Sunday, December 10, 2017

Manor #9 Available on RPGNow

Issue #9 of The Manor is available of I've been doing this for a while now and no matter how many times I put a product on RPGNow I get nervous, like I'm screwing it up. Which I do, but I go back and fix it. Weird.

Back to my point. If you prefer PDFs over print, click Manor #9 and grab a copy!

If you prefer a print copy, just push the Paypal button below and I'll fire one off to you. I'll also send you the PDF free, by a providing a coupon to RPGNow.

Manor #9: Where Shall I Send It?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Manor #9 Available in Print

Manor #9: Where Shall I Send It?

This afternoon I put the final touches on the 9th issue of The Manor. It's been a long time coming. I went through a handful of starts and stops, but as I worked on my Komor Forest sandbox campaign, developed extra content and ran games to test out the material, I had more than enough to fill a zine.

Issue #9 is the first issue of The Manor dedicated to a ruleset, Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. I've had the chance to hand out a few copies of the ruleset at the latest con I attended and ran a game. It was a blast. I had the players make up a character, took all of ten minutes. Then we got into the adventure.

Some of what you'll find in Issue #9 is a collection of four cleric variations. In my campaigns I like to have clerics reflect the principles of the god they serve. I enjoy players who get into the nuisances of their god or gods they serve. This is reflected in these variations I've included.

Random encounter table I use for those traipsing through the dark wood. I much prefer the bell curve style of encounter table. It provides a place for common, rare and unique encounters. This is an example of my random tables.

I've included The Crooked Man Tavern, located in a dungeon near you. My setting is not for just meatheads with the biggest weapon. There is a lot of meat on the bone for players who enjoy intrigue, skulduggery, and exploiting the that knowledge acquired through nefarious means.

The fantastic cover is by +Denis McCarthy, his art is also featured inside the zine. Thanks to +Erik Tenkar for creating such a cool system.

For those who prefer PDFs I'm hoping to post it on RPGNow tomorrow. Those who want the print copy please push that little Paypal button above and I'll ship them out early next week.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ranting About Patreon Fees

I may say some bad words.

I'm not sure why Patreon decided to change their pledge payment structure. I have to believe they thought this would be a good thing, but it isn't. It qualifies as stupid. If Patreon cared so much about their creators they should have presented this proposal to us so we could have stopped it before they rolled it out.

I am talking about Patreon charging patrons instead of creators, the fees. Michael Prescott sent out an email that drove it home for me. So if one of my patrons pledges $1 they will get charged $1.35. 

I hate that. No wait, I fucking hate that.

Patreon's basic philosophy is to have creators do their thing and then have people tip them for what they are doing. "Hey dude, I like what you're doing, here's a few dollars, keep doing what you do."

Now it's like, "...keep doing what you do." Patreon man steps in and says "Wait Patron, now you have to pay the tax for being generous and supportive. You must put more money into the tip jar so I can get my cut."


As a creator, having to pay the fees was fine. A necessary evil of business. Everyone needs their cut so I didn't mind. It was a place to share my work, get feedback and make some money on the side. But to put it back on the patrons is just bad. There is nothing more aggravating when someone is being generous, and then that person who is on the receiving end of that generosity, demands more. 

I've already lost a group of excellent patrons. I don't blame them one bit. All of them have said they were not happy because of the new payment system. And I think they have the right idea.

So patrons, if you want to leave, go with my blessing. I don't like what Patreon has done. I am writing an email to them after I finish this post. 

If you have the time, please drop Patreon a line to tell them you aren't happy with what they have done. 

It's time to stir the shit pot and let them know that this new payment fee arrangement is clumsy, arrogant and wrong. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Adventuring in Different Planes of Existence: Undolee Cave

The Komor Forest is filled with strange and dangerous locations. The Cave of Undolee is one of those places. It is located close to Hounds Head, the locals know of it, interact with it, but when the cave 'gets to acting up' they run like hell.

The Cave of Undolee is a powerfully charged location through natural magics. Heavily borrowing from Celtic mythology where gates between worlds open during certain times of the year, phases of the moon, or whatever schedule the GM needs to drive an adventure forward. The map itself was created when I was mapping for game night. I screwed up the map so bad, I just kept it and thought I'd create my own version of it.

The image from the 1st edition Player's Handbook (pg. 121) sticks in my mind.

For me, the Planes of Existence are layered upon one another. Sometimes sharing the same space as other planes. Places where planes overlap and conditions are right, natural gates occur. The Cave of Undolee is a gateway to the Plane of Water.

These gateways provide opportunities for gameplay beyond the normal realm of existence. With preparation, probably a few trial runs, a party could adventure in the Plane of Water. This provides complications the party has rarely come across.
In this adventure, The Cave of Undolee is a glimpse of that possibility. And if the GM chooses, could be a focal point for an 'outsider' enemy group. The sahuaghin are a fantastic enemy race that provides a new threat beyond the traditional orcs and goblins. Plus, they have that otherworldly feel, especially if a GM plays up the sahuaghin's potential for mutations. And with the threat of possible invasion, it is not like the party can track the enemy to a cavern stronghold. No. The party would need to travel to a place where the environment itself could kill them at any moment.

I have a map drawn already for an adventure in the Plane of Water. I hope to have it out next month. It'll be the first adventure that will include sharks. So I'm excited about that. It'll take place as soon as the party moves through the gate.
As always, my thanks to my patrons. Their continued support is incredible. I love creating these adventures, printing them and having them in hand. Here's to a productive December.

Anyone interested in grabbing a PDF copy of The Cave of Undolee only need to follow the link to my Patreon. If you would like a physical copy, please consider pledging and get used to getting cool stuff in the mail.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Iron Crawlers Ready to Mail and Yep, I'm Giving Away a Few Copies

Iron Crawlers is a Swords & Wizardry Continual Light Adventure. You can click the link and grab the PDF for free. Or...if you want a print copy comment below and then send me your address through email (elder(underscore)sensa(at)yahoo(dot)com) or Google+ (Gothridge Manor) cause without your addy I can't send you a damn thing.

It's a starting adventure that puts the party against a not so clever, not so tough gang. If the Iron Crawlers can take advantage of the party. they will. But if the party plays out the situation in the right way, they could gain themselves a group ally. Possibly. I wrote a long post about this last month, if your interested in reading about me stealing office supplies from my mother's work place you can read it here.

Last month Tenkar and crew released a print version of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. If you click the image it will magically whisk you away to Amazon where you can purchase a copy for only $7. I bought 4 copies, went to Con on the Cob, gave them away and now I have 0. So I gotta reorder! This link is an affiliate link, so I may get a giant kickback if you order from my page.

Seriously, the book is great. Simple, quick, learn the system within 30 minutes depending on how fast you read.

Hey! Have a good gaming week. Roll some dice for me. Don't forget to make an offering of Unosum, the God of 1's, A slice a pizza or beer usually does it,  or you'll become a 'cursed 1' like myself. It is no way to live.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Peek at the New GM Games HQ

First off, my wife kicks ass. A lot of it. Mine sometimes. +The Happy Whisk did all the mudding and painting on her own. Last week during my vacation we put the floor in. She sewed some cool drapes to help keep out the cold and eyes for creepy neighbors. The shelves are a mishmash for now, but I have ideas on building my own shelving system. Build it right to the wall, but overall I am thrill with the outcome.

New computer, I've recovered most of my files and my printer has agreed to work again after threatening to execute it on the spot 'Office Space' style.

What I hope that happens...

  • more productive, write more adventures and get back on track for my Patreon
  • more gaming! with my office I can run more games without disrupting the entire house. And I may not be attacked by Bug during the game
  • More efficient processing of printing and mailing out stuff
  • and the possibility that Issue #9 of The Manor will be out in the near future
That said, thanks to my wonderful wife who wanted me out of the rest of the house so bad she made me this space!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cons & Renovations

Tomorrow I leave for Con on the Cob. I'm meeting +Chris C. and +Rob Conley there to get some face-to-face gaming going. I've been to this con twice before. The last time was three years ago. That was a blast because the whole group was able to meet there then.

I am sitting in a swirling batch of chaos. About three months ago my computer's hard drive and motherboard died together. All the while Whisk and I were renovating one of room to make me an office.

I have since bought a new computer. It kicks ass, but trying to recover what I lost has been a process. Backing up your stuff is a good thing. I failed to do that. But, it looks like I am on track again.

Like any renovation it sends the rest of the house into chaos. Last night we finished the flooring. Finishing touches still need to be done, but I can start moving in table and equipment in today.

Gotta pack for the con today. I have to decide what I'm taking with me without forgetting what I need to take with me.

I've signed up for a few games. Kept the schedule light, with time between I can recharge and hang out with Chris and Rob. +Chris C. shared our schedule on his blog. This gives us time to get some food, do some shopping and talk to other gamers. I'm excited to get going.

I don't have a game scheduled to run, but I hope to run an adventure at an open time. A few years back I ran an Exoterrorists game that was a blast. This year I plan on running a more traditional fantasy adventure using Swords & Wizardry Light.

If you are going to the convention look me up and maybe we can throw some dice.

Monday, November 6, 2017

...the fool is obvious as a coal pile in a ballroom.

I like to drag my 1st edition, Dungeon Masters Guide (1979) off the shelf and randomly open it (it always opens to the pages 74-75 because those who know, know) and read.

This time I found myself on page 19. I was reading the THIEF ABILITIES. Hide in Shadows has a paragraph double the length of the others. I thought this was weird. I read it and started laughing. Gary G. cracks me up. Here is what I found.

Hide in Shadows: As is stated in PLAYERS HANDBOOK, this is NEVER possible under direct (or even indirect) observation. If the thief insists on trying, allow the attempt and throw the dice, don't bother to read them, as the fool is as obvious as a coal pile in a ballroom.

BAM! You go Gary. The paragraph goes on, but nothing else compares to the above tidbit. I love that he wants the DM to throw the dice, but don't read them. And basically he's calling the player/character a fool. Seems like Gary must have gotten into an argument about this subject right before he wrote it. I don't know about you guys, but I can lose my keys I was carrying and the aren't hiding in the shadows.

Other interesting takes I discovered when reading the descriptions. And I ALWAYS find new stuff in this book even after having it since '79.

Pick Pockets: Failure allows additional attempts. Up to two attempts at picking a pocket can be made during a round.

Picking pockets was one of those skills that rarely was used. It seemed like you always got caught and then there was the inevitable Benny Hill chase scene.

Climbing Walls: Gary goes into some detail about movement rates. He states it is probably the most abused thief function. He doesn't go into detail other than it requires training and practice. I've never been in a game where climbing movement rate has been calculated...well, in a GURPS game a few times.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Amazon is in Talks to Create a Lords of the Rings Series: Whadda Ya Think?

This sounds interesting. Jeff Bezos is apparently leading the charge to bring this home to Amazon. No deal has been done yet.

What brought this about? I'd read early that Amazon pretty much showed their producers and writers of original content, the door. Thanks, but no thanks. Amazon suggested it wants to get away from niche storytelling and find itself a Game of Thrones. Which is great, love me some GoT. But I love series that focus on the minutiae of a sub-culture. I hope they continue with those stories also.

But sometimes when you chase the dragon you get burned.

I say this in part because I think Peter Jackson's movie trilogy did an excellent job. He cut out most of the singing and the poetry, so for that he has my highest respect and thanks. The story has been told at a high quality. I know its been 16 years since the Fellowship of the Ring movie, but it is still fresh in my mind. Does this need to be told again? My opinion is no. Not right now. With the retelling there will be the inevitable comparison not only to the original books, but to Jackon's movies. And some may compare them to the cartoon series.

I like the idea that Amazon is hoping to fill the massive hole that GoT will leave behind when it concludes. Amazon wants to have one of those shows where people have parties when it airs. The show is an event.

Just because I don't think the story needs to be told again, doesn't mean I wouldn't watch it when it came on. Hell yeah I would. But I would prefer a new story. A new series, preferable not Shanara. Oh wait, that was also done. Please never do that one again. There are soooo many good books out there, I would think they could land one of those and create their own next event show.

I would LOVE to see a series done for the Thieves World books. That series would have everything they are looking for. A cast of fantastic characters a mile long. Interesting story plots. And it would be new ground. I think that's what most people want. I know there a ton of fans of LotR that would gobble up another version, but as much as I like a cover band, 99 times out of 100 the original is better.

If you have an opinion of Amazon producing a LotR series please comment. Or if you have a series you'd rather see them produce please add it below. It might be something I haven't heard of and would love to read.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Adventure Writing for a 12 Year-Old Kid in 1980

I was feeling a bit nostalgic. That's what happens a lot when you get old. With the Stranger Things 2 coming out, nailing that 80s vibe and Thor embracing the total cheesiness of the 80s (I so hope somewhere in the film he is driving a conversion van with an image of himself painted on the side) had me thinking of when I first started making my own adventures back in the early 80s.

My mom was a secretary at a tool & die shop and she had a office supply closet, my god that thing was magical. That's where I learned graph paper was a real thing. Before that, I thought Gary and friends were really good with a ruler. I wanted to write my own adventures, so I grabbed the graph paper, manila folders, and a stapler. I drew a map, used a manual typewriter to construct my adventure, used a crappy Xerox (yes an actual Xerox machine) to make 10 copies. Then I stapled the map on the inside of the folder, took a 3" x 5" notecard for the wandering monster table, stapled that to the other side of the folder, took a thick permanent marker and wrote the title of the adventure on the outside. No artwork. I sucked at arting. Still do.
I would then take my adventure to school, I would play it with friends, then after a few sessions I would sell my 10 copies of the adventure for 50 cents each. Sold out every time. That money was used for proper things, pinball, video games, Cokes and Goobers, or more gaming stuff if I could get that far down the street.
Because of these thoughts, I formatted Iron Crawlers to reflect that ascetic back in the day. I use a type font on a single sheet of graph paper background (front and back) and the map, while a bit more embellished than I did back in the day, is simple graph line drawing. Compared to today's clean look, it is rough on the eye so I also included the booklet version with a Garamond font. Easier to read and more likely the version I'll ship out. Probably both though just for the heck of it.

Oh and one more thing, I thought I would take a few of you on a ride for this adventure. So everyone in this adventure is named after a patron.
GM Advice
Iron Crawlers is a group of men who have joined together to get by. They are not a bad ass street gang ready to kill everyone who confronts them. Most a no-level guys who try to hustle a few coins from drunks, grab an unattended pie and sometimes they make deals with persons of questionable nature.
I like these kind of groups. I think they are more approachable. The party doesn't have to go into default murder hobo rage (should there be another setting for your party). It is a group of people that could provide a lot of opportunities to role-play situations. Being this is the first encounter with the Iron Crawlers, there may be bloodshed, but it doesn't have to be a massacre. A few of the members won't put up a fight. The party will more than likely be overpowering even at first level.
I can see this group becoming a source of information for the party. A source of possible henchmen. Or if played out, a possible group ally that supports the party in their adventures. It won't take much, these guys are poor and hungry. At this time, just getting a regular meal is a step up for them.
I hope you enjoy and find a use for the adventure. And as always, thanks for the support. You can click on the links that take you to my patreon page for a free copy of the PDF. And if you would like a print version, consider joining.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Flea Market Treasure-Like Finds

Had the day off. Went to a flea market cause I didn't go to the movies. Neither one has anything to do with the other, but that's how it happened. I took pictures of some interesting items I thought would be interesting to add to a random table of some sort of stuff the party finds.

Creepy ass dolls are always good for loot. Creepy ass rat dolls are even better.

A couple of simple African statuettes. I like the dude's white necklace. Maybe these could be some sort of Figurines of Lesser Power. Dude has a white necklace and a giant butter knife. The lady is holding a water jug on her head. I think both would make great magi items.

Not something I would put in the dungeon, just thought it was funny.

This thing was about 4' tall. Not sure what it is. Looks like it would tip over if you put anything in it. Giant candle stick?

Again, not found in my game, but funny. It wasn't for sale. I was sad.

Another creepy ass item, this time featuring a soulless mask dedicated to a duck god of death.

Don't judge my photo skills. I think this was a bull mask with a mohawk. Yeah this has to find its way into my game.

Wait for it.

I found this a little funny.

And this. So close!

Okay, that was my trip.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Raising Money for Breast Cancer Research Stamps

Hey folks, here's what I'm gonna do. All the money I raise on RPGNow for the month of October (I'm throwing in what I made last month also), will go towards purchasing Breast Cancer Research stamps. If you have one of my PDFs in your shopping cart please consider pushing the buy button.

I have to buy stamps anyway, but I'd rather buy ones that go towards such an important cause. The lady at the post office explained to me that a portion goes towards breast cancer research, I immediately grabbed a couple sheets. I'd like to buy a lot more. And this is what I came up with.

Here's the link to my RPGNow storefront.

Thanks ahead of time.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Trickster in the Stone: Micro-Adventure

Just so you know, I had this post finished yesterday and it went away. Like vanished. Gone. I swore a little. But only a little. And now I'm here to try again.First off I want to give a shout out to a couple of new patrons that joined since we last met. James Halmayr and Filthy Monkey have joined the ranks of the brilliant people who have joined the fun. I like new patrons and I cannot lie.
Back to the adventure. Trickster in the Stone was inspired by a fellow patron, Si. A while back I asked for places you would like to see drawn and I believe he mentioned wanting a mountain pass. I kinda did that, except underground. One of those underground mountain passes. 
The mythology of the Komor continues to grow as a new 'thing' is introduced in this adventure. Norag is a trickster stone spirit. A force of nature with intelligence and intent. As of the writing of this adventure, Norag enjoys torturing Zikla with stone spiders that tear small wounds into the earth elemental. To add insult to injury, when Norag takes on a form, it appears as Zilka did before the gods cursed him. It won't confront a party of adventurers directly, retreating into the stone.
Zilka is a tragic character, a dwarven cleric who called upon the gods to help him defend his village from the forces of evil. They answered. Zilka suffered for three days as his body transformed into an earth elemental. While he retains some of his intelligence, it has dulled over the years of isolation. Norag has taken years torturing him. Often bring Zilka to the edge of death only to drag his spirit back.
The situation is set GMs. Go forth and GM the crap out of this.
GM Advice is forth coming...Norag is a thing I would introduce to the party. Use his abilities of manipulation to the best of their abilities. Once he betrays the party, put him in your proverbial GM toolbox for later use. Reintroduce him as another NPC, taking on the guise of another person. Lure the party into a sense of security. Norag is in it for the long con. It finds it more satisfying. A nasty creature to mess with the party when they least expect it. Maybe have a stone spider show up on their cot while they sleep. That should do it.
Zilka, tragic, angry ready to die. He sees everyone as an enemy. Discarded by his people, forsaken by his gods left, betrayed by everything and everyone he believed in. Despite this, Zilka still has a shred of hope inside. If the party can convince Zilka they are friendly and treat him with kindness, they will find they have an ally in Zilka. While he won't travel into civilized territory, he maybe convinced to help with an expedition. GMs should make sure its a good one. An adventure where the party needs a heavy hitter. 
Trickster in the Stone can be found on my Patreon page. Download the PDF and maps for free fucking gratis. Sorry, slipped into my Deadwood character. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

GIVEAWAY! Time to Mail Some Freebies ALL GONE!

This month's Micro-Adventures are ready to ship to patrons.

First off is, Something Terrible Happened to Amos. The party searches for a traveling merchant named Amos. The Hamlet of Hounds Head is awfully fond of Amos and his gifts. They want the party to find Amos, help him if it's not too late, but they know all too well how brutal and unforgiving the Komor Forest is.

Second, is a location, a ruin fortification of the Northmen called, War Frogs. These creatures were bred be the ancient warriors to help defend their home in the marshlands. A new breed of creature that could, with time, become a benefit for the party.

Lastly, is an NPC card of Brax. Brax is a worker at the Angry Priest Inn who makes himself available to adventuring parties as an extra hand. He's not all that likable and you'll need to keep an eye on him or the party treasury will come up short. But hey, he's got one hell of a mustache.

Anyone can grab a free PDF copy of these by clicking the links and visiting my Patreon page.

I always make a few extras for folks who might be interested in getting copies. So if you are interested in getting some freebies, comment below and send you address to No obligation. I ship anywhere. If you like what you get, consider joining the fun.

This offer remains open until I run out!