Saturday, August 19, 2017

rpgaday2017 - one shot

I decided to do this in a one shot, so if you don't want to read my responses, its only one blog post rather than 31 or so.

1.  what published rpg do you wish you were playing right now? 
Pretty much anything at this point, I've been going thru a bit of a slow period.  I'd like to run basic D&D for the old school group at some point (they greatly prefer basic fantasy).  And at some point I'd like to run the 5e group thru something other than 5e, even if its a one shot.  Maybe advanced fighting fantasy 2.0. 

2.  What is an RPG you would like to see published? 
To tell you the truth, I think almost every base has been covered as far as genres are concerned.  What might be interesting is an RPG based on HE MAN, and other 80s cartoons out there.  

3.  Where do you find out about new RPGs? 
Google plus!  And

4.  Which RPG have you played the most since August 2016?
Fifth edition - Curse of Strahd campaign. 

5.  Which RPG cover captures the spirit of the game? 
I really dig the red box cover, with the warrior and the dragon.  That said the Erol Otus cover for S&W is probably my fav.  

6.  If you could game ever day for a week what would you do?
I think I would run the birthright setting for 2e, and everyday would be "ex number" of years.  So the whole week might end up being a 20 year campaign.  That would be interesting, but probably a lot of math. 

7.  What was your most impactful game session? 
I think the very first old school group game, it was supposed to be a one shot, but ended up being a 12 game session campaign.  Starting with "beneath brymassen" from the basic fantasy adventure anthology, then we did "the lizardmen of Illzathatch" and "tomb of gardag the strange" which was quite fun.  

8.  What is a good RPG to play for sessions that are 2 hours or less?
I'd say any iteration of Swords & Wizardry, you can get playing rather quickly.  High up on the list of "nope!" would be 5e, due to character creation taking longer than 2 hours.  Unless of course you use a pre gen.  Even then I find that it drags a bit during play.  We might have 1 encounter in 2 hours. 

9.  What is a good rpg to play for 10 sessions?
I've played basic fantasy and 5e for more than ten sessions and enjoyed both of them thoroughly.  It depends on who is DMing. 

10.  Where do you go for RPG reviews?

11.  Which dead game would you like to see reborn?
it's a board game, not an rpg technically.  But if someone wants to put out new adventures for HerosQuest I'd be all over that!  

12.  Which RPG has the most inspiring artwork?
Difficult question. I really dug the 3rd edition printing of Swords & Wizardy, as well the Whitebox Medieval Fantasy rules for art.  As well lotfps Vaginas are magic.  OH! and I totally forgot, pretty much anything DCC just gets me going, I love all the cover art, and the way they lay it out, etc. 

13.  Describe a game experience that changed how you play? 
I think that the more you play a game, the further you get into it.  I remember first running KOTB with my wife & her cousin,  they basically attacked everything.  As time has gone on they have got a LOT better at role playing, not roll playing. I personally need to follow that lead when I'm a player and actually role play better.  This of course is an ongoing thing. 

14.  Which rpg do you prefer for open ended campaign play? 
I think a set of rules that doesn't have a baked in setting is probably the best idea.  I've waxed about how I dislike the realms, because of all the cannon involved.  Even a game like a Star Wars RPG would be hard to run without destroying something in the universe.  Best plan would be to get some dice and create your own setting and rules, then you can just really do whatever the heck you want right? 

15.  Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most? 
S&W whitebox is infinitely hackable.  I do enjoy playing with B/X however. 

16.  Which RPG do you enjoy playing as is? 
Advanced fighting fantasy 2.0 is great.  Love the setting, and the revision to the rules.  Just play it as is. 

17.  Which RPG have you owned the longest but never played?
My Mom bought me a copy of "Dragon Knight" adventure module for DragonLance (2e) and I've never ran it.  At some point maybe, it's the middle module of a set of 3.  I've downloaded the other 2 and read them.  As you know dragonlance can be a bit railroadey, but epic.  Maybe I'll run it for the 5e group at some point. 

18.  Which RPG have you played the most in your life? 
Well the first rpg I ever got was the 2nd edition of AD&D, so I'll have to go with that one.  As I said a little while ago, if I hadn't discovered the OSR I would A.  Probably not be playing RPGs at all and or B.  I would probably still be playing 2e. 

19.  Which RPG features the best writing? 
I'll wave the fan boy flag and say "pretty much anything that Gary's hands touched" .  I'm currently reading the 1e DMG and there is some great stuff in it.  I've read the 1st edition of greyhawk and it's very cool.  As well some of the other adventures he's written (homlet, toee, kotb).  Obviously everything he wrote wasn't gold, but there is a lot of good nuggets here and there.  

20.   What is the best source for out of print RPGs? and the DMsGuild

21.  Which RPG does the most with the least amount of words? 

22.  Which RPGs are the easiest for you to run? 
Honestly probably second edition, as I've played it the longest.  However I think my house rules mashup would be the actual easiest obviously. 

23.  Which RPG has the most jaw dropping layout?
I really dig Glynn's "Midderlands".  +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) 

24.  Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more? 
Hand's down anything by +James V West 

25.  What is the best way to thank your GM?
Whatever he or she needs to run a game, new adventures or RPGs you want to play, extra dice, mini's!  For awhile our 5e group was buying each other bday presents.  We got minis, campaign adventure books, core books.  

26.  What RPG provides the most useful resources? has a pile of great resources all of which are FREE! And a great community building more content daily. 

27.    What are your essential tools for good gaming?
Imagination, good friends, a couple of nice craft beers.  Obviously dice, and a good adventure to run.  Oh and cheezies and mountain dew! 

28.  What film or series is the biggest source of quotes for your group?
I hate to say it but for me it's totally Monty Python.  There are also a lot of LOTR quotes, and a couple of GoT quotes thrown in for good measure.  

29.  What has been the best run kickstarter that you have backed?
Any kickstarter that has already been written and ready to go.  DCC and Frog God games have been very successful.  Obviously the Midderlands is going to be good.  

30.  What is an RPG mashup you would like to see?
How about a thundarr/he-man/john carter of mars with zombies, mechs and Cthulhu? That might be fun.

31.  What do you anticipate most in gaming in 2018?
I'd like to game more, run a long campaign with a bunch of characters.  I'm sure there will be new 5e releases that someone will buy I can look at.  I personally would like to release a bunch more adventures, time will obviously tell. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Cool death save mechanic idea.
I'm totally using this idea in my next old school game.
The gist of which is a usage dice.
Instead of making a death save as per your character sheet, you roll a 20. If you get anything other than A 1, you live. However next time you are at deaths door you roll a d12. And so on. I'm going to discuss this my players! My wife though it was cool.

Go and check out the dark age of roleplaying channel

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New old school products at OBS August 18th Edition

Zach Best Family Benefit Bundle - $12.61 CAD.  Zach is in hospice, and if you can help out his family by grabbing this bundle that would be wonderful.  If you can't, please share this link with your friends. -


Wolf Packs & Winter Snow - Strange Prehistoric Role Playing - OSR Ruleset.  - It's Pay What You Want.

Battle for the purple islands - A O5R adventure for Crimson Dragon Slayer - $6.30 CAD

The Gunslinger - Character Class for the Frontier RPG.  - $1.25 CAD

Castle Old School - 4800 pages of Epic OSR Gaming - Generators, Character Classes, Random Tables.  - $51.55 CAD

Castles & Crusades - By The Shadow Of Night - Adventure for C&C - $17.64 CAD

Village Backdrop - Needlebriar - System agnostic adventure location background - $4.35 CAD

BlueHolme Character Record Sheets - 6 unique sheets - $1.37 CAD

The Adventurers Almanac - Magic items, festivals, dates, personalities, looks neat.  $16.38 CAD


Empires of the shining seas - (2e) Adventure - $10.07 CAD

Demi Human Deities - (2e) Sourcebook - $10.07 CAD

Cloak & Dagger - (2e) Sourcebook - $10.07 CAD

War Captains Companion - Spelljammer Sourcebook - $10.07 CAD

Secret Of the dread realms - (3e) Ravenloft - $6.29 CAD

Dragon Magic - (2e) Dragonlance Adventure - $6.29 CAD

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Siting in dining tent

This is a pondering blog.  While camping this past week, I spent a lot of time reading about Karameikos.  I have a copy of the grand duchy and the b/x rules which have more than enough information to get you going.  My first read thru I was a bit meh on the whole thing, but now I'm starting to get it a bit better.  Second read thru's always seem to get my mind wrapped around things a bit better.

I was planning on running isle of dread with the old school group, but we have decided that we really can't get together that often.  As well no one ever remembers what we were doing, or where we were going.  So the best plan is to run a mega dungeon, with a open table.  Basically whoever shows up is in.  It might be a bit less structured but whatever it'll be fun.

The old school group is going to be based in Castelean's keep (kotb) and there will be a mega dungeon not far away, in Karameikos.

Whenever it becomes my turn to DM again for the 5e group, I think we will also be in Karameikos.  Because why not right? While I'd love to just run the basic 5e dnd rules, I know the players will want to have a few options from the phb.  Here are the things I'm thinking about for that game.

Classes:  All classes from the phb are allowed
Races:  Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Humans (thyration, tradaldan), Halfings.  The standard fair.  No dark anything, no dragonborn, tieflings, etc.  Half orcs & half elves will be allowed however.

Gods:  The immortals from Karameikos

I intend to ramp up a fight between the black eagle barony & the duke of karameikos at some point.  Slowly send the players thru 1st level to 5th doing minor little quests, starting with guarding a gnome caravan.  There are some great ideas for adventures in the duchy book.  I would also like to push the envelope on the political intrigue.

I also intend to use the slow healing from the back of the 5e dmg.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New old school produts on OBS Aug 12

This is a little late, I was camping.  It was quite nice, minus one pretty wicked rain storm. Anyhow here's some new stuff.

More 2nd edition stuff, lots of silver anniversary modules.

Against the Giants (The liberation of Geoff) 2e - Silver Anniversary

Land Of Intrigue 2e

Return to White Plume Mountain 2e - Silver Anniversary

Return to the keep on the borderlands 2e - Silver Anniversary

The Shattered Circle 2e


Hideouts & Hoodlums [Basic 2nd edition] - Looks like a cool super heroes game.  $5.70 CAD

The Tomb of the Forgotten Toad-People from the Planet of the Nameless Grimoire - Cool one page dungeon with a great name from a neat generator. FREE

Wyrd ways of Walstock - Adventure plus setting $7.59 CAD, doesn't say what system. 

The Fallen Star - one page adventure for Swords & Wizardry Light - PWYW

The Lost Lands (pdf) - Swords & Wizardry adventure - $82.37 CAD

White Box Light - Rules for old school play, looks like a bit of a Asian twist.  (not to be confused with Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.) $2.53 CAD

Friday, August 4, 2017

New old school products on OBS

It appears one of my fav blogs is taking a bit of a break to deal with some personal things.  I wish you all the best Jeremy. ,

In the mean time, I figured I'd do a quick little check on obs to see what's new for Old School.  This probably won't be a regular thing, just figured I had some time today.

Here goes:

Official formerly TSR stuff: Bunch of cool 2nd edition things from WOTC.

Reverse Dungeon: $6.27 CAD.

The Shattered Circle: $6.22 CAD

Destiny of Kings - I remember this from my old dragon magazines, there was a bunch of adverts for it.  I'll probably grab it (once I check my bank balance). $6.27 CAD

Road To Danger - $6.27 CAD (I'm guessing that's 5 bucks USD, seems to be what keeps coming up)

Moonlight Madness: $6.27 CAD.


Furies of the Barrens RPG A science fantasy roleplaying game Written and illustrated by Andrea Sfiligoi Rules based on “The Black Hack”.  $10 CAD

The Hundred Worlds: An Introduction for Players - this looks neat.  Appears to be rules, with a setting and character creation.  I'm going to check it out today. PWYW

OSR: Rules.  PWYW.


Ice Kingdoms: The Temple of Drawoh Rock - Neat adventure, has descending AC, it's PWYW.  I'm downloading it shortly. 

The Atheneum of Yearning - a LOTFP Adventure.  50 rooms, for factional play? It's PWYW.  Downloading it shortly. 

SO2 Clash at Fort ValourCompatible with OSRIC, 1E and 2E game systems.  $12.75 CAD


Sanctum Secorum - Episode #27 Companion - Appears to be a companion to a podcast (which I'll probably check out here's the link).  It's free, there's monsters, curses and a few other neat things.

Castles & Crusades Players Handbook 7th Printing (Alternate Cover) - $27 CAD for the pdf! Looks like a new printing, or atleast a new cover for a printing.  I personally haven't tried C&C yet, but I've heard some good things. 

House Of DarknessHouse of Darkness is a sourcebook intended for use with Dark Dungeons or any other rulebook recreating the classic version of the world's best known roleplaying game. It's PWYW.

Dungeons in Blue - Mega Tile Five Pack #6 [BUNDLE) - Some cool blue maps! I like blue maps.  $5 CAD.

The Trove of Magic Items (Labyrinth Lord) - 100 new magic items for Labyrinth Lord.  $3.77 CAD

Atlas of Mythika: CharybdisA new volume of the Atlas of Mythika for the Mazes & Minotaurs RPG. FREE

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Running KOTB

I've been thinking about having a open game table for my old school group.  As we have had a bit of difficulty with scheduling.  My thought is, to shoot for let's say the last Friday of the month every month.  Whoever can make it, makes it.

While I've had a few thoughts on running some different adventures, I keep going back to KOTB, to really give it one more kick.  I ran it once a long while ago for some of the players from the old school group (when we first started).

The nice thing about the module, is that in essence it's a small mega dungeon.  I've read a lot of good things about how to run it.  Specifically +Wayne Rossi blog .  Wayne has had some pretty good success running the keep the same way I'm thinking of doing.

This morning I decided to google search "tips for running keep on the borderlands".  This is what i've come up with thus far.

Here's a few highlights.
From this thread: 
Maxwell Luther writes:  make sure to set up some mini-quests around the place that don't necessarily involve the Keep and the Caves but get players to explore the mini-sandbox around the Keep. A good one I've always used is to have an elf woman show up in the tavern looking for her lost brother who went 'in search of the unknown' (wink wink) and ended up a meal for the Black Widows in the south of the map. 

Another one is to have one of the merchants or tradesmen in the Keep (the jewel merchant, the provisioner, etc.) start a line in reptile skin clothing and send the players on a safari into the swamps in the southeast. 

Finally, to go along with the crooked priest angle, I have the players witness someone signalling the chaos warrior camp from the battlements at night, link him to the hermit (who used to be a priest but was taken into the woods and cursed into madness by the priest years ago to reduce the clerical strength of the keep) and make sure he has some corrupt guards to kill any prisoners taken in for questioning who might reveal too much. I also set up a few hints about the caves to get folks motivated in that direction, like having a lone survivor of a merchant caravan raid make it to the Keep and tell the adventurers about the prisoners in the Hobgoblin cave.

Third, the Cave of the Unknown is a good place to put a dungeon of your own, but a small one, maybe a half-doze to a dozen rooms, so it doesn't distract too much from the main threat of the Caves of Chaos. I actually link mine by putting a Crypt Thing in the bottom of it who 'geases' the characters into retrieving the evil artifacts from the altar of the chaos priest in the caves and returning them to him.

The most important thing to remember, though, is to treat the whole thing as a mini campaign sandbox that rows and changes as the players explore it: allow your players to get lost, waste time and attack retreat as they will, but also have their exploits means something. As my players make trip after trip into the surrounding area or the Caves and come back alive with money, goblin ears (I set a bounty up for enemy ears after they returned form a couple of trips) and freed hostages, their renown and ability to get information and help from important people grows and more potential adventurers and henchmen will come to the keep to get in on the action. Conversely, the enemy will reinforce, send out ambush parties and assassins and otherwise react to the player's intrusions into the caves, requiring them to get sneakier. In my current run, for instance, the goblins have barricaded themselves into the back of their cave and are on high alert, ready to go for hobgoblin help at the slightest hint of PCs reentering their caves. It's a living world, make the characters actions have an effect on it...

I intend to put b1 "in search of the unknown" near the keep for sure. 

Merricb writes in this thread

Oh, I remember when I first tried to run B2... yeah, it's tricky to run the Keep itself without preparation.

My advice to you is: Ignore the Keep at first. Tell the players that they've taken rooms at the Traveller's Inn, and on the advice of the locals, they've travelled to just outside the Caves of Chaos.

This will get them right into the fun part of the game - the exploration and combat! (Running the Keep can be very fun, but you need experience first).

The Caves have a number of entrances. Describe the two closest to the players (they enter from the open end of the canyon, so that will give them a cave to the left and a cave to the right - leading to goblins and kobolds, IIRC).

As they enter the cave, ask for a marching order - who is in front, who is behind. Describe the darkness of the caves, and the monsters and items they see. Be aware the party may need to flee. Have fun!

The map should be on the cover. It shows a canyon with a number of caves and passages. The PCs will enter from the right-hand side. 

You may wish to read the text on page 14 to your players, which begins "The forest you have been passing through has been getting more dense, tangled, and gloomier than before." and ends "You know that you have certainly discovered the Caves Of Chaos.".

After that, I'd say something like this:
Two caves are fairly close to you. One stands on the southern side of the bluff to your left. A little way ahead and to your right, you can see a cave overhung by a large, twisted tree.

That describes cave D (to the left) and cave A (to the right).

Running this, I will have read all of the early cave descriptions, especially cave A (1-6) and cave D (17-21) and cave E (22).

If the players choose to go left (D):
Inside the cave mouth, you see a 10 foot wide passageway running twenty feet before reaching a crossroads; the passages seem to have been carved out of the rock.

If the players choose to go right (A):
Roll a d6; if you roll a 1 or 2: 
As you approach the cave and begin to peer inside, suddenly it's raining small, dog-headed humanoids from the tree above! Kobolds! They run forward brandishing long daggers and attack!

Proceed to your first combat.

Alternatively, if you roll a 3-6:
Inside the cave, the passageway runs twenty feet before reaching a T-junction. A small dog-headed humanoid - a kobold - peers nervously around the corner from the right-hand side before disappearing with a bark of dismay, and you can hear it running away calling an alarm!

Note that there's a guardpost of 6 kobolds just inside the cave-mouth at 1. The kobolds will not step on the pit-trap, although your players might as they chase the kobolds...

Here's a few blog posts of interest as well.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Stone Stump

I've been slowly working on a home base for my next little adventure.  It's called "Stone Stump", because when my Wife and I were walking our dog, we came across a stump with a large stone on it.  I thought, "well that's a good name for a little village isn't it?".

I'm using Jeff's twenty campaign questions and slowly filling out the details.  (It's a great inspirational resource).

I like to inject a bit of humour into the things I write (see blacksmith).

I was thinking about the adventurer's guild, and I might go with a bunch of old pirates who have decided to form a bit of a guild "on land" guild.  Of course they are all a bunch of greedy buggers.

Obviously this is very fantasy, not dark, just vanilla, which is fine.  I've been wanting to write something like this for a bit.

This is what I have so far....

Meagle Isles

The Meagle Isles are a group of four islands far from the coast of any major continent.  They have got along just fine over the years without much human contact.  The largest island “Marakah”as it is known in elvish, plays host to a very recent human settlement that of “Stone Stump”.  Which was founded approximately one hundred years ago.  Prior to that time humans had never set foot upon the island, or so the history books would have you believe.  In actual fact, humans had previous been here and had built a great city.  They attempted to populate pockets of the island, but failed.  The city which is now known as “the broken city” has now crumbled into near dust, over ran by foul beasts and things that go bump in the night.  Other smaller long abandoned settlements dot the landscape, but for the most part mother nature has overtaken the Isles, bringing them back to their originally vegetative glory.  The previous human settlers were wiped out by plagues and monstrosities.

You would be hard pressed to find an Elf, Dwarf or Halfling that hasn’t heard about the broken city and its previous human inhabitants.  Nowadays the demi humans have trade ties with the humans of Stone Stump, but are very wary of the past.  Deals were struck that were not always abided by, these wounds run deep in the communities.  

The Meagle Isles today are a vast unexplored land, dangers and treasure lurk within every cave, every mile of forest,in old crumbling towers long forgotten.

Demi Human Settlements

There are four demi human settlements on the Island of Marakah.  The Elven settlement of Brindleaf, deep within the Northern forests, the small halfling village of Great Bog, deep under the southern mountains lies the Dwarvish settlement of Proud Holme, and under the village of Stone stump is a small dwarven community of Eriksdale.  

A Brief Overview & History

Stone Stump is a small port town located on the eastern shore of the Meagle Isles.  The town is a relatively new one, having only been formed about fifty years ago.  Human settlers from a far off continent came to the Isles to colonize.  

The village grew into a trading partner with the elves of the nearby sunset woods, and the dwarves of the deep.  As well as the other small villages that dot the isles.  

Over the last fifty years the town has grown from its humble beginnings.  It now has two separate chapels, a few taverns, a large bustling dock, and more than enough eccentric hangers on.  It is the perfect place to start an adventure.

To the west farmland borders the village, supplying the population with wholesome food, and trade.  North of the village are the sunset woods, home to the elvin kin.  Beyond the above listed the island is largely unexplored, although it’s probably inhabited.  

Points Of Interest

The Docks: The docks are a busy place, filled with fisher mongers, scallywags, and merchant crews.  There is almost always a few sea faring vessels in port, some needing a crew, others needing loading.  One of the famous ships that lowers its anchor in the bay is the “Northern Mast”.  a merchant ship said to be one of the fastest.    If you are looking for all the salty gossip, then look no further than the “Three Fins Tavern”, located right along the docks.  The proprietor is a lass named Peggy, known for her sarcastic humour and great luck.  A itchy bedroll will cost you two silver pieces a night.  

Chapels:  There are two chapels in the town of Stone Stump, one is the “Chapel of the plentiful catch” and the other is the “Chapel of the harvest moon”.  As you can tell, both of the chapels are devoted to God’s that fulfil not only the needs of the stomach, but the livelihood of the townsfolk.  Each chapel has its own set of ministers for the congregation.  Interestingly enough they both worship the same God.  

Boring Boris The Blacksmith:  A long time ago when Boris first opened his shop, and young kid strolled by and yelled “Hey you boring old blacksmith, what’s yer name?”  The only thing that you can say about Boris really is that “the nickname stuck”.  Boris is a pretty stand up guy, and is a decent albeit slow blacksmith.  Boris tends to spend most of his time smithing farm implements and new anchors (for the ones lost at sea).  Boris doesn’t have a lot of armour in his shop, but he can special smith something for the right gold.  (Generally he has leather armour and some chain mail on occasion).  


The mighest wizard is an Elf,
A local human wizard named, so and so is quite good he’s trying to start a guild with little success

All of the above text is copyright 2017 (c) 3 Toadstools Publishing, Shane Ward.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Strongholds of Sorcery - Basic Fantasy NEW Adventure!

BF3 Strongholds of Sorcery, Release 31 -- July 31, 2017: This is the first "complete" release of this large adventure series for mid to higher level play.  Here is the download

Strongholds of Sorcery: The Glain Campaign is an adventure series for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. The adventures herein are intended for 4 to 8 player characters of levels 4 to 8. These adventures were all created for use in my campaign world, Glain. Of course, you may wish to use the adventures herein with a different campaign world; there is no reason they can't be tailored to fit well into any Basic Fantasy RPG campaign.

Let me just point out this is a pretty big adventure! There are four adventures detailed in the 113 pages, and a pile of maps!

This appears to be a bit of a sequel to the BF2 Fortress, Tomb, and Tower: The Glain Campaign adventure.  As usual there is some fantastic artwork within the adventure.  As of today there is only the pdf download, the book is not available thru createspace yet.  My guess is that having the pdf out there will allow for any bugs to be found. (Which I'm planning on doing a read thru as soon as I find some time!).   

For more information on Glain you can go here.

To download basic fantasy rules you can go here

Basic Fantasy on facebook

Basic Fantasy G Plus community

and you can follow there here: +Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ah summer

Up here in the great white north, we get basically 3 months of summer.  Spring is kinda melty for a bit then bam summer, so I guess maybe 3.5 months.  I'm sure other gaming groups go thru this in the summer, it's just to damn busy with everything else.  Which I'm entirely fine with.

the city I live in Winnipeg, is notorious for being facking cold 9 months of the year, mosquitoes and great music.  I think part of the reason that great music is made in this town, is because there's not a hellua a lot to do on cold nights in January.  That and hauling gear in -40 C sucks goblin wang.

So people hole themselves up and write and play music.

I think this is the same for gaming, atleast for the groups I'm in.  Our 5e group has attempted to get together pretty much every month this summer, and its just not happening.  It's not because we have better things to do outside (because we play DND on my deck sometimes), its because shit comes up, things that we can only do in the summer.  Ever try camping in the winter? yah not fun.

The nice thing about this little break is, it's giving me sometime to plan campaigns.  For the old school group, I think I'm going to try out my Toadstool hack, and basically run a campaign in Mystara.  Starting with Isle of Dread and we can see where that leads.  I've been working on some of the encounters in Isle of Dread and fleshing them out.  Obviously I won't write too much about it here, as some of my players read the blog on occasion.  At this point I think I'm going to scrap mutant future, everyone was sorta meh on it.  I think it might be partially my fault as I'm not the best sci fi writer in the world.

For our fifth edition group, I think I might run some old dragonlance 2e modules.  I've talked about this before, I have Dragon Knight and I've downloaded the other 2 in the series.  It might be a nice change.

Anyways have a good weekend! I'm not gaming this weekend, I'm going to drink beer in the shade of a large tree and think about dungeons.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thanks Gary

Today is International Gary Gygax Day.  I just wanted to say that I am very thankful for him, and for all the other masterminds at TSR for creating this game that we love.  If it wasn't for you guys, we'd be twiddling our thumbs.

I recently picked up a copy of the 1e DMG and I've been plowing thru it.  Every page there's a little bit of inspiration waiting for me.  I appreciate it.

Unfortunately I never met him, but from the stories I've read he was a pretty stand up guy.

Cheers Gary!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I'm currently, well I'm always writing.  I started thinking about creating a super rules lite system for our home games.  Mostly because when we play its infrequent, and with some of the rules systems we have used we got bogged down with them.  I am guessing that most people won't really be a fan of what I'm doing here, but its our game and honestly it's beer and pretzels.

Here's the link if you want to see what i'm up to. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New OSR Thieving Mechanic

The whole percentile dice thing is sorta wack.  I mean it's alright, but its really the only time that the dice are used in game by characters in old school play.

I really dig Dyson's thieving skills, but I am thinking of something even easier.

All thieving could be a ability check, specifically a dexterity ability check.  Obviously all characters have dexterity scores, so I need to figure out a way to make thieves slightly better at all things thieving.

Roll under dex and add the following modifier to the roll based on level. Obviously a roll of one is great success! and a twenty is a total epic failure.

Thievery covers the following old schoolisms: open locks, find & remove traps, pick pockets, move silently, climb walls, hide in shadows, hear noise

EDIT:  +Zak Sabbath suggested that this idea could be scaled with the thief's backstab ability, which is a good idea!

Modifier to thievery 
-4 no change

Monday, July 24, 2017

The case for Fifth Edition Saving Throws in old school

I was thinking about saving throws this morning, as I've been slowly working on a house rules document.  I've always dug the original saving throws, and how they scale depending on your race or class.  When I first played Fifth edition, the first thing I thought was "where are the old saving throws?" (as in second edition or earlier).  They just didn't make sense to me at the time.  As well the 3rd (or 3.4? not sure) saving throws of Fortitude, Reflex and Willpower made some sense to me but not a lot.  As an example where do these modifiers come from? My guess is Fortitude is constitution, Reflex is dexterity and willpower is wisdom? Which make sense, as I can't think of a reason to have a charisma saving throws (or atleast I don't think it would come up very often to me).  While writing the document, I thought okay I'll just go ahead and use the 3 saving throws, the modifiers for this will come from the stats listed above.

However, that means there's no intelligence, charisma, or strength saving throws. That and having either a mod or just a static number doesn't appeal to me either.  As an example, a willpower saving throw would just be the wisdom stat or the wisdom modifier.

I also detest DCs.  Having done roll under ability checks, I prefer that idea.   The problem becomes when reading a OSR set of rules like Labyrinth Lord, or B/X the saves are roll over, and the ability checks are roll under.  It is sometimes hard for players to grasp that.  (atleast my players).

What I came up with, which I'm sure is not an new idea, is to throw out the original saving throws (vs spell, death, etc) and just use ability scores as checks.  The mechanic is the same, roll under.  Let's say a player is near falling off a cliff and trying to grab onto something, well you can call it whatever you want, an ability check or a saving throw, whatever the case roll under dex.

So rather than create 3 saves from 3e, or the originals, or just one saving throw (which I've been a fan of, but I like this idea better).  Just go with the 6 stats.  Need to make a death saving throw? Make that tied to Constitution.  Which makes some sense anyways. The guys that created DND were on the right track with the 6 ability scores.

Moving forward I think that's how I'm going to approach it.  For one thing, when you are using DCs its very easy to hand wave, unless a player rolls a 1, as they don't always know the DC number.  Whereas roll under, it's entirely up to them, and its rolled right on the table.  I think this gives a bit of player agency.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Setlist dungeon

I was stuck in a ..... well it was a recording session.
In one of the rooms there are a bunch of goblins jammin.  Written on the bass drum is the words "chicago".

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Real life

I'm not sure if this happens to you? if it even crosses your mind.  It happens to me all the time.  When I'm writing an adventure I start thinking "Would this work in real life?".

I almost always forget that magic plays a big part in the fantasy world's that we create, and sometimes the best explanation is magic.  Although that maybe a cop out.

As an example, I worry about the structure of a dungeon.  The air, the way the water flows.  Even things like monsters.  Is it even logical to have a group of giant rats, a bunch of orcs, some goblins and a medusa.  How do they all work together in this environment? Does it matter? Well I think it does!  There should be a reason for things, not just a bunch of meat with treasure right?

Maybe I'm crazy.

When I was writing our mutant future campaign (that has kinda went the way of the dinosaur).  I kept  thinking "alright this is sort of based on the real world, so there won't be a bunch of zombie lab testing facilities , because there never were.  In fact there were barely any buildings across the farming landscape".  But I mean, it's mutant future right, so it's supposed to fantasy.  The world blew up, things crawled out the muck".

When we wrote the "Invitation from the blue baron", there wasn't any real rules about poly morphing in Blueholme.  I mean there are rules out there for old school games, but I thought "Alright I need something to change people into monsters, and something that's going to last longer than ex rounds". Screw the rules, this is magic, you drink the potion you become a monster and it's going to last until the PCs figure this shit out.

I guess it's whatever works right? As long as there is a somewhat plausible explanation.  Even if that reason is "magic", just go with it.

I'm not sure if this makes any actual sense, it's Thursday and honestly a bit more coffee would be beneficial.

I hope you have a good weekend rolling some dice!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Demi Diable (playable character race for Blueholme)

Born from the union of elves & demons, the Demi Diable is an unusual race.  They resemble elves, but for the greenish colour of their skin, the small horns near the top of their head, and their pointed short tails.  They are rather stunted, usually growing to four and a half feet tall.

Demi Diable tend to be magic users or fighters, occasionally they will be multi-classed fighter/magic users.  Demi Diable use d4 hit dice for all classes.  They have a 40% resistance to a ghouls paralysis effect. They can see up to 80' in the dark, however in natural sunlight they are albeit blind only being able to see 15' in front of them. When searching for secret doors they are only able to find them on a roll of 1 on 1d6.

Because of their demonic heritage Demi Diable's alignment leans towards Chaotic Good & Chaotic evil, however there are exceptions to the rule.

Because of their scary visage, they are usually shunned by society (specifically Elves from their homeland).  Finding a group of Demi Diable living together is unlikely, most are roamers moving from town to town, never staying long.  Most often they are found in adventuring companies travelling the world in search of treasure and acceptance.

Experience Table 

Hit Dice
Fighter XP
Magic User XP
Fighter/Magic User XP*

*Note Demi Diable always use d4s for hit dice, regardless of multi-classing rules.

Typical Female Names 

Typical Male Names