Friday, November 30, 2012

Shelf-by-Shelf Extravaganza

It's ironic that I had planned to do a shelf-by-shelf photo extravaganza of my game shelf last weekend then everyone one started doing it.  Ivy and I changed the living room around and I got it a bit more organized and wanted to take a few snap shots of it.  I finally got around to doing just that.  I have most of my gaming stuff on a single shelf.  A good size one, but it all fits and with a little lubricant can fit more stuff in there.  The only two books not currently on the shelf were my S&W Complete Rules and ASE 2-3 cause I just got it and was reading it.

While not as impressive as some collector's I think it represents my gaming history fairly well.  I'll be going through the shelves top left to bottom left and then right top to bottom right.

Pathfinder to the left of me Hackmaster to my right.  The purple box is a Brave Halfling Box of the purple worm and it contains my Crawls, Loviatars, WMLPs and an issue of Delve! inside.  It's getting pretty full so I may need to get another or find a better way to store them.  I've only played Pathfinder once, but really love the books.  The only Adventure Path I have is the King Maker.  HackMaster is such a blast to read, but wow, very aggravating to make a character.  HackMaster basic I haven't tried to play yet.  The Hacklopedia is an amazing looking book.

My oldest shelf.  Those AD&D books and the modules and Judge's Guilds were pretty much bought as they were printed back in the 70s and 80s.  Then I have D&D 3.0, but never got the 3.5 edition rules.  We played 3.0 a couple of times, but it never caught on with us.  And then all the way to the right my still very new, very lightly used 4th edition books.  I only addition core book I purchased was the 2nd Dungeon Master book.  And that was when Borders was still alive and handing out 30% coupons.

The box set shelf.  I think the oldest box set I have is Shadow World.  The T&T on top of it has a bunch of adventure signed by Ken St. Andre and a mixture of other T&T things I've gotten through the years.  Thieves' World is one of the box sets I've always wanted and finally gotten.  In the center are the Wizard's Compendium volumes 1-4.  I searched high and low for these bad boys.  I like the idea of spells being treasure or a precious commodity.  The other books on the inside are my graph paper Piccadilly books and sketch books.

On the left are books a reference quite a bit.  When I run or develop an adventure I like to have that tough of realism in it.  To the right are manuscripts I've worked on.  In the middle is the S&W White Box from BHP and my bulging Muchkin Box.

These binder are FULL of PDFs I've purchased.  I was burning up the bandwidth over at RPGNow when I first discovered it.  On top is the vinyl mat for gaming.  It still pretty new since I rarely get to use it.  And then beneath the mat is different size art pads for my maps.

More reference material.  But also this is the tallest bookshelf I have so my tallest books go here.  The Strange Stories and Amazing Facts books was the very first book I ever got.  I believe I got it when I was five.  I still look in it today and find stuff I missed.  So much cool stuff in there.

This is my main OSR shelves.  I believe C&C was the first retro clone I got interested in and then it went from there.

Another one of my old shelves.  My Pendragon and Citybook collection live here.  And a mixture of Slayer Guides, Harn, WoD and Role Aids.  This is the shelf I want to 'complete'.  I eventually want to get the Pendragons I am missing and Citybook 6.

The first of my two GURPS shelves.  The binders are full of PDFs.  My group got involved in GURPS just before 2nd edition started.

Final shelf is the rest of my GURPS collection.  Personally speaking I think GURPS has the best overall gaming supplements.  HARN is up there, but GURPS is more my level and cover ay more areas.

Hope I didn't bore you too much from my Game Shelf tour.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

900th Post...Seems Like Deja Vu

Yup, 900th post at the Manor.  Who would have thunk it?  Never crossed my mind when I first started and I guess I don't think about the number of times I posted now until the odometer hits a nice round number.  I'll have to think of something cool to do when a 1000 rolls around. 

Migraines have been taking me out of circulation lately.  Missed Trey's Weird Adventures Wednesday night so trying to figure out a way to get those fuckers to stop.  I had a bought of them last year.  This year thought I was doing okay, but lately they've been about as severe as I've ever had them.  So that's fun.

Despite my stupid little maladies I continue to plug away on the next two issues of the Manor.  Jason Sholtis has masterminded a cool concept for them and I can't wait to see them.  And since we are talking number I thought I would so a GM Games sales update.  I want to thank everyone whose been ordering Knowledge Illuminates in print.  I really like how it turned out.  Had two reviews of KI and although tenfootpole took issue with some it, after reading other reviews consider myself to have made my save vs. review and came out alive.

Cave of Seiljua
PDFs: 163

Knowledge Illuminates
Print: 17
PDFs: 164

Manor #1
Print: 75
PDFs: 58

Manor #2
Print: 60
PDF: 21

You can see a large drop off in PDF sales from the first Manor to the second.  I'm thinking part of the reason is I did not have my PDF formatted as best as I could.  I am sometimes lousy with this part of it and need to improve.  I think with the 2nd issue I improved, but think I could do better.

The 3rd issue is 80% done.  And I am guessing the 4th issue is 50% done.  I'd like to do a double release, but I'm not sure yet.   I need to get one done before talking about a 2nd.  Tomorrow I have off so I'm going to try and get some writing done if I'm able.  I'm really wanting to get back to creating some cool stuff soon. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Just Because...

Bumble is cool.

But you know what's cooler than Bumble?

That's right, Bumble and Wonder Woman.

I'm gonna let you guess which one is mine and which one is Ivy's. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

1.33 Rooms

Zzarchov invited me to a game where the theme was Arabian Night setting, Ray Harryhausen style.  How the hell could I refuse an offer like that?  I didn't even try.  I got to game with two new people, Shoe, played an assassin-type character and Matthew led the was with his cleric of a goddess who shall not be named.  I played Al Zabar, lucky mage not so extraordinaire.

We used Zzarchove NGR (Neoclassical Geek Revival) system.  I've been reading about it for what seems like years, have a copy of the first edition and PDF of the latest version.  It was good to see it in action.  I am used to playing in game where conflict is fairly a regularly.  In NGR it is considered a loss encounter.  From the general conversations I had with Zzarchov the point of the system is to go into the dungeon, avoid combat and get out with as much treasure as possible.

Out adventure started with going to a church we heard that had a yet unplundered basement of shiny stuff.   We questioned him for a bit.  He said 'The Manticore' lived below.  Not a manticore, but the big guy, the original.  Crap. 

We explored very little of the dungeon.  We found a room where someone had already kicked in the door.  Inside we explored and found a silver candelabra.  In addition we found a head, hand and...wait for it...his manhood in a pile near a secret door we found.  Inside was a small room with a burn silken pillow on the floor.  Each action we chose we needed to do checks to see how much suspicion we accrued.  Being a flashy dressed, not meant to be stealthy, but more for to draw attention I collected a heft amount of suspicion.   Once that happens the inhabitants of the dungeon bum rush you and leave your manhood on the floor for the next party to find.

We found another secret door into a harem room.  Ladies everywhere, but we felt something was very wrong and got out.  Before leaving we managed to grab a big fat gem and avoid some bad critters.  So we got out of the dungeon with our hides intact with a big fat gem and a silver candelabra.  Not too bad of haul.  We only explored 1.33 rooms.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Newbie Blogger Award 11-23-12

Wow, its has been forever since I have given out the fall knight of Newbie Bloggers, but I thought this would be as good a time as any.

This Newbie Blogger Award goes to Edgar's Game Blog!

Edgar has been very active on Google+ and I hadn't realized his blog hadn't been around for a while.  I'd thought he'd been around for a couple years.  He does some kick ass game reports.  He's a monster at developing stuff for the DCC system.  And he actually plays the games he talks about.  Please check out his blog and throw your support behind another old school blogger who is already putting out some great stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Knowledge Illuminates Got a Second Review Today

Patrick over at Henchmen Abuse and ASE fame has done a review of Knowledge Illuminates.  His review is on the print version.  Patrick and I played a few sessions together in one of Trey's, Weird Adventure games and had a great time.  Thanks Pat for taking the time to do a review and have a great holiday. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Knowledge Illuminates Gets Hit with a 10' Pole

Hehe, it sure did.  Well I did a little.  Bryce Lynch over at did a review on the PDF of Knowledge Illuminates.  Which I promptly thanked him calling him Bruce instead of Bryce.  Way to go me. 

I don't think he was all that thrilled about the adventure, but he was fair enough.  He pointed out what he disliked, thought sucked and what he liked.  All his criticisms were fair.  Bryce doesn't just say something sucked, he explains why it does.  Which is all you can ask. 

Thanks again Bryce for taking the time to do the review. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Game Session : The Raid

Last night we continued our game where our band of mercenaries were hired on to quell a Scanadian (think Vikings) population that was infringing upon Nomar (think King Arthur) territories.  We were assigned to start raiding Scanadian manors along the border.  Kill the lords, free the slaves.  Simple.

We armed our battle wagon with a heavy arbalist (think turret on top) supplied with lots of oil and planned our attack.  After our actor/thief/con/intelligence gather did his initial survey.  He and I went in first to position ourselves near the keep in case any riders tried to report the manor had been attacked.  There are dozens of other manors in the area and reinforcement could be gotten fairly fast.

The main group came up the road, poised as entertainers.  They would hide their intentions for as long as possible before attacking.

The manor house was manned by a Scanadian family.  Two warriors and two sons of fighting age.  The fight was over fairly quick.  They weren't expecting the attack and were outnumbered.  I had to ride down one of the sons that tried to run for it.  He and the women we spared, but kept prisoner.  There was a short debate on whether to let them go, but we couldn't chance allowing them to alert the others yet.  We'll let them know on our own terms.

We looted the manor.  Spoke to the reeve of the village of slaves and gave them half of the loot and a couple carts and oxen.  We escorted them to our base where they will decide were to go and set up.

Next week we go on a series of lightning raids along the northern border of the Scandian homeland.  We will try to take out a handful then burn them to the ground letting them know their time on this land is short.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sleestak Sunday Art

Adam Furgang has a Land of the Lost art page and even drew some ladies for our trio of Stakers above.  

He's got a lot of fantastic pictures if your a LotL connoisseur.  I would love to have a couple of those picture hanging in my office.  My favorite is this one...

Enik pondering the secrets of the crystal table.  Love it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Question

Did it take three weeks for Friday to get here?  Anyway, another simple Friday post that won't tax my brain, but a genuine interest in the answers.  This week's question...I'm asking this one this week since Black Friday is next week.  With Christmas rushing upon us and here in the States our mad rush starts the day after Thanksgiving, are there any products out there you would like for under your tree?  These products don't need to be in existence, just what you would like to have for Christmas.

Personally I would like to have the complete Pendragon RPG books.  I have several, but would like to get the missing ones.  Another product I'd love to have is Citybook VI.  Its the tough one to find.   Products in production I'd like to get Petty Gods, James Mal teased me with a glimpse of it not too long ago.  The Witch by Tim Brennan in print and also Patrick Wetmore's ASE2-3.  Those should be out soon so I better save a little money. 

Time to go make some dough so I can buy a couple of those things.  Make a wishlist and share.  You never know, Santa Claws may sneak into your house when you're asleep and deliver one or two.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wand of Horrible Deaths

Tonight I decided to make a random table magic item.  Its called the Wand of Horrible Death.  It has random effects.  It can also harm the wielder.  It has no loyalty.  It has no charges.  You will see in the description where its still good or not.  The GM will need to decide if saves are allowed, what the damage is and blah, blah, blah.  I just added the description of he affect.  I also thinks it critical NOT TO LET THE PLAYER SEE THE TABLE.  They're smucks.  They'll try to will a roll.  Let them find out by pointing and shooting. 

Result (d20)
A small dart flies out of the end of the wand and strikes and enters the target.  There is a 6-second delay, before the target blows the hell up.  The wand may be reused.
Nothing happens.  The target is immune to the wand’s power this combat.  The wand may be reused.
The wand shoots out of the wielder’s hand and wraps itself around the target.  Take the target’s Con divide it by half and that is how many rounds of life it has remaining.  The wand continues to constrict even after the target is dead until it constricts upon itself and vanishes from existence.
Since this is Ivy’s favorite number only good things happen when this is rolled.  The wand shoots out 3d6 delicious cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles.  While this will not kill the target it will distract them for 1d4 rounds.  The cupcakes are edible and while have no magical properties they will make the eater happy.  The wand will be reusable after the frosting is wiped off the tip.
A dark gray puff of smoke envelops the target.  There is a 25% chance the smoke will envelop the wielder also.  In 1d4 rounds the targets skin will begin to melt and slide away from muscle and bone.  Sleeves of skin will fall to the floor moments before rest of the body crumbles.
The want turns into a big ass lizard that is fast as hell.  It will target the victim and will bit the target.  On a natural 20 the lizard swallows the victim whole.  The lizard will continue its ravenous, berserker attack one the victim is dead and likely to snack of the wielder.  The wand is gone, it’s now a lizard.
The obvious.  A gout of flame envelopes the target and reduces all its self and all its belongings to ash.  So if it had something good, you’ll never know.  The caught on fire and is no longer useful
No apparent effect.  But in 1d4 weeks.  The target will become will with a series of diseases and die in a day.  The wand is still good. 
A high pitch noise with sound from the wand affecting everyone with ears (including the caster).  It will increase its volume each round.  1d6 1st round, 2d6 2nd round and so on.  The wand is still good but the wielder is no longer any good except for filling a ditch or being used as a carrion air freshener.
Tiny sea monkeys leap out of the end of the wand, 1000/round for 1d4 rounds.  The sea monkeys will coat the target and climb in any available orifice and run around in the targets guts until the too many monkeys go in.  Then the target explodes.  The sea monkeys will not attack the wielder, they simply die and make a mess.
The wand becomes an infinite reach blade.  The player can attack the target as if it were in melee range with the wand.  The invisible blade doe 1d10 damage.  It a natural 20 is rolled the target gets a limb lopped off.  Wand is still good.
Wand launches out of the wielder’s hand and embeds into the target.  Six legs will sprout from the wands and it will begin clawing itself into the target.  The wand is no good after this.  It’s a weird wand spider the player can use as a pet.  It doesn’t poop or pee, but its nasty disposition remains.
Simple.  Wand explodes showering a 100 hex area with magic death rays.  The wand exploded so you figure it out if it’s still good.  You’ll be dead so it don’t matter much.
A blue bolt erupts from the tip instantly killing the target.  There is a 5% chance for each god in the campaigns pantheon to take notice that someone used a blue bolt and it wasn’t one of them.  If a god notices it will hunt down whoever wields the wand. 
All the bodily fluids in the target solidify.  Wand is shiny good.
The target is instantly transported to the date and time and place where death takes him.  The wielder is also transported to that time and place.  This is a one way ticket baby.  At least the wand is still working.
The wand turns into a copy of the target and attacks.  It will know everything the target will do and gains +3 to hit and to damage.  After the battle is done is will kneel and commit suicide.  Your wand is now dead.
Demons will reach out of the ground and drag the target into hell, the abyss, Wal-Mart, where ever your campaign’s bad place is.  The wand has now become a beacon for demons.  If there are any in the area they will play the player a visit.
The targets eyes, ears, mouth, pucker and other bodily holes grow shut.  Wand remains working.
The player is given a limited wish.  That wish must be used immediately and it must be in the form of a death for the target.  If the wielder fails to do this the wand will grant the target the wish.  The wand loses all its power and is kindling. 

That's all I got tonight.  Have a good one.  And don't pull out a wand unless you plan to use it. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gamer Apathy

Yesterday was our Monday Night game.  I had been looking forward to it during the day.  Helps Mondays go by with a little less pain.  But then when the game started I just could not get into it.  I had no interest in what was going on.  It wasn't because of the GM or the gaming situation.  It was disappointing that I couldn't muster any of the interest I had earlier in the day.

Could have been tired from work.  Could have been I was waiting for the Steelers to play a sloppy game on Monday Night Football.  Could have been I had other things on my mind.  All of these.  None of these.  Combo.

We've been playing Monday night games for at least 5 years now I believe.  We've taken breaks, but they've been short.  I think we've played through a half dozen campaigns, most of which last a year long.  Our original group was 1 GM, 2 Players has grown to 1 GM, 6 Players strong.  Rarely does anyone cancel.  I would guess that 80% of the time we have the full crew.

What makes it work is we've committed to taking that time out of our week to get together (virtually, using Fantasy Grounds II and Skype) and play.  Its become an important part of my week and its great to get together with the guys and see what happens.

I guess I got some gamer apathy.  Plus with me losing two days worth of work on The Manor.  Frustrating.  But no time to be down.  Its Tuesday, we are planning to head to the bookstore, Ivy is dire need to get the latest Wimpy Kid book and maybe I can rewrite some of what I lost.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Top 3 List and Importing CDs

Its Sunday afternoon and I have a few hours together to get some writing done.  At the same time I'm importing songs from CD to my computer.  I have probably around 1000 CDs still.  Had almost 400 to 500 more, but have been getting rid of a lot of stuff.  I just need to figure out this cloud or some storage thing so every time a computer goes down I don't have to reload my CDs.  Still, I do get to rediscover some CDs that I haven't seen in a while. 

As for writing I am working away on Heimfell.  I'll be using John Stater's Blood & Treasure system.  It's me most favorite right now.  Last night while watching a movie I was rolling up NPCs for the village.  These folio of friends and fiends will not be in the printed version of the Manor.  It would take up too much room.  So it will be a separate file for anyone who purchases the PDF or print version.  Should be more then a couple dozen folks rolled up and fleshed out.  Maybe more.

Lulu is having another 20% off sale.  Here are my top 3 picks.

1. Scourge of the Demon Wolf by Rob Conley

It was his birthday yesterday.  So get a copy and tell the old man to have a Happy Birthday.

2. Blood & Treasure RPG by John Stater

When I run my next old school campaign I'll be running it B&T.  You can buy the players handbook and the treasure keeper's handbook separate, but the link I provided takes you to the combined book of the two.  With 20% its a great buy.

3. ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore

Patrick announced that he'll be releasing the ASE2-3 soon.  If you haven't gotten the first one now's a good time.  ASE1 was one of the finalist for the Three Castle Award for old school gaming products.  I've been rereading it lately and have enjoyed it.  Patrick's got a sick humor that I appreciate. 

That's all for now.  Back to writing. 

Sleestak Video Sunday

The elusive sleestak has been recently spotted in the daylight!  While this film is not at all grainy, I can assure that is a sleestak and it appears to be skipping.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Breaking Down Metal Prices

Once in a while I get these questions in my head that I can't shake.  The one that's been bouncing around in my head had been price values of different metals.  Since I use a silver standard in my game I'm wondering how many 1oz silver pieces would be equivalent to a 1oz gold piece using today's prices?

Google research time.  I found at the time of my search gold is selling for $1730.50/oz.  Wow.  But then I watch shows like Gold Rush and think about how much they have to spend to get at the gold.  What a pain. Current silver prices are at $32.58/oz.  Wow again.  What a gigantic divide between values.  Using today's it would take 53.11 silver pieces to equal one gold.

I can see using this in game.  Round it to an even 50 silver and it makes for easy conversions.  Here's why I like using the silver standard.  It makes gold valuable.  When you make gold the standard it devalues the silver.  Since I only use a 3 metal coin system for sanity sake it makes sense to make silver the standard.

ERROR FOUND and Fixed...I think
Now let's take a look at the lowly copper piece.  The given price for copper is in pounds not ounces.  For one pound of copper you'll get handed $3.43 which works out to about .21cents/oz.  It would take 155 copper to make a silver.  I would round it again to 150.

So using today's metal prices the conversion rate would look like this.


Let's say you like platinum in you game.  When I looked up its price I found something surprising for a gamer who always thought platinum was 5x more valuable than gold.  Not so.  Today's market will write you a check for $1559.40/oz.  Almost $200 less than gold.  Oh how the lofty have fallen.  That means platinum is only worth 47.86 silver pieces.  Over five silver less than gold.  Do I really need two metals that are almost the same value?  Not really.  So platinum gets the boot.  Maybe make it the 'gold' of another land.  Who knows.

And for my final calculation I thought it would be interesting to see how much tin, coal and iron ore are going for.  I think those are the three mines I usually set up in my game.  The prices in metric tons.  Tin came out way fricking ahead at $23,233.70/metric ton (for those unaware like me, a metric ton is about 2200 pounds).  Which gives it a price of $1056.07/lb and $66/oz.  Tin is more than twice the value of silver.

Coal comes in at $81.44/metric ton.  About 4 cents a pound.  And an ounce is not worth bending over to pick up.

Iron Ore is valued at $113.95/metric ton.  You can get a 5 cents/pound and again for an ounce it might be better to kick with your shoe.

I'm not sure exactly how knowing this will help me the the development of my campaign world, but its good to have a baseline.  Because it is a fantasy medieval setting I am thinking the prices for coal and iron would be high and the tin lower.  Either way what it shows me is tin barons would be hell of a lot wealthier than their coal counter parts.  Just interesting I think.

If anyone sees a problem with my math let me know.  As I've said.  I used the prices of the moment.  Since I wrote this gold went up to $1731.