Thursday, March 23, 2017

The extremely busy cartographer

I've often wondered exactly what Dyson Logo's resume would look like, at least as far as the last 3 or 4 years is concerned?

Dyson Logos 
Somewhere In Canada 

Previous Job Experience 
Doesn't matter, look below. 

Current Job Experience 
Drawing Maps for 4 years professionally

Honest to God! That's gotta be the coolest thing in the world in my humble opinion. If you can't tell I'm crazy envious.  

I have to say Dyson has basically changed the game as far as cartographer goes in our industry.  If you don't know, he has an awesome patreon where people pay him to draw maps.  He puts all these maps up for free on his blog for home use.  In the last few years I've seen more than a fair share of adventure modules coming out with Dyson maps in them.  Which just increases the awesomeness of the brand. 

Geek & Sundry just published an article with some of the best cartographers, and guess who's on the list? 

So you might be wondering why I'm posting about Dyson? Well he just released the latest Dodecahedron Cartographic Review For 2016. 

Here's the info: 
Another year of maps! 107 pages of maps with annotations curated from the maps posted to the Dodecahedron throughout 2016 (basically all the maps posted except for the My Private Jakalla maps which are still not complete).

The Review is available in two formats. The main emphasis of the release is an 8.5 x 11 inch spiral-bound book offered through Lulu. As spiral binding isn’t available through OBS, this is only available through the Lulu storefront. This $18 print edition includes a coupon code (on the first page) for you to buy the electronic edition for $2.50.

The PDF edition is available from RPGnow and includes not just the bookmarked version of the print-edition PDF, but also a digital appendix that includes the maps without the annotations making them easier to print for your games.

Lulu Link:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/dyson-logos/2016-dodecahedron-cartographic-review/paperback/product-23114854.html

RPGnow Link:
http://www.rpgnow.com/product/208042/2016-Dodecahedron-Cartographic-Review

Now If you are already jumping in your seat to grab the new review, if you don't already have the previous two years, here are the links. 



So honestly what the heck are you waiting for? Get the book, heck get all 3 if you don't have them.  I've often started working on a map, just to go "wait a sec I'm sure Dyson has a better one, I'll go take a look".

*Please note, I posted this up because Dyson is an awesome guy, not because I'm getting a kick back, grab the book if you like maps.  Cheers





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Bloodless One

The Bloodless One

No. Enc:  Unique
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’) 
Armour Class:  -1
Hit Dice:  10
Attacks:  3 (2 Claws/Head Butt)
Damage:  1d8/1d8/4d8 
Morale:  10
Hoard Class: XV
XP:  3100
Spells: 5 (1st level) 4 (2nd Level) 3 (3rd Level) 
The Bloodless One is a rare lesser demon of the abyss.  It normally appears as a nine foot tall humanoid covered in coarse hair.  It's face is remarkably evil, with large protruding teeth and curved goat horns atop its skull.  It's purpose upon the plane of men may vary (see motivations table), it is however called into being by worshipers from time to time.  Upon it's arrival The Bloodless One will confiscate a lair from other chaotic humanoids, and or it's worshipers, demanding tributes and sacrifices in return for powers and spells.  What makes the Bloodless One different from most demons is that it prizes above all else loyalty, if its worshipers do as it asks it will go out of its way to return the favour.  

The Bloodless One has the ability to cast magic, and in some cases will bestow spells upon it's worshipers.  In combat the Bloodless One will protect itself by sending it's minions after anything that threatens it.  From the sidelines it will cast offensive spells, and when it has to it will head butt and claw at invaders.  The Bloodless One is so named because it does not in fact bleed, when wounded a deadly toxin will be released causing 2d6 damage to anyone in a 30 foot vicinity (allow a save vs poison for half damage). This will happen every single time the monster is hit.  Covering oneself in blessed holy mud will negate the effects of the toxin poison released by the bloodless one. 

To summon the Bloodless One one must do the following: 
*Spend 4 days and nights in prayer
*Sacrifice unwilling creatures each day
*Burn the hide of a dragon 
*Boil the remains of a once great lord/king



1d8
Motivation
1
To destroy the children of the one that previously vanquished it.
2
In search of a deadly relic from ancient times.
3
To go to war against another evil demon/dragon.
4
To cause suffering and harm against a college of mages who have used him in the past for nefarious means.
5
Extremely hungry for gold coins, which aids in digestion.
6
To topple the races of man, plunging them back into prehistoric times.
7
To acquire the knowledge to open the abyss forever.  
8
To find an extremely comfy couch to spend eternity on. 





Monday, March 20, 2017

Back in the saddle! with a bunch of cool stuff!

I'm back! had a nice relaxing vacation and know I'm onto more RPG stuff.  Below are a bunch of cool products that have come out in the last few weeks.  So of which you may know about some of which you may not.

FANTASTIC! EXCITING! IMAGINATIVE! Volume One

I contributed to this awesome holmes inspired mag (added one cool table).  You can get it for FREE right here.

Dr. Holmes himself said the game was "fantastic, exciting, and imaginative." We all hearily agreed then, and we all heartily agree now. Still under the spell of that blue-covered book all these years later, we created a plethora of new elements to inject into games run with those rules (or honestly, any similarly straight-forward such rules).
Herein you will find well-over 50 new ideas for your game — all of it inspired by the art in the original book! New spells, new magic, new monsters and threats, new directions to explore, and plenty of twists on the classics.
Warm up your dice — Adventure is here! 



VISCERA

The awesome +Andy Bartlett wrote a set of cool rules addons for Fighting Fantasy.  You can check out his post here:  http://drbargle.blogspot.ca/2017/03/viscera-v10.html

Speaking of fighting fantasy, there is another cool set of rules that came out latetly called " Trokia!"  I had a chance to download the rules but haven't had a chance to read them other than a quick look over. 

Troika! is a complete role playing game, giving you everything you need to create characters and lead them through the hump-backed sky towards adventure.
The game is a response to decrepit UK RPGs. A "retro" RPG rebuilt without sentimentality, corpses of darlings litter the streets.






The B/X Warrior



More than simply a fighter, the warrior class has access to talents drawn from a wide range of archetypes, all integrated into a single class. Berserkers & swashbucklers, thugs & knights, paladins & rangers, gladiators & skalds. No need for all of those specialised sub-classes any more!
Within these pages, you will discover:
  • Complete advancement tables for level 1 to 20.
  • 36 adventuring talents.
  • Themed packages of talents for a quick start into the game.
  • Rules for song magic and dabbling in arcance secrets.

Stalker Island

The infinitely productive +Tim Shorts just released a cool looking adventure for Swords & Wizardry light.  You can check it out on Tim's patron here

Stalker Island was created for my sandbox using the Swords & Wizardry Light system. I'lll have more information about the sandbox soon.  

Possible hooks for Stalker Island:
  • Cave found during hex exploration. Hey, the party finds a big ass cave, they're going in. No need for a hook.
  • Skulks travel to civilized areas to get supplies. One of the homesteads believes there are bandits stealing chickens, grain and ale. 
  • The skulks take a prisoner to grow another shank shrub to plant along the river banks for better protection. 
  • A young skulk has a crush on one of the local girls. He visits her at night. She believes he is a ghost. When the party is called the parents mention their daughter was talking to ghosts.

Demon City

If you have been living under a rock you might not be aware that +Zak Sabbath has a cool Patreon going for demon city.  He has posted a neat mechanic for task resolution here

Journeymanne Rules


And finally Dreamscape Design has kicked off work on the Journeymanne rule set for Blueholme, which expands past 3rd level.  You can check it out here

Journeymanne is simply a much-expanded version of the Prentice Rules. Character levels cover 1-20, so you don’t need the Prentice Rules to play. Characters can be of any species, referee permitting – we found medusae a bit tricky in play, but generally there are no technical problems in introducing any type of creature to the party. Character classes can be combined to create new classes like that old favourite, the fighting magic-user. There are also, of course, a lot more spells, a lot more creatures, and a lot more magic treasures. In addition, the rules have been expanded to cover high-level stuff like moving beyond the Underworld to adventuring in the Realm and in the Wilderness, and player characters establishing their own strongholds.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

RE: In response to the darkside of this hobby (loneliness & sadness).

In case you are wondering "What the heck?".  This post stems from a few sources, first the original video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHjScERTulI

And here is a reply from +Samwise Seven RPG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UinUBnB0jkE&t=133s

and +Eric from Bloat Games https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBuT-YsRGdk&t=106s

The videos do shed a positive light on the topic.

Here's my 2 cents.  First off I grew up during the 90's "Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness" era.  I remember talking to a friend once about the 90's and he said the following "I'm amazed we got out alive".  Mostly in reference to the massive amount of depressing music.  Alright, that was a wee bit of a tangent.

My personal opinion is similar to Eric & Sams, I don't find the spare time part of the hobby depressing whatsoever.  Honestly it gives me something to do, something to think about, especially when I'm doing menial tasks.  As I've often stated I walk to work in the morning, and that is my time to think about RPG things.  And then promptly post a blog about them when I get to work.

This post isn't about the darkside of forums and shit slinging (see the next post on that).  This is really about the time GMs (and players to a degree) spend sitting at home coming up with ideas, reading, creating.  And how sometimes it can be a bit depressing I guess, when as an introvert you aren't really doing anything (ie playing the game).

Honestly I really enjoy this aspect of the hobby.  And its really funny how inspiration might strike.  Watching a movie, talking to a random person at the bus stop (that guy would be a perfect NPC!)

As an example this morning I was thinking about the movie "The Island" with Ewan Mcgregor, and how it could be a interesting idea to attempt to incorporate into a mutant future campaign, or maybe a traveller world.

I guess if I can somehow wrap up this ramble, I'm always thinking about things, working on the hobby, and I have never seen it as a downside.  In fact I think it gives me some purpose.  Prior to getting back into RPGs I spent an inordinate amount of time on the internet essentially doing nothing, and playing video games for hours on end.  Now I've worked on a ton of cool projects, released some adventures myself, I'm playing in 2 RPG groups.  It's been a wonderful change for me.

That's my 2cents.

The blog is going to be on hiatus for a bit, I'll be back in a week or so.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Slinging Feces on the internet

Honestly slinging crap on the internet has got to be the stupidest past time that was ever created.

My personal opinion is as follows in regards to people who publish games:

1.  Is the product cool?
2.  Do I have the money?
3.  Will the product enhance my players gaming experience?

If all of those are a yes, I'm buying it.

Further to the slinging of feces.

Is the person who wrote the product a "this thing" or a "that thing".  Or were they accused of "this thing or that".

I don't honestly care, see above #1,2,3.

Just my opinion, social media can be the strangest thing. And in some cases, while it is a wonderful thing for community it can be extremely damaging.  Walk a mile, and treat people the way you would like to be treated.

I am fully aware that this post really has nothing to do with gaming per se, as far as cool tables and random shane things, however it was on my mind this morning. There is far too much of this crap that goes on. And I wanted to state my opinion that I give no shits haha.




RE: If you could only play 6 RPGs, what would they be?

I noticed this video the other day from Eric Bloat. Since I don't do youtube videos I figured I'd just post the answer to this question in my blog.

So 6 RPGs that I can't live without. 

Basic Fantasy RPG - This game does pretty much everything I need, and could easily be scale-able to any type of game I would like to run.

And since BFRPG does everything I need, I honestly probably wouldn't need any extra games with me.  That said I think I would bring a few extra games for flavour.

Original d6 Star Wars, Classic Traveler, Advanced Fighting Fantasy v2.0, mini6 (because you can basically make any game out of it), And a binder with a bunch of retro clones (Lab Lord, Blueholme).  I know the last one is a total cop out, but whatever it's my blog.

What would be extremely helpful is a huge book of random tables and one rpg.  And If I had room in my duffel bag I'd throw some paper minis in there.

Speaking of desert island, I'm off to warmer climes very soon.  So the frequency of posts is going to go down for a bit.

Go on and roll some dice, I'll be back in a week or so.




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pre Generated Characters For "An Invitation From The Blue Baron"

Here are a few pre-generated characters for use with "An Invitation From The Blue Baron"
Every character also received one minor magical item.
You can download a pdf of all of the pre-generated characters right here.
You can download a pdf of the official character sheet here.


Beshi (Elf Cleric) 1st Level 
STR 5
DEX 12
CON 8
INT 9
WIS 14
CHA 3
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Club (1d6) 
Spells: None
Background: Cartographer
Magic Item: Giant Finger Nail Clippings - A large sack containing Giant toenail clippings, adds a +1 to attack and damage rolls for a day.
Equipment: Backpack, rope 50', holy symbol, vial of holy water. rations


Kumba (Human Cleric) 1st Level
STR 10
DEX 12 
CON 15
INT 10
WIS 9
CHA 17
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Mace (1d6) 
Spells: None 
Background: Terrible hunter, nearly starved.
Magic Item: Rusted Straight Razor - If a player shaves their legs with this, it will allow them to swim and breath underwater for an hour.
Equipment: large sack, tinderbox, 6 torches, holy symbol, rations

Taran (Elf Fighting Man) 1st level
STR 12
DEX 12 
CON 6
INT 10
WIS 9
CHA 15
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Short Sword/Short Bow (1d6) 
Background: Drowned a family member.
Magic Item: Leather Barf Bag - this bag contains exactly what you think it does.  When the contents is poured out, it will allow a character to fly for 1d4 rounds.
Equipment: rope 50", 6 torches, wolfsbane, tinder box, small sack, rations

Mida (Dwarf Thief)  1st level
STR 18
DEX 13 
CON 9
INT 11
WIS 19
CHA 5
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Club (1d6) 
Background: Veteran of war
Magic Item: Pixie Finger - When carried in a pocket, the player will receive a +5% bonus to experience for the rest of the day.
Equipment: 10' pole, backpack, 50" of rope, rations

Mako (Halfling Magic User) 1st Level 
STR 15
DEX 16 
CON 9
INT 13
WIS 13
CHA 5
AC 9 (no armour) 
sling/dagger (1d6) 
Spells: Magic Missile
Background: Made a pact with a witch.
Magic Item: Polka dot accordion- when played this accordion will not only make your toes tap, it will cure one person of poisoning.
Equipment: rations, flask of oil, tinderbox, small sack.

Bala (Human Fighting Man) 1st Level
STR 13
DEX 10 
CON 7
INT 14
WIS 11
CHA 11
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Short Sword (1d6) 
Background: Swindled a high ranking mage.
Magic Item: Dagger Of Ghostly Tidings - This dagger on a successful attack will create a ghost from the past of the monster.  Allow a saving throw at -2 , if failed the monster flees in terror.  (could be a relative come back to haunt them).  
Equipment:6 torches, tinderbox, rations, large sack

Chomba (Human Thief) 1st Level 
STR 13
DEX 10 
CON 11
INT 14
WIS 13
CHA 13
AC 7 (Leather armour) 
Dagger (1d6) 
Background: Lost all gold in a bad bet.
Magic Item: Plate Of Haggis - When i digested the player receives a kilt which acts as plate mail for 1d4 rounds.  
Equipment: rations, large sack, 10' pole.

Mwiri (Human Magic User) 1st Level
STR 4
DEX 6 
CON 7
INT 14
WIS 10
CHA 9
AC 9 (no armour) 
Staff (1d6) 
Spells: Charm Person 
Background: Was a travelling merchant.
Magic Item: Tome Of Remembering - Allows a magic user or cleric to remember 4 extra spells Lasts one day.
Equipment: backpack, rations, mirror, garlic.

Monday, March 6, 2017

d20 Somewhat Unique Bad Guys

Tired of the typical bad guys? Here's a d20 table with some strange ones.

1.  Vegetarian Ogre Tribe.
2.  Three Eyed Skunk Man Hybrid with a penchant for nice perfumes.
3.  An Honest Trader, with a dark secret.
4.  Insane Cult Leader, believes the world is flat.
5.  Crossbreed Dinosaur & Robot that is self aware.
6.  Punk Rock Minstrel Pixies.
7.  Piranha Men that can breath on land, and fly!
8.  Enraged Princess stuck between two planes of existence, appears as a shimmer.
9.  A demon who likes to spend time gardening.
10.  Vampire with a lust for collecting rodents.
11.  Old knight who was betrayed by his squire.
12.  A monk who learned to bend time.
13.  A balding sorceresses looking for a wig of Chimera hair.
14.  A goblin tribe famous for their cheese, their herd of cows has been stolen by an unruly Minotaur.
15.  A human thief who has had his arms magically replaced with tentacles.
16.  A deposed lord with a major gambling addiction.
17.  A witch who made a pact with a evil allicorn.  
18.  Giant who spends most of his time building a fort made entirely out of large trees from nearby forest.
19.  Pirates trying to return an evil treasure.  (whoops stole that one!)
20.  The ghost of murdered bride (her husbands father was the murderer!).

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A bit of nostalgia

As usual every morning I got thru my memories on the blue social network, and I came across this.

Since that time (4 years ago!) my cousin in law has acquired massive amounts of dice, ran a few games as a DM using BFRPG, and is now playing in 3 campaigns! Our old school one, a 3.5 game and our 5e game! Awesome sauce.

Latetly another friend of mine on the blue network has been posting some awesome dice shaming pictures, which is leading to more discussions about D&D.  This is also good!

If I remember correctly the first game I ran for Kurt and my Wife was "Keep on the borderlands" using BlueHolme.  It was a fun evening.  They started out as murderhobos the first few games.  But quickly got the hang out role playing.  Which has lead to a bunch of sessions where we have basically talked for 3+ hours!

If you haven't watched "The Reward" yet, it's posted below.  Great flick.

And now on to other bits of rambling.

I've decided to drop my mutant future campaign planning for the time being.  I think the next time the old school group meets, we will probably continue with our current campaign, which is totally cool with me.  While I did complain a bit about Famine In Far Go, after a secondary read, I think it would make for an interesting one shot when the time comes.

In the mean time I am going to work on a one shot 5e adventure.  As you know we have been running Curse Of Strahd, and it's been a lot of fun.  However I'd like to have something prepped for whenever our DM gets a bit pooped out.

The other DM in our group has been busy running a campaign online, so his head is filled up with that.  Had a brief discussion about returning to the Abyss, but I think he has enough on his plate currently.

Now that "An Invitation From The Blue Baron" is basically complete, I've been slowly wondering what my next project is going to be.  Before I completely put the Baron to bed, I'd like to re jigger the layout for a black & white 8.5x11 print.  Mostly because for myself that's the easiest thing to print at home, and I'm guessing there are a few other people like that out there as well.  In the next little while I'm going to prep a file for lulu so I can print a few of them (original 6x9 version).

So the next project is one that has been driving me nuts for a very long time.  I think I'm going to start by re drawing maps, and then do a wholesale re-write.  I'm not promising anything, but I really need to finish that darn mega dungeon.  I feel like I'm in a good place now to tackle it.  The other thing that I would like to do, is to attempt to do all the art.  This is going to mean that I'm going to have to grab a "how to draw" art book and start drawing, throwing those out and drawing some more.  This is a good thing! It's a hobby, so I'm going to friggin learn how to do this.  Because this project has been an on going thing for so long, my brain has had enough time to marinate and figure out things, specifically what sucked balls in the initial draft, and what was somewhat cool.  Having just finished working on the Blue Baron, I found myself really enjoying writing with Blueholme in mind, so this project maybe specifically for those rules.  Obviously we will see how it goes, but I did find it quite easy to write for it.

I should note, that the purpose behind the Blue Baron was to do something creative, with a collective group of creative minds.  To a selfish degree it was a way of  kicking myself in the ass.  See this post.  I am extremely happy with the results.  And it has given me a much needed boost.

Alright that's enough for me this morning, have a good one!

Shane



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

DOWNLOAD - An Invitation From The Blue Baron

HERE'S THE DOWNLOAD:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-hlnlR7qn5XSjRiS0FHSnBWYkE


This wonderful forty four page adventure that you hold in your hands was written for Blueholme Prentice rules ™.  The book was a collaborative effort between some of the brightest minds in the Old School Role Playing community.  Detailed within this book is a twenty two room dungeon, new monsters & spells, and all kinds of interesting twists.  The Blue Baron holds his masquerade party annually, and because of this we have added a pile of random tables, which should easily allow replaying this adventure with different results! Grab a few sets of dice, some pencils, paper and few friends and delve into the masquerade.

Invited Guests Include:
Matt Jackson:  http://www.msjx.org/
Venger As'Nas Satanis: http://vengersatanis.blogspot.ca/

A bit of disturbing news has crossed my desk.  It seems that a plot may in fact be a foot.  While I would like to detail all of the information within this letter, I would prefer to speak with you in person.  A fortnight from today, please meet me on the stairs leading to the dungeons of the Blue Baron.  I hazard to guess that you haven’t been living under a rock, and know full well that every year the Blue Baron throws a rather distinct masquerade ball.  Obviously you will be compensated for your efforts.  Consider yourselves cordially invited.

– Nohj (Wizard of the court).