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.
http://initiativeone.blogspot.ca/2017/05/why-build-megadungeon-in-2017.html

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.

TANGENT ABOUT BRICKS & MORTAR 

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.

THOUGHTS ON VAM
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.

THOUGHTS ON DMGS

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.

DCC RULES & ADVENTURE IDEAS 

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 http://www.arion-games.com/paperminis.php
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

EDIT:CRUNCHY IS TOTALLY THE WRONG WORD.
CRUNCHY IS APPARENTLY RULES HEAVY
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
http://3toadstools.blogspot.ca/p/old-school-games.html


Thursday, June 8, 2017

It's all my fault

Well not entirely, it's also +Dyson Logos fault as well.

Here's what happened.

Dyson was wondering if there were any groups on facebook that were all "FUCK YAH DIY D&D", similar to some of the great groups on Google plus (That seem to be a lot quieter than they used to be).

This facebook thread yielded a lot of comments, 74 to be exact.

One of those comments was this arse Irishmen that said

"Alright, let's do this. "d20 abnormal tavern owner backstories" Go!"

That arse Irishmen was me.

So we managed to come up with the tavern owner thing super quick.  

And Dyson created a bad assed pdf. 
Here's the download
















So then Dyson created this community for all us like minded individuals that want to just create stuff and go "FUCK YAH!"

If you are one of those people, please go to the facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1723079571089099/

Now we have almost completed a d100 creepy room descriptions, someone has already made a bad assed cover for it.

We are about 154 items into "things found in chests".

And its coming every day, a new thread that gets cooking, by the end of the day there's a pile of it done, or completed.

Crazy!

and sooooo much fun!

Here's the rules.

What this group is:
This is a group for getting together and creating RPG stuff. It is an incubator for RPG material - and by that I mean stories, rules, random tables, seeds, those things that launch us into avenues new and old with renewed creativity and awesomeness. We are specifically aimed at creating shared and shareable RPG resources. We are a community that creates together and springboards ideas off each other.
What this group isn't:
This isn't a place to promote commercial materials. This isn't a place to argue about designs (you can say "here's how I would do that...." but be constructive and CREATE). This isn't a place for making RPG terrain and props (because those are personal, not shared resources).
Rules:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. No blatant self-promotion.
3. This is for DIY RPG stuff - your own or others. The "Do it Yourself" ethos is key here - the heartblood of the DIY RPG scene is zines, one-page mini-products, and funky things thrown together because you thought it would be awesome and that will be even more awesome if more people can use it to springboard their creativity.
4. While the vast majority of DIY RPG stuff is generally DIY D&D material, it doesn't mean we are a D&D only group. DIY Traveller, DIY WoD, you name it. Make something cool and odd-ball, or come up with an idea for something cool, and throw it at the wall and see if it sticks!
5. For DIY terrain and cool props, check out DM Scotty's group. Generally we are aiming for rules and art related awesomeness here, not wicked dungeon-crafts.
6. Don't post anything that isn't directly involved in some DIY awesomeness, and remember rules 1 & 2 again.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Session 10 - Curse Of Strahd - You sound like an 80 year old smoker with a neck hole

May contain plot spoilers. 

I honestly have no idea exactly where that reference comes from, but it was said during the session.  Sometime near the beginning and probably by our fighter who is comedic.  The facebook invite I received for this session was titled "for the love of god, why did I give you a walking house!".  And we made full use of that thing, we went from one end of Barovia to another.

At the end of last session we were at the Winery, so we decided to have a discussion with the Martikovs about what was up the order of the silver dragon (which we had previously heard about thru a rumour).  We got some vague information and were pointed in the direction of arganvasthold (or however you spell it).... barovians!

TO THE WALKING HOUSE!

And we are off.....

We get to arganmcdonalds and find a mansion that looks quite unused, with a untended front yard.  The gist of which is this place looks like no one has been here in a long time.  (cut the damn grass you bunch of lazy liches)

We wander thru the mansion, nothing, notta, nope.  Well other than spider webs.

We stumbled into this room, and find this old dead guy (which is what I'm calling him from now on).  He tells us this big spiel about Strahd, and the order of the silver dragoon, etc.  Old dead guy wants to help us take out strahd!  but he wants Strahd to suffer (and possibly not die).

My character keln (who i've grown to despise and he's basically an idiot with a holy mammoth turd)  asks old dead guy about strahds "love loves".  Keln is sure that there's a missing girl out there, that centuries ago was the soul of one of strahd's girlfriends. Keln has access to a VCR and has watched Bram Strokers Dracula few times, he's got this.

Anyways old dead guy wants us to lit a becon for him.  Problem is the only way to lit the becon is to get the skull of arkanvideoseller from the crypt in guess where?

if you guessed anything but Strahds crib, I'm shaking my head at you.

K so back to the walking house!

Keln has another brain wave (as his handler has had a few beers).  "we should go to the town that has those festivals, tell them we can create a NEW festival, the festival of the walking house!!!" And in the mean time see if we can scrounge up some red shirts for meat shields, as we are off to see strahd.

(we're off to see the wizard.....) #earworm

Editors note:  It is currently 2:23 am CST

We find the mayor at his place and he's all like "nope can't spare anyone".

CUE The Gnome

The CHARMED Mayor decides to give us a pile of magical loot! (1 point Gnome 0 points mayor).

After a brief drink at the tavern.  (those people are ecstatic that the winery is back in business)  we are once again off to see Mr. Strahd.

Editors note:  The Gnome somehow now has a bag of holding and a portable hole! He's going to cause shit. 

My character got this cool staff that will transport us to some other plane of existence for 240 days.  I'm mildly excited about this.

We also got a bunch of +3 this and +2 that kinda magic armour, scary poison dagger stuff.  Basically your general "kill strahd, don't die" kinda magic items.  WOO!

Alright, so we roll up on Strahd's crib, and Martikov "the raven" is there, and he's cheesed.  Cuz we were supposed to meet up with him like a week ago.  (it's  been a year of playing strahd fyi, poor bugger has been waiting awhile).

martikov tells us he scoped out the place, and he figured out where a few things are, including the skull we are after.  Which is a dragon skull!

thank Lolth that we got a big assed walking house right?

So the gnome flies up with brand new magic cape thingy, throws us a rope and we storm the castle!

Prior to getting up to the window, I gave dorian (the raven martikov) a piece of string, and he flew off happily to work on his nest I guess?

2:31

We wander around the castle.  At one point I got totally punked by Strahd.  I wandered into a hallway, and got a "blast this and that".  Turns out it was a wooden statue on a rope.

fuck you Strahd.

we somehow managed to find out that, we not only have to kill the physical being of strahd, but also his heart that is locked away somewhere (that figures doesn't it).

Honestly someone is going to die.  this isn't the end

And along comes basically Igor.  Who is expecting us.  (damn ravens)

he is going to get our rooms ready.

While he buggers off, we are all just hanging out in the mess hall, and we notice the big assed dragon skull.

So we get a bit "stealy" and try and get it down, with some terrible abillities checks.  Finally we get it in the portable hole.

then what do you know? That damned werewolf (that we didn't kill) shows up out of the blue.  So we beat him up.  He runs at my wifes character, (I'm down the line as far as init is concerned).  I cast hold person and our fighter boots him into the portable hole.

SUCCESS!

And then Igor shows up.

With Strahd....


Editors note:  Our DM is fucking awesome, his timing is amazing! 

I made some smoked jalapenos and sausages on the smoker, and my wife made some killer macaroni salad.  And we played D&D on the deck in the sunshine. 





Monday, June 5, 2017

Isle Of Dread Musings & Beyond

We just finished up a really fun session of "Curse Of Strahd" on the weekend.  I plan to write about that in the next day or so (my notes are at home, including a funny title for the post).

Last night I sat and really digested Isle Of Dread, its a great module. It's open ended.  Of course everyone already knows this.  I'm thinking that we should be wrapping up Strahd soon.  Well possibly (I'll get into that in the session report).

I'd like to run Isle of Dread, with Dwellers of the forbidden city on one of the other islands close to Tanora (or however you spell it).  As well on the northern side of the island I am going to pop B4 in there somewhere (the lost city). Another module I've been kicking around is N1 Against the reptile god, as it works well with the theme.

Since our old school group is just starting to get into mutant future, and the 5e group might be wrapping up, I think I'm going to start working on ideas for a 5e version of all of the above.  A few things are coming to mind however.

Isle of dread is for levels 3 & up, so I might have to figure out a way to run B4 or N1 first.  That might prove interesting.  Alternatively I think that Isle of dread & Dwellers has more than enough things to do to keep us busy for a bit.

Our 5e players are interested in storylines, both of these modules while awesome are more hex crawl open ended type adventures.  (which I like).  So I'm going to have to add some story into the whole thing.  Reading thru some of the entries in Isle of Dread, I started thinking about the certain factions on the island.  Example, the Rakastas.  Isn't doesn't really say a helluva a lot in the book about them. They are camped in the hex, they raid people.  I plan to turn to the 5e DMG npc/bad guy tables and start whipping up personalities and backgrounds for the leader of the rakasta's and maybe his/her second in command.

Of course I'll also have to figure out stats for some of the monsters that never made it to 5e (plantons come to mind... I figure halfing stats would work out). The Aracnea I'm guessing could be a combo of giant spiders and drow, maybe driders that can cast spells perhaps?

I intend to use Mystara as the world, and the races of Mystara.  Which will strip down useable races from 5e.  (no dragonborn, tieflings, yadda).  I'm unsure on the classes thing.  And there is no real gods in Mystara, rather there are the Immortals.  So I might port gods from Greyhawk, or Dragonlance (I kinda like that idea actually).

Anyways, as usual, I'm just riffing on ideas here.