more).  As I'm currently in a bit of a writers block situation with the module I started, I decided to switch gears and try a 1 pager, I love the idea! However rather than a dungeon I'm doing a forest crawl :) I have the map mostly done, I have to just people it with monsters, err.. monsterize it! and write a hook.  Hopefully I'll get that done this weekend.


We don't server your kind in here, you'll have to wait outside

"We don't server there kind in here, the droids will have to wait outside" - Star Wars Episode 4 

I've been reading the Crystal Shard from the Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore.  I actually picked up all three books at a used book fair for like $8.46 CDN.  SCORE!  Obviously I'm getting some great ideas as I'm reading the books.  One that has come to mind (although I don't condone it) is racism.  The fact that barely anyone speaks to Drizzt in Ten-Towns, he has few friends, and most of the residents shy away from and look upon Drizzt as a outsider.  This really strikes a chord with me.  I know for example that in some books (campaign settings) its suggested to "look down on other races with distrust" especially in  human settlements.  This brings up a interesting role play situation.  For example in the adventures I've ran, my players are usually a dwarf and a elf, (wierdo combo).  I've never really played up the apparent racism, although I'm considering it.  Have you?