Sunday, July 31, 2011

Biggest Sleestak Sunday Ever!

Angry Lurker will be dismayed, nay, horrified to learn that the sleestak are everywhere and could be anyone.  They hide just below a thin layer of skin.  Here is the proof.  Skeestaks have more influence upon us and our history than we know.  Tread carefully.

Because of these special glasses we are able to investigate how deeply rooted the sleestak are within our society.

And the most controversial find that may shake the foundations of all we know.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Google+ Saturday

I've been posting on Google+ today having some fun with it.  It's been a very casual day of inking some Game Science Dice, doing some layout for Zzarchov and doing a bit of editing of Starter Adventures.  Well editing might be a very generous word since all I did was click on the file.  My standards are low today.  I may make toast and claim I severed up a three course meal claiming the bread, peanut butter and honey all count.

I see a lot of folks getting involved with the hangouts, but I don't have a video camera for my computer and not all that inclined to get one.  I do have a microphone which is a big step for me.  Do you need a camera for it to work?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Level Adventure?

What level adventure do you prefer?  Most of the adventures i see out there are for low level characters which makes sense.  Most characters start at first level and a lot don't make it to 10th.  I am throwing this question out there just to see what people are looking for. 

What level adventures do you like? 

And what genre of adventure? 

I know I would like to see more low mid level adventures like 3rd to5th level.  And as far as genres go I am getting more interested in mixing it them up, like movie coming out Cowboys and Aliens.  Cyberpunk and Dinosaurs.  Fantasy and Far Future.  Those are pretty specialized, still I think it would be fun.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Game Called Due to a Fricking Headache

Monday Night is game night.  Just a thing that is an absolute.  Christmas falls is the 25th of December, 4th of the July is on the 4th of July, and Game Night is Monday.  It's not a national holiday, but for our group we try to make time for it each week.  I have to go to work for eight to ten hours a day then try to squeezing some writing in if my brain permits it so Mondays is bracketed off to hang out with the guys, throw some virtual dice and have a good time.  It's a good way to kick off the week and makes Mondays less dreaded.

This Monday I had to call off the game at the last hour.  Mount Migraine came crumbling into my skull and pretty much made it impossible for me to sit at my computer and try to game.  I think it's the first time I needed to cancel besides the once in a while anniversary or holiday.  And sometimes its good just to take off a week or two.  Too much work.  Too little sleep.

This past weekend we did get to sit around the table and throw some real dice.  The player continued on after they killed the mana titan, Rob's character was now fertilizing a good stretch of farmland and Dwayne teleported away.  Mages, they always get away with crap.  Rob made a Myridon of Sarrath, which is basically a paladin, holy warrior or fighting priest.  The highlight of the game was when his character was marked by a dead god's priest.  The dead god's followers are trying to resemble the bones of their god to resurrect him.  The priest was in disguise as a priest of Sarrath and accused Rob to be a blasphemer and had him judged. 

Rob through himself down on the altar and the fun began.  If you have Points of Light, the first one, turn to the Swamps of Archon section in the back.  Rob's myridon went on his second trail, the trail of fortitude.  The tension was high as Rob made his rolls.  He succeeded in the end.  And the giant statue in the temple skewered the foul priest.  But now the players have one of the dead god's bones as a race of creatures that do the work for this god close in on them.  That's where we ended it. 

And that's why my fricking headache sucked.

Newbie Blogger Award 7-26-11

The knight has fallen again so its time to announce the Newbie Blogger Award winner.  I have been enjoying this blog for the past month.  Already 32 posts in July and only started in June.  If you like GURPS check this blog out.  That seems to be the system of preference and one of the few blogs I see that focus on GURPS.  But there is plenty of geek interest to go around, from super hero figures to Hobbit updates and more GURPS.  So this here Newbie Blogger Award goes to ...................

Human Folly and the blog Off to Jupiter.  I've enjoyed this blog so please give it a look.  Give him a shout out if you dig his stuff.  Congrat's Human Folly.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RPGNow July Sale

Hey Guys, just a heads up that everyone probably knows, but RPGNow is having a Christmas in July sale this week.  All those who are participating get 25% off.  So those of you who are still not sure of buying something there and its been collecting dust in your shopping cart (I'm eyeballing the 15 of you with Knowledge Illuminates in their carts) take a chance and treat yourself.  As you can see by the total on the left side of my blog I am not shy about buying gaming stuff and going to have to check out a few items.

And you 15 out there....look into my eyes and push the button.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sleestak Sunday

Herb Hisserton Class of 1976.  AV Club, President of the Geologist of Tomorrow Club and Voted Most Likely to Get Lost.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Styles of GMing

My GMing style is casual, rules loose and usually I go for extremes in campaign theme.  First off the casual and rules loose.  I don't fret over the rules all that much, besides with the guys I play with they have them memorized or the book opened to to the right page.  I am one that just says 'Roll, let's see what happens'.  Now I admit that my rules loose approach can create some inconsistent rulings, but if the players remind me of what I did before I correct it.  Since we are playing GURPS sometimes the rules can get persnickety and I just want to keep the action going.

Second my extreme campaign themes.  I like either to have an epic/heroic story going for the players or a down a dirty, gritty scraping for every farthing campaign.  The one I am currently running is epic.  Already they have fought a medusa vampire and mana titan in only four sessions.  One player was promoted to master in the guild and another has witnessed a god battle.  This campaign I don't see being all that long, but I want to keep it intense and fasted pace.  So am I going to worry about money for trinkets?  Nope.  Pretty much these guys have the means and connections to get pretty much what they want.  Only something out of the ordinary would cause me to have them check the contents of their wallets. 

I am a wing it GM.  I find my stories are much more interesting when I use a loose structure.  The last adventure when they encountered the mana titan I did not sit down and stat it out.  Really there was no way to and plus when I do that I find the encounter restrained and not as cool as I wanted it to be.  I wanted these guys to know they were battling something very powerful, very potent and world altering.  And the battle was all that and two bags of chips.  Even though they won the battle the players could easily see how this creature could wipe out and army with very little effort.

I'm not sure exactly where this campaign will go or how long it will last, but I plan to just make up stuff that I find a lot of fun, keep a continuing storyline weaved through it and roll a ton of dice.  I want to roll until my Game Science dice go round. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Spending Mark Reached

Last week I purchased the GURPS GM screen.  After a couple of sessions rifling through books I decided it was time I bought that damn thing.  And it put me over the $900 mark in gaming purchases for the year.  Yup.  I will hit a $1000 before the end of the year.  No complaints though.  It's what I like to do and spend money on. 

I just have to get my Starter Adventurers finished so I can suppliment my spending.  And Jason just sent me the lastest picture he finished, its a color picture for the back cover and it is......GREAT.  I'm going to keep it hush hush because I would prefer others be surprised by it.

One Dead, One Missing, One Remains

Cast of Characters
Paltar, spearman mercenary - Rob
Cal, mage - Dwayne
Lazareth, two weapons mercenary - Brian (not present)

After the players regrouped from the undead attack, Paltar with his lame arm in a sling unable to weild a spear still travelled North into the Harrow Hills Barony.  On the way refugees were fleeing the barony.  Cal met with one of his mages who warned him not to go.  "The ground moves like water.  Waves of earth are killing everyone."  Being without protection Cal sent Lazareth with her for protection. 

Now I am not one to come at my players straight on.  I like to play preconceptions and mess them up, but within the rules of the game of course.  With the giant, the players were thinking it was going to be a tall, humanoid that stinks and has a large club.  Nope.  What the players ran into was a primal mana titan.  One of the creatures that produce mana for the world.

Well they managed to kill it using some clever tactics and a lot of luck.  This thing threw waves of earth and stone, root tentacles grabbed and stabbed.  It planted itself into the earth and created an earthen whirlpool that obilterated poor Paltar.  The first casualty of the campaign.  It was a good death.

The aftermath will be played out in person.  Dwayne is traveling ino town this weekend so we can sit around a real table and roll some real dice.  Looking forward to that.  But there will be some interesting results because of this.  The grandmaster of the guild has assigned Cal to build his team. 

The best part will be playing in person.
Inspiration for my giant.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Game Night

It's Monday and that means game night, but I knew it was going to be a bad day when I woke up with hiccups.  First email I get is one of the guys cancelling.  He's got some serious work stuff to do so no worries there.  But the hiccups have proven to be a dire omen within just a few minutes. 

Prep work for tonight's session was fairly easy, but something I still have not completed.  Last night I stated a few people and a giant.  Those of you who play GURPS know even the smallest giant can cause an entire kingdom havoc.  I think GURPS giants play more like legendary giants than do the D&D.  The same thing could be said for dragons. 

The players are traveling north to the Barony of Harrow Hill where said giant has been brutalizing the countryside.  They have heard rumors that a small army of mercenaries were dispatched and none have returned.  The mage guild has been hired to take care of the situation.  Thus, Cal, has been asked to solve the problem or at least get information.  Cal (Dwayne's character) is the first in a new house the guild is creating.  It specialized in eliminating outside threats.  They already have a 'police' house to keep other mages in line, but this one was created because the current grandmaster of the guild was once an adventurer and understands how potent a group of mages can be if the restraints are taken off.  Cal is the head of this new house.  As long as the mission is sanctioned by the guild anything is in bounds for use to get the job done.

So what I did last session was develop this house and then gave him mission choices.  Not only does it go along with the theme of the house and gives the player freedom to choose it also allows me to prepare more from session to session.  Sandboxes can get tricky that way.  While on these missions there will also be other things that get entwined.  Such as...

At the end of the last session the players were attacked by a very powerful undead creature.  Lopped Paltar's (Rob's character) right off.  While during the attack a Myridon of Sarrath assisted them and even helped with healing Paltar.  Paltar hates the faithful of Sarrath and now one assisted him without reason.  Though Cal could have easily healed him, the Myridon did it with the asking. 

And then we have Lazereth (Brian's character and the guy who cancelled due to work...Damn You Brian!!...expect a nasty email, hehe) who has been shown a god and recruited to its cause. 

So you can see there are lots of interesting stuff going on with only three sessions in.  So tonight we play with two players.  Probably what I'll do with Brian is shoot him off a couple of emails and do a short email session with him to keep him in the same timeline as the others without resorting to the frozen statue tactic.  We'll see. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sleestak Sunday

A Day in the Life of a Sleestak

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rating Fictional Lands as Gaming Lands

Whisk and I have been reading H.G. Wells's Time Machine.  In fact the book I have has 7 novels included.  I read this a decade or two ago.  I am reading this thinking, "My god, what a boring gaming world this would be."  There i said it.  A classic novel known through out the world and I am dissing it.  Love the story, but the world...zzzz. 

First off you only have two races, the wimpy, innocent surface dwellers the Eloi and the more famous machine addicted, subterranean race, the Morlocks.  Neither is that compelling to play.  Eloi are pretty much useless and helpless.  Morlock, although a little more aggressive not all that terrifying.  A mage with a light spell would exterminate the race.  The features of the word are the most interesting, locations such as the White Sphinx, Palace of Green Porcelain (although i do admit I think of a giant toilet bowl), and the catacombs.  All cool.

But as I am reading his I thought about how boring of a game setting this would be.  Although the Morlocks are a bit creepy they hardly could be considered a dangerous enemy.  If a party of adventurers did pop in they would be kicking ass at will.  Although the Morlocks could develop more guerrilla warfare tactics.  Still I doubt the Eloi would be much for changing their ways. 

Don't get me wrong, story is very interesting.  The concept is great.  As is the movie with Rod Taylor playing H. George Wells.  But as a gaming land I have to give it a big fat thumbs down. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I make no apologies for my blatant rip off of something I saw on Babylon 5 years ago (or the name I've given it).  There was a drug that allowed normal people to use psychic powers.  I think they just called it 'Dust'.  The Psi Corps needed to keep it under control because the raw psychic power was lethal to them.    I adapted the idea for my current GURPS campaign.  It's still rough, but I like it.

Some creatures that have innate magical abilities possess have a mana gland that hunters can harvest.  It's this gland that alchemists use to make the malgic concoction.  It is a difficult process and illegal.  Mage Guilds will hunt anyone who is creating malgic.  But because of the high profit and the power is can grant, malgic continues to be made even though the risk is great.

Malgic allows a normal person to use mana in a raw form.  They don't cast spells as much pull raw mana from the environment.  Only those with a strong will have any sort of control.  Most users become open vessels that the mana pours into and essentially becomes a mana bomb.  This can have several horrible affects on mages.  The following is a short list of things I've come up with, if you can think of other effects please add them in the comments.  Like I said still working this out.

1. Mana explosion.  Mages take 1d6 damage/magery level. 
2. Mana burn.  Mages are burned by the intensity of the raw mana unleashed.  For the next 1d6 weeks the mage will be unable to cast any spell that is not instantaneous due to the intense pain.
3. Mana void.  The area becomes a mana dead zone. 
4. Mana surge.  All spells work at maximum capacity and use maximum fatigue.
5. Mana rift.  Tears the plane and allows passage.
6. Mana bomb.  Combine 1,3 and 5.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sleestak Sunday

It's look-a-like Sleestak Sunday.  There are many who strive to look and act like a sleestak and some come close.

Gorn has to be our first candidate.  Although others will argue he came before the sleestak and I would say, look at the title of the blog, it ain't Gorn Sunday.  Nope.  And Gorn, that dress...really?  Looks like something Rita Moreno would have worn when she was on the Electric Company.
Bossc from Star Wars.  I don't remember him.  Although I have a feeling some of you out there probably know a bit of history about him in your Star Wars wikis.  If you feel like sharing, please don't.
Now when I was a kid I always thought all the Sleestak were men.  This looks like a good version of a female one.
Damn right he looks like one.  Only reason he is popular.
I know, you really got to want to see it.
A super villain version of the sleestak.  It's just missing the useless slingbow to be complete.
But nothing beats the real thing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kiss It, OSR

This is on I've been cranking the last few days and also suitable to the current mood of the OSR.  So 'Kiss It' and get back to making up cool shit.

So let's all stop pissing our pants and get back to the game!

Walk Away

Nope, I am not going to stop blogging, but this Tom Waits songs is one of my favorites and sort of suits my mood.  This is for those you who remain and those who have gone.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Newbie Blogger Award 7-7-11

It's that time again.  Someone has really out done themselves to get this award this time.  It was getting a little dusty anyway.  This new blog is very young, really at this time only has one entry, but I know it will be good.  It may even be great.  It already has more followers than me with one post.  Amazing.  So this Newbie Blogger Award goes to....

Despite what everyone may believe Christian sacrificed his entire backlog of posts to get this award.  What dedication, what determination, what madness would make a man do that?  This award goes to Christian without hesitation, raising the bar for all other newbies who wish to earn the fallen knight.  Congrats Christian and welcome back!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Six-Pack of Hirelings

Here is a six-pack of henchmen.  These are pasted and copied from MS Word so they may be a bit wonky.  I write these up a couple at a time.  I eventually hope to have a hundred and release it sometime soon.  It's a writing exercise I do when I can't seem to focus on the task at hand.  Making up hirelings is pretty simple and greases the wheels for the real work that needs to be done.  I used Swords & Wizardry Core Ruleset for the stats. 

Str:         14  (+1 to hit and damage)                               HP: 12
Dex:       14  (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 [+1] AC)           LV: 2
Con:       16  (+1 hit point/HD)                                       CL: Cleric
Int:          10  (2 max. languages, 5th max. spell level)      RA: Human
Wis:        15  (no modifier)                                             SV: 14
Cha:        10  (4 max. hirelings)                                      AC: 6 [13]

Equipment: poor quality chain mail (-3 [+3]AC), heavy mace 1d6+1, 6 torches

Phillip was killed several months ago exploring a dungeon with his friends.  He was raised from the dead after several days.  When he awoke he remembered nothing.  He did not see his god nor did he feel the presence of his god.  Phillip is a cleric who has lost his faith and can no longer cast spells. 

Phillip hires himself out as a torchbearer to other parties and will not tell them of his past.  He proves himself valuable because he can fight well.  He keeps a journal, writing down everything he experiences.  He hopes to one day find his way back to his god.  

Str:         10  (no modifiers)                                            HP: 3
Dex:       18  (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 [+1] AC)           LV: 0
Con:       11  (no modifiers)                                            CL: Hireling
Int:         12  (3 max. languages, 6th max. spell level)       RA: Human
Wis:         6  (no modifiers)                                             SV: 16
Cha:       10  (4 max. hirelings)                                        AC: 6 [13]

Equipment: leather armor (-2 [+2] AC), dagger 1d4

James is an extremely talented boy with no common sense.  He was recruited by the thieves guild, but he proved to be unreliable and constantly put others in danger so he was released.  The thieves sliced James’s hands to remind him never to speak of what he knows.  If there is a thief in the party James will be more terrified of him than a hulking fighter.

James decided to learn the ways of an adventurer.  If the players aren’t specific with James he will wander off to see what is around the next corner or what is through the next door.

Str:         13  (+1 to hit and damage)                               HP: 5
Dex:       13  (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 [+1] AC)           LV: 0
Con:       12  (no modifiers)                                            CL: Hireling
Int:          12  (3 max. languages, 6th max. spell level)      RA: Human
Wis:        17  (no modifier)                                             SV: 16
Cha:        11  (4 max. hirelings)                                      AC: 8 [11]

Equipment: 50’ rope, 2 iron spikes, tinder box, hand axe 1d6

Hawthorn is an energetic young man who isn’t sure what he wants to do, but figures he can earn some quick coin by hiring himself out to adventurers.  He has been on two expeditions.  Both parties were killed.  Now others adventurers believe Hawthorn is bad luck and won’t hire him.

Hawthorn has a knack for building a fire in almost any condition with minimal material.  

Str:         10  (no modifiers)                                             HP: 4
Dex:       13  (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 [+1] AC)           LV: 0
Con:       11  (no modifiers)                                            CL: Hireling
Int:         13  (3 max. languages, 7th max. spell level)       RA: Human
Wis:         9  (no modifier)                                              SV: 16
Cha:       12  (4 max. hirelings)                                        AC: 8 [11]

Equipment: sling, 10 bullets 1d4, backpack, shovel, chalk

Manny is small with large buckteeth.  He looks slow, but he is quite intelligence, but has no confidence in what he says so he is usually quiet.  He was a porter for the past seven years and bears several scars.  He only goes out with a party once, twice at the most.  He has no friends or family and no one seems to know much about him.

Manny was once an apprentice to a mage who terrorized him constantly.  After a drunken rage the mage cast a spell and something went critically wrong.  Manny had the healing potions, but instead watched his master die. 

Str:           9  (no modifiers)                                                HP: 4
Dex:       12  (no modifiers)                                                LV: 0
Con:       11  (no modifiers)                                                CL: Hireling
Int:         14  (4 max. languages, 7th max spell level)            RA: Human
Wis:         9  (no modifiers)                                                SV: 16
Cha:         8  (3 max. hirelings)                                           AC: 9 [10]

Equipment: dagger 1d4, large sack, 2 torches, small mirror

Avaron belonged to an outlaw gang before he betrayed them to the city guard.  His father is a merchant who paid the right people so Avaron would not hang with the rest of them.  Avaron is paranoid that some of the gang members that escaped are still hunting him.

Avaron is looking for long time employment hoping to gain the friendship of an adventuring group.  He knows the importance of having allies.  Avaron is good with animals.

Str:         13  (+1 to hit and damage)                                  HP: 8
Dex:       11  (no modifiers)                                                LV: 1
Con:       14  (+1 to hit points/HD)                                    CL: Fighter
Int:         10  (2 max. languages, 5th max. spell level)          RA: Human
Wis:       10  (no modifier)                                                 SV: 14
Cha:       12  (4 max. hirelings)                                          AC: 5 [15]

Equipment: chainmail  and shield (-5 [+5] AC), spear 1d6

Icston was an adventurer and died before he was born.  Icston's mother tried to protect him from 'the life', but he always wanted to follow his father.  He  has potential to become an adventurer himself.  But knows he needs to learn for others. 

 Icston is good at listening, but struggles with adaptation.  If the player tells him to do something he will do it, but does not have the imagination to figure out what the next logical step is unless shown a couple of times.

So concludes this episode of Hirelings at the Manor.  Please hire responsibly.  Don't drink and hire.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th and Golfing with X Files

A little time off is always appreciated.  A good excuse to get big fat steaks and fire up the grill.  Medium rare please.  And really, if you say anything else, but medium rare shame on you.  This post is not game related at all, but a cool weekend geek connection.

I was at a golf outing this weekend for a scholarship fund.  The lady who ran it was my English teacher in high school a quarter century ago.  She said she got her cousin James Pickens Jr. to come in and that he played the chief on Grey's Anatomy.  Okay.  Having never seen or wanted to see an episode of that show I tried to sound interested.  I'm just going for the golf ,the charity and to bid on some goofy golf stuff (damn it, some peckerhead outbid me for the Walter Hagan putter...I've used peckerhead in two blogs in a row.  Must be my new favorite...anyway).

I got there early because the group I golfed with needed to bring a couple items in for the silent auction (which they promptly forgot).  I was on the putting green and got to speak with Mr. James Pickens Jr. for a short while staying clear that I hadn't watched an episode of his show.  But as I spoke with him his voice sounded very familiar.  I asked him if he'd been on another show.  He laughed and said "Yeah, I was on X-Files for a short while."  Bam!  Light bulb.  I was golfing with Deputy Director Alvin Kersh.  One of my wife's most hated characters on X-Files.  Right behind Mimi Rogers character, Agent Diana Fowley.  She didn't like the fact the Mulder had a chubby for her.  We golfed together for a practice hole then I didn't have much time to speak with him after that once the people came in, but it was a great event and a lot of fun.

Kersh without his golf clubs.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sleestak Sunday

I've been looking for Sammy all day so we can get this Sleestak Sunday on the road, but the little peckerhead has gone missing. 
Yeah Sammy wishes.
Ah, no.
What the hell is that?!
Can't tell if its face is upside down or right side up.
Ha.  That ain't Sammy.
There's Sammy.  All right let's go you already made us late for the book store.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Final Pictures from My Haul from Origins

HackMaster.  Two new adventures.  A PDF copy of Hacklopedia Beasts.  Score.  The Kenzer booth was pushing their new adventures for HackMaster and the new Hacklopedia which they gave away a copy the day before.  I've looked at it on my PDF, should get the book next month, and it is one good looking book.  Sixty bucks makes it one of the more expensive books (well Tome of Horrors set me back $30 more).  I think it looks good overall.  A field guide to all the critters, information gathered from different adventurers.  The art for the monster is all sketchings.  If you are looking for innovative or inspirational art its not in here.  At least for me.  Don't get me wrong, the art is good, love the old piggy orc, but none of the pictures strike my inspiration.  This could be unfair because I have dozens of monster tomes and maybe its because I am immersed in them.  The information is creative and fun.  I am still a HUGE fan of the yield section which I employ in every game.  Though I create my own yields this hacklopedia will be mined for inspiration.  The adventures I haven't had a chance to read through, but in general their adventures are thoughtful and well done.

Okay on to my other goodies.  I bought a Misktonic t-shirt.  Which is very cool and I love it when people ask me what it is.  I tell them it was the college I went to and give them the Elder Sign.  Some times its more fun to live in your own world than theirs. 
Last but not least at all is this very kick ass backpack I bought from the Origins table.  I love this bad boy.  I knew going into Origins I was going to pick one up to contain my haul.  I didn't get the one that said bag of Holding because well...I already get enough questions about my t-shirt.  Any more would be too much.  I will be using this one for a long time. 

Thus concludes all the stuff I got from Origins.  It took a swift kick in the nuts to my budget, but well worth it.  Next year though I would like to maybe get a badge system for us bloggers so if we are the convention you might recognize my badge and blog and so on.  I see so many others that attended and would have at least have said hello.

How I Develop an Adventure

The way I develop an adventure when I GM is a lot different from when I write one for publication.  When our weekly session comes around I usually have a loose set of events or possible situations that players will get involved in.  Because on the nature of sandbox play it's important to have a flexible approach and the ability to wing it. 

For me, the most important thing to developing a good adventure is to take good notes.  Good notes during the session.  Players will always provide you with plenty of nuggets for future adventures.  I think sessions should build on one another.  Each week will have a cumulative effect that a GM should have no problem developing adventures their players are interested in and adventures that are custom made for their characters.

So my preparation for the this week's adventure starts with last week's adventure and all previous sessions.  After skimming through the notes I'll create a handful of situations or events that will/could happen to the players.  Another element that I use and believe is vital, especially in a sandbox campaign, things happen in the world outside the players' control.  Or the cliche, Shit Happens.  Good and bad.  Now all the things I write up may not be used during the session, some depends on their actions and some depends on my mood and what direction the session is going.

Here's an example of what might be behind my GM screen:

- A group of thugs have heard about the players haul.  The store owner the party sold their gems to told the thugs.  They will use Elissa, their very attractive accomplice.  This will play into Grog's weakness for women.  Elissa will attempt get the player drunk and lure him out so the thugs can attempt a robery.  The one thug can pickpockets (15), but if this fails they will jump the player.  They will no attempt to kill the player, they just want the money.  If the player proves to be to powerful they will scatter.

- The city guard are leading a chain gang of prisoners through town.  All of the prisoners look Scandain.  The new Overlord continues to push for slavers to raid the Green Coast.  He has grand games planned in a few months and wants bodies to fill the arena.  (If the players go to the docks they may be accosted by a ship's captain to join his crew.  He pays well, but is a cruel SOB and will cram as many people into his holds as he can and is not shy with his club or feeding the fish with a few bodies along the way).

- Agrew's father says one of his friends is in need of help.  Craig (the player knows him and was friends with his son before he died) returned to the village  Fahter says he is in horrible health.  The whole village is getting sick and Lord Banton is doing nothing.  He is too busy developing the new silver mines.  Craig knew Agrew was connected with the temple and wondered if he could help the village.  (hook for the Mine of Rot and Disease).

- Myrimidon Uller has been announced as the punishment counselor to the Overlord.  Within this declaration are several names of people who are believed to be threats to the city-state.  One of the players is named.

- The Gray Wardens (mercenary company) are in town.  The old company Grog used to fight for.  They seek out Grog so they can have a few drinks and try to recruit him and his party into the company.  They need competent scouting groups for their next few missions.  (This will lead to the Fields of Smoke adventure)  Captain Lavar will offer payment and include any treasure they find, but all information needs to be shared.  That is not an option.  Grog left when Lavar took over.  Did not get along.

This is a generic version.  But you can see while the players are doing their thing, such as they have returned from a successful raid on a bandit stronghold and sold their goods.  The gold attracts the thugs.  Some of these have developed adventures that can be hooked into.  And some are just happenings, but it adds to the overall atmosphere of what is going on and something that could develop into a significant adventure later. 

When the players are involved in a 'dungeon' then very little of this needs to be done, but I still like to have a few prepared.  Stuff can happen in a dungeon between encounters.  And who knows, the players may only get a few encounters into the adventure and decide to back out due to injury, the needfor specialized equipment or have decided they are in over their heads.

When I make up these quick encounters I generally don't stat them.  I use a template or just stat out the stuff that might be important.  If the players make it a significant encounter and it looks like it will be an ongoing thing then I'll stat the NPC.  As I said before, players provide a lot of fodder for adventure.

So this concludes a glimpse behind my GM screen.  Have a good weekend everyone.  I finished inking (but since I used crayon *BioPunk: King of the Blog* I think I should call is waxing, but it sounds weird) my game Science dice.  I used white instead of black.  The white sticks out alot better than the black.  Man I am goin way off now, but I found that when I used the black micro sharpee first then filled it in with the white crayon, the black outlined the white and that looks fantastic.  Okay, now I'm done.