Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sleestak Easter Sunday

This sleestak is blowing the top off of Easter with a PBR and freshly rolled cigarette laced with a little something extra to get his little buddy, Hal the Turtle to stop by.  Meanwhile the volcano is playing some wicked music and as far as he's concerned has the best bass sound ever.

If I had one of those 70's vans, I would want this on the side.

Happy Easter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Attack of the Marshmallow Peeps

Good Friday...yeah it is.  No real work.  I can do play work.  Back to work on Manor #4.  I've decided I'm not worrying about the size of the issue.  If it ends up being 40 pages, so be it.  I just want to make sure the content is worth the extra expense and time.  So far I think it is.  Coming along fairly well.  I mentioned doing an experiment a few weeks again about rewriting a classic as an exercise.  I was taking T1 The Village of Hommlet and as a writing exercise rewriting it.  Mainly focusing on the village.  I liked the entries and they were a ways away from the original and though they would be perfect for what I wanted to do in the next issue.

Okay, I just saw Ivy put marshmallow peeps on my blog and has completely derailed my train of though.

Is it just me, but if you take the pig tails off the girl, doesn't she look a lot like James Mal?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Friday Question (Yes, I know it's Thursday)

Snow is still piling up outside.  It looks like a snowglobe.  Big gobs of wet, white.  Good snowball snow.  I already was attack this morning in the parking lot by some of my co-workers.  Luckily they were aiming at me.  That's the safest place to be.  They suck at throwing.

I know its Thursday, but I am off tomorrow and like any good GM I can wing it.  So I'll dub today Friday. 

If you had to pick one book or one movie that has influenced your gaming style what would it be? 

Mine are the Theives World books.  At least the first few.  Black Company comes in a close second.  I prefer the dark, low fantasy where a copper piece is a fortune to some.  The inter-political struggles within organizations, the fantastic creatures of myth and legend are just on the outside of perception and the heroes tend to be unforgiving, brutal and in any other situation could easy be the bad guy.

So what's your most influential book or movie? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dungeon Deck KickStarter

Whew, with all the bad mojo lately about Kickstarters I was afraid to get rotten tomatoes thrown at me for posting about one ready to end.  But I am going to brave the vegetables to do it any way. 

As of this post, Dungeon Decks is less than $250 away from funding with 3 days left.  I'm confident that it will get funded, but wanted to throw it out to all of you again to check it out if you haven't already.  For me, the big difference is I already own a deck of these cards and I've seen the expansion.  So the decks themselves are pretty much done. 

One of the very cool incentives is if you add $10 to your order you get double the decks.  I put in at the $40 level which means I would get the main deck and the expansion decks.  I added a mere $10 and now I am going to get two of each. 

All I need is 5 of you brave souls to do what I did.  Plop in the $40, add  another $10 and it'll be funded and you'll have a very cool batch of cards.  So if your interested head on over to Dungeon Decks and watch the grainy video.  I think Jim should have went with the tin foil walls from Hawk the Slayer. 

Construction of a Zine: Paper

 The other day I did an experiment with paper.  To be more exact, different weight paper.  I've been experimenting with using 24lb and 28lb paper instead of the standard 20lb.  The reason?  Heavy paper increases the look and feel of the zine.  The main reason why I considered a heavier weight this time around, all the artwork in the issue.  Art mean lots of black space.  Lots of black space means more bleed through to the back of the page.  Both the 24lb and 28lb reduce that problem.  But with the added thickness of the paper, increases the overall weight of the zine.  We are playing a game here were every tenth of an ounce counts.

Another factor is the amount of pages.  Since I'm going to be unable to fit what I want into 24 pages I am going to increase it to 28 or more likely 32 pages. 

Weight experiment time.

I'm figuring how much it would weight if I increased my zine from 24 to 28 to 32 pages.  I'll throw in the 28 page count also.  Weird math to follow.  All of the calculations are figured with a 65lb card stock cover.  I'm using Ivy's kitchen scale (shhh, don't tell her)  which is very accurate and seems to jive with the scale at the post office.

20lb Paper
  • At 24 pages it weights in at 1.7 ounces.  
  • At 28 pages it weights in at 1.8 ounces.  
  • At 32 pages it weights in at 1.94 ounces.  
So if I needed to I could squeeze in 8 more pages without more cost in postage.  Really pushing it, but it can be done.  Once that scale reads over 2oz the postage goes up and not by a little.

 24lb Paper
  • At 24 pages it weights in at 1.76 ounces.  
  • At 28 pages it weights in at 1.89 ounces.
  • At 32 pages it weights in at 2.15 ounces.
At 32 pages the weight kicks it into the higher postal bracket.  See postage increase below.

28lb Paper
  • At 24 pages it weights in at 1.91 ounces.
  • At 28 pages it weights in at 2.12 ounces.
  • At 32 pages it weights in at 2.33 ounces. 
I think the 28lb paper gives the zine the best look and quality.  But again, it costs more.  Let's take a look at those additional postage costs for breaking the 2oz barrier.

Postage Increase
  • US shipping increases from .66 to .86.
  • Canadian shipping increases from $1.10 to $1.55.
  • International increases from $2.05 to $3.
As you can see the cost increase is not small.  More pages, better paper, more weight and more ink.  I do plan on using 32-pages minimum this issue.  I may see what 36 pages looks like on the scale.  If I'm going to pay for the next postage level I might as well fill it.  I can use the space.

And here is another sample of the cool artwork in the next issue brought to you by the deft hand of Jason Sholtis.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Adventure Writing Unexpected Turns

I've been working on the 4th issue of The Manor for the past month.  In a later post I'll let you know about the great mini monster manual inside, the art done by +Jason Sholtis .  It's fantastic.

The first part of the next Manor was going to be a straight forward adventure that featured displacer beasts.  I didn't realize they were in the group of ultra protected monsters of WotC.  Product identity monsters.

Turn one.

Since I already have the art and idea I changed the name of the monster to Shadow Manus.  Manus means hand or paw in Latin and I believe it means cat in Hungarian.  If ever I need a exotic sounding name I go to the English/Hungarian translation dictionary and find a word that sounds cool and alter it so I can pronounce it.  In addition to changing the name, its powers changed (it no longer displaces, but shadow travels).  I got the idea of shadow traveling from a Google+ game with +Zzarchov Kowolski where my mage had that ability.  I thought it was a great idea and it fit.  So while the Shadow Manus has its roots in the displacer beast, it is now its own thing.

Back to the adventure writing.  I reread my adventure.  Boring.  Snooze fest.  I dare say it sucked.

Turn two.

Adventures should not be boring.  There should be something in them that makes the players get excited, or baffles them, or sends them to their knees in awe!  Actually I just go for "Oh, that's cool." and I consider it a success.

So I decide to rewrite the adventure from a different perspective.  This perspective is much more interesting.  And it will put the adventurers into some precarious situations.  I like that.  One of the things I added was a bit more of a description of the village instead of hand waving it in the introduction.  It was all going great until the ultimate judge said no.  Space.

Turn three.

I don't have the space to do that.  I've already increased the zine by 8-pages.  I've already knocked the weight into the next bracket so my shipping charges are going to increase.  So now I have about 10 pages, kinda, to  get the adventure to fit in.  I read back through the adventure and the first thing that will get axed is the introduction.  I wrote it in a narrative over a page and a half.  The village is 4 geographical locations and 20 residences and then 10 areas in the cave.  While you might think 10 pages is a lot it gets eaten up quickly.

I'll probably write out the adventure and village the way I want and not worry about space.  Once its done then I pare it down and see if I can get it to fit.  I have some great art pieces I need to fit in also.  I'm looking forward to the challenge and something tells me I haven't hit my last turn in this adventure.  It's a puzzle.  Not just writing an adventure, but getting it to fill up the space you have.  Whether its too much or too little. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sleestak Sunday

A different take on the sleestak.  As much insect as reptile.  This image comes from Crocazill.  He's got some excellent Godzilla and Gamara pictures.  Enjoy your sleestak Sunday ,even you Lurker.

Plus I wanted to give a shout out to Gorgonmilk for getting Petty Gods back on track.  I just just read over at the tavern that Michael Moorcock is penning a petty god himself.  I think that's pretty cool.  I need to get my butt in gear and at least submit one petty god. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday's Question

With the winners selected and emails flying around it's time to get back to some gaming normalcy...hmm, I think that's one of them there oxy morons. 

I'm going to piggy back off of Rusty Battle Axe's question.  What non-RPG/non-video game, game do you enjoy playing?  I'm not a huge board game guy, Dwayne has an archive of them and I always enjoy when we get a chance to together and break one out.  Card games for me are not a big draw.  I like Munchkin.  Its fun, but then you get all those expansion packs and it waters it down for me. 

So what board or card games do you enjoy?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Winners Are....

I decided to get it done tonight.  There were 142 individuals in the drawings.  I had a random generator select the winners and here they are, to be envied and hated.  Yeah the winners are down here.  Stop looking at the hotty.

Micheal Garcia

Peter D

Roger the GS

Anthony Simone (Drance)

I've tried to contact you so if you would please provide your email I will send them out to all the fantastic contributors. 

OSR Mega Bundle Giveaway - CLOSED

First off, the response to this giveaway has been amazing.  Everyone has been super cool and helpful and other adjectives I can't think of.  I think I have something like 135 entries, maybe more.  I was hoping to get a hundred, but figured I would get at least 50. 

Now its time for me to collect all the names, assign them a number and generate four random winners.  I'll either post the winners tomorrow morning or tomorrow night.  If you see your name please send me your email.  I may have it, but please send it any just in case. 

Good luck to everyone.  You are going to get one hell of a PDF bundle. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

1000 Posts - OSR Mega Bundle Giveaway

Here it is.  I hit 4 digits worth of posts.  It took me nearly 4 years, but I did it.  Fuck'n hell.  And because I hit 1000 posts, 4 of you are going to be very happy.  How do you get happy?

You comment about how wonderful I am and you're entered.  Or if you prefer to take a shot that would count to.

I've got a fantastic mega PDF bundle of OSR products to giveaway.  All were generously donated to help me thank all of you.

So you're wondering what's in the PDF bundle?

+Joseph Bloch  is offering Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual.  I don't know Joesph that well, but he was the first one who volunteered to donate and got the ball rolling.  I'm looking forward to getting a copy for myself.  And, Joseph's got a fantastic hairstyle.

 +matt jackson  added Vol. 1 of his Moleskin Maps.  I've always been a fan of Matt's maps.  I've bought everything he's done and never been disappointed.  He drew maps for Manor #2 and I know if I needed a emergency map, he'd be right on it.  

+Dak Ultimak offers any issue of his Crawl! zine.  He's got six great issues that took on WotC and managed to have all six zines on the top list on RPGNow even though WotC released all the old products.  

No easy feat.  The zine is that good. 

+Peter Regan is offering any issue of his incredible Oublitte magazine.  This is a great zine.  I love the artwork of The Marg.  Her dark images suit the tone of the magazine.  There is a ton of great content inside, including a few comics.

+Paolo Greco donated a PDF copy of Adventure Fantasy Game.  Paolo is not someone I know well, but this is what I like best about the OSR, there is a ton of great products being produced and most are generous.  

Adventure Fantasy Game is a fantastic addition to anyone's PDF library.

Dylan Hartwell was gracious enough to donate his fantastic adventure Menagerie of the Ice Lord.  This is not only a kickass adventure it's also a mini monster manual.  Dylan does all his own artwork and did all the artwork for my adventure Knowledge Illuminates.  He's been a big supporter of my blog and his donation is much appreciated. 

+Rob Conley my good friend and partner in gaming crimes allowed me to place his adventure, Scourge of the Demon Wolf, within the bundle.  After much hair pulling and name calling Rob relented. 

 +Jason Sholtis and +John Larrey did the amazing artwork for this and the guy who edited this must be a wizard.  The words are magic!  

Thanks Rob.

**New Entry**
+Timothy Brannan just now offered copies of The Witch!  Thanks a lot Tim.  What a great addition.


+Tim Snider  just entered DEVIANT DATABASE.  Entered his Deviant Database.  I have no read this one, but with a name like Tim it must be brilliant.  

Most generous offering are pouring in.  +Zzarchov Kowolski has added The Gnomes of Levnec.  I have been a long time fan his Neoclassic Geek Revival ruleset.  And I've had the pleasure of gaming with him on one occasion.  I got a very nice ruby.  Thanks Z!

The ever eloquent Porky has entered the fray with a copy of Triffles: Abandon Space.  Porky has been a long time supporter of this blog and the Whisk's.  It's always a pleasure to get comments from Porky and a big thanks for the donation.  

+Johnathan Bingham (AKA Pie, Hot Elf Chick, Bearded Dude Who Can Draw Crazy Good)  I think that last alias is his Indian name.  Delve! is a zine adventure that mixes a lot of cool elements creating a unique setting.  Oh, and I heard the art isn't half bad.  Thanks Johnathan.

**Holy Crappy Harpies Batman, There is More!**
+Jason Sholtis another amazing OSR artist has enter his fantastic adventure Zogorion: Lord of the Hippogriffs.  Jason is a huge reason why the Manor has been a success.  He's been my go to guy when I need emergency art.  And if you haven't gamed with Jason you've got to.  You will never be bored, I promise you that.

And lastly, I can't do this without offering something of my own.  You can choose any Manor or Knowledge Illuminates on PDF.  Should you have all the issues you can opt to wait til issue #4 is done. 

But wait, that's not all.  Winners also get a $5 gift card from RPGNow.  A cherry on top of this massive mound of OSR PDF goodness. 

I think its an impressive bundle.  I know I would want to win this one myself.  So all you need do is comment to enter.  I'm hoping to get 100 entries.  On Saturday I'll select the four winners and contact you. 

Again, a huge thanks to all those who donated their hard work.  And thanks to those who stop by and take a look around.  

1000 posts.  Let the praising begin.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Post 999

Hi folks.  This is post 999.  For my next post I plan on doing a giveaway.  I'm planning on doing a OSR PDF bundle giveaway.  I started this by wanting to give away something as a thinks to everyone who stops on by and the next thing I know people are donating their own products to make it even better.  How fricking cool is that? 

In the next post I'll list all the items that will be included, 7 or 8 different PDFs in the bundle and I'm going to add a little something else on top of them. All you need to be eligible is leave a comment. 

Tomorrow be on the look out for post 1000.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sleestak Sunday

The sleestak has moved on while she mourns the life that will never be.  Because once you go sleestak you can never go back. 

I found this one at Lady, That's My Skull.  Which strangely enough is run by a sleestak. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Playtest Round 1

First off let me say I am not used to playtesting anything other than my own stuff.  Well not running a playtest.  Last night we had our first round of the playtest for Greg Christopher's "The Last Candle".  The cast of characters was:

Bard played Olivier (The Clash of Sword on Shield) - 3rd lvl Ftr
Rob Conley played The Wanderer (Bat in the Attic) - 3rd lvl Rng
Ken Harrison played Zondar (Rusty Battle Axe) - 3rd lvl Ftr
Dan as Haulin (no blog) - 2nd lvl Ftr/Thf dwarf

I had them approaching the Priory to start the game.  A line of people waited to get in as each person was read the rules of the priory individually.  At the end, if they agreed they were to hand over weapons, armor and magic items.  I provided an opportunity to allow them to smuggle a few small items in with a bread merchant.  He would hide the item with his loaves.  So the item needed to be smaller than a dagger.  Zondar took advantage of this and smuggled in a potion of levitation.  Although he did worry about it for most of the session.

The priory is made of different sections.  An inn, an open market, the library, the priory itself and other buildings, but these were the main focus this time around.  Our band of adventuring mercenaries went to the inn seeking employment and fortune.  They listened to various rumors and stories and came upon on that shined brightly.  Brother Calvus was seeking a missing scroll from the library.  He didn't dare report it.  He asked the players to find it.

What I did next to sink that adventure hook deep was have the players fall upon a murder mystery that tied in with the quest.  None of what followed is written within the campaign starter.  What Greg did is give me a cast of characters to play with.  No scripts in the priory.  So I made it up.  It worked quite well.  I won't go into a lot of details as to not give away too much cause I know my players are reading this.

Some fun moments.
  • I had the players roll for two magic items before the game.  Rob's first item was a cursed short sword that would appear in his right hand anytime he tried to grab something else.  So each time he did something it would appear.  I made him roll in INT or below to remember not to use his hand. 
  • Ken worrying about the bread maker stealing his potion throughout the came.  I never heard someone so pleased to see a potion again.
  • The rough dwarven mage looking into their eyes trying to find the smartest one and settled on one that was only 15% stupid.  
  • A flying dwarf.  He didn't quite stick the landing. 
It was a good time.  Next Wednesday we begin again.

Friday Question

It's Friday again and I am very happy about this.  The playtest was a lot of fun last night even though I could not find the sheet with all my notes.  We introduced Bard (The Clash of Sword on Shield), into our group.  I told him I was going to campaign hard to get him into our regular Monday group.  He's been a huge supported on my blog and GM Games.  I always enjoy meeting the people I 'talk' to regularly on the blogs and Google+.

So my question you this week is, who of the bloggers or Google+ people that you know, would you like to game with and haven't had the chance.  List one or ten or any in between.  I know there is a large group I haven't had a chance to game with yet.  Out of all of them out there who would you want to roll dice with?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kicking My Kickstarters

Tenkar is the police of the Kickstarters and does a great job keeping me informed of what's going on.  He's also not shy about calling out someone's bullshit when the smell gets too strong.  I thought I'd post about my experiences with the Kickstarter campaigns that I've backed.

1. Dwimmermount

Yup, my first one.  It's become notorious and a glaring example of how things go wrong.  I plowed $60 into this one.  I wanted the hardback and the separate map book.  I think all mega-dungeons should come with a map book.  It's too hard to flip back and forth and a lot of times the maps are chopped up.  I don't like chopped up maps.  I liked chopped up goblins and owlbears and bards, but not maps.  So the map book knocked my original contribution from the $40 to the $60....*sigh*

2. Barrowmaze

Another megadungeon, but drastically different results than Dwimmermount.  Barrowmaze II was on time.  I went in for $45.  Basically the PDF and hardback.  Looking back I would have probably gotten in on the $65 to get the map poster (see above comments about my loathing of chopped maps). **EDIT**  Greg reported to me that the extra $10 was not for him signing it, but for dice bags. 

3. Appendix N

Up next is Appendix N.  I went in on this one at the $30 level.  I wanted the two printed copies of each adventure.  John has sent out PDFs for the original set I believe, but nothing for the stretch goals that were reached.  Plus no print copies have been sent yet.  I know what I was getting into when I forked over the dough to John.  He started this Kickstarter before he completed the other stuff people ordered.  I'm looking forward to getting them, but when this campaign came out everyone one was hot on DCC as I was, but I haven't played it since the playtesting days.  I'm hoping to get in a couple games when I get them in my paws.

4. Crawler's Companion

An app for DCC.  Seems like I get into these things in pairs.  First off, I don't do apps.  No really.  I am very low tech for the most part.  I don't have a fancy phone, but my phone can knock out a thief and still work to call the police.  Try that with an iPhone.  Wussy phone.  Anyway, Jon delivered on the app.  I have a Nook and it works well.  But, I got in for $50.  I didn't pay $50 for no stinking app.  I wanted the hardback of the three adventures.  I have the first two in PDF.  Can't remember if I received the third.  But I want the hardback.  In the comment section it sounds like that may happen soon.  That will be a good mail day.

5. Tabletop Forge

I thought I would be running a lot of games on-line.  Google+ gung-fu, let's get a game together.  Well that hasn't happened.  And Tabletop Forge blew up.  I feel bad for Josh, after the guys got their money from the campaign they split.  I got a pair of steel toed boots for their temple all ready to go. However, Josh made good on his word.  He plowed all the good stuff into Roll d20.  I plan on learning it so I can practice my Google+ gung-fu.  Waaaaaa.

6. Swords & Wizardry: 1st Edition Play Rules

Swords & Wizardry is my system of choice, although I use them all.  I guess it was the first one I used.  I did not mess around with this one, $125 White Dragon baby.  They've had their delays.  Quite a few actually, BUT unlike the other Kickstarters that ran into trouble because it is a solid company they were able to get what they set out to do done.  However, they keep screwing up my payments and mail address.  I think the Frog God does not like me because apparently I have his missus captive in my backyard.
The scary ass frog in my backyard I posted about a while back.  JD did a adventure contest based off of her.  I think this is why the Frog God takes issue with me.  BUT my Kickstarter package is waiting for me in my mailbox at the post office.  I wonder what's I'll be posting about tomorrow.

7. Tavern Cards

This one was completed recently and is scheduled to be released next month.  I took a personal interest in this one because I've been a fan of Hannah and her Chaotic Shiny Production generators from way back.  My review of her fantastic treasure generator is my all-time hit post.  By far.  I've got a lot of faith in Hannah's ability to get these cards out.  I went in at $60 so I could get six decks.  I was hoping for a pirate deck, but I was glad to see she got her project funded.

8. Dungeon Deck

This Kickstarter is still on-going.  As of this writing there is still 16 days to go in the campaign.  It looks pretty good that it will be funded.  I few years back I met Debbie and Jim at Origins and I bought the deck of quests.  I think its a great idea.  I was using them last week messing with them.  I need to do a post with pictures up by next week.  They are an enthusiastic couple who love their product.  I'm hoping they get a chance to get some of the stretch goals done.  Since I already have the main deck I was very confident about backing this one.  I went in at $40 which will get me another main deck, the companion decks and any stretch goals they reach.

When I go to the post tomorrow and pick up my S&W I will have 3 of 6 completed.  The Tabletop Forge one I consider done even though I believe there is more coming.  The three that remain are all in partial completeness.  I don't see any timeline with Dwimmermount and at this time, have given up on it.  I don't like reading the updates I get.  I know Tavis is trying to make good on it and I don't blame him.  And really, I don't blame James.  It's a very unfortunate situation.  While I am not happy about it I am not going to waste my time blaming anyone.  However, it has made me gun shy about pulling the trigger on new Kickstarters.  Will I get into them in the future, absolutely, but I'll be a lot more selective.

I'm looking for Kickstarters who have the main part completed and would only need to complete the stretch goals.  It makes me think what I would do for a Kickstarter if such an insane thought ever crossed my mind.  But I know whatever I did, it would be written ahead of time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Map Time!

I didn't like the previous map I made so I drew a new one.  I like this one better.  My typical type of map, drawn in pencil, outlines gone over with fine Sharpie markers and then colored pencils for, well, the coloring. 

I doubt I'll be doing the map in color though.  The logistics of that might cause me internal hemorrhaging.  Very soon though I do want to do a full color issue.

This is what it will look like in B&W.  Not as snazzy, but I think everything is easy to see.

I also beveled the edges a bit to give a frame like appearance. 

Oh, and the answer to the previous post as to what monster is on the cover...a displacer beast. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Manor Issue #4 Cover

Here's the cover for issue #4.  A friend of mine at work drew it for me.  I think it looks great.  Can you guess the creature?  Shame on you if you can't.  And like always I try to feature an OSR gaming product on the back and could think of nothing better than to give Matt Jackson's, Moleskin Maps the back cover.  

You notice the yellow spots.  That's my printing being a pain in the ass.  I haven't been able to fully resolve the solution.  I'm hoping by the time I get the issue complete the yellow ink won't be a problem.  Proofreaders, be warned, I'll be coming for you soon.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Picture that Started It All

When I was a boy I opened up a book that I still own today, Reader's Digest: Strange Stories, Amazing Facts: Stories that are Bizarre, Unusual, Odd, Astonishing and Often Incredible and saw this picture.  It always creeped me out and excited me at the possibility.  The monster section of Big Foot, Yeti, Loch Ness and all the other giant lake creatures was my favorite.  But the Loch Ness monster was and is my favorite.  Back in the 70s they used to do these weird TV shows where they tried to prove it existed.  They were always accompanied by blurry photos of a possible shadow of a fin or nose.  (Sounds like all those ghost shows today) 

This is when I first started perusing things.  Things like other books on the same subjects.  Things like maps.  I got the maps to see where Loch Ness was.  And of course that started my love of a good map.  Some maps had Loch Ness on it.  Others didn't.  Then I hit the jackpot.  I think it was in an issue of Bananas, they had a cartoon map of the world and on it they had cartoon depictions of where Bigfoot and Nessy lived.   Once I found this I pinned it up on my wall and used to study that map.  I thought for sure I could travel the world using that map.  It was mind blowing to a 8-year old. 

This morning I happened upon this picture and I had a flashback of sitting at the dining room table with my book wondering if Loch Ness was real or not.  I know back then when they were searching for it, I always rooted for Nessy to stay hidden.  I didn't want it explained.  I just wanted it to be a fantastic possibility. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prep for Playtesting

I've been prepping for the playtest on Thursday night.  I'd forgotten how extensive they can be.  Adventures are not too bad.  You can plug them into your world and just throw a hook to the players and let them run with it.  A good read through and some notes ought to do it.

The one I'm playtesting is a campaign starter, written by Greg Christopher.  He introduces a small section of his world, but for gaming and testing purposes I am going to focus on the priory.  That is the main site in his work.  It's not a matter of where the critters are, but the relationship between inhabitants and businesses, religions and politics.  Takes a bit more time and a lot more note taking.  It's helped me take a needed break away from my own stuff.

As I've mentioned in this case, I've needed to edit down the territory and possible adventures to focus a bit more.  Railroad if you like.  I offer no apologies.  When you're testing railroading is required so you can test what was written.  Otherwise the players may drift.  Time is finite for these projects.  The writer needs feedback in a timely manner. But I do use the hooks as written.  If the players don't bite or it does make sense or not tempting enough I gotta tell the creator. 

When I playtest I write notes about what I liked and what I didn't.  I know a shocking revelation.  More often though I ask for something to be fleshed out.

I've read through Greg's "The Last Candle" a couple of times, made notes, drew a little flow chart to see the connection between NPCs.  One of the things I do is get an idea of the personality then write a note on the side to help make each stand out a little more.  I've got the maps loaded into FG2 files.  Now I just need to size the mini without swearing too much. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Another Excellent Mail Day

So I go to the post hoping my Swords & Wizardry Kickstarter is there.  It's got to be there.  +Erik Tenkar  got his like ten weeks ago.  +Rob Conley got his a month ago.  I has to be there...


Damn it. 

I go to work wondering what Frog God I irked and find a package on my desk.  Hmm, not my kickstarter.  It's skinny.  I open it up and look what I find.

+BareBones RPG and it buddy Keranak Kingdoms.  So I got a ton of stuff to read this weekend.  I'm looking forward to it.  I hope Bug doesn't eat any of it.

And a Storm Giant thanks to those who are donating to my giveaway.  I say I am going to have a giveaway and people offer stuff to add in.  That's what is cool about the OSR.  Thanks guys I'll contact you soon.

Friday Question

Going to be quick cuase I gots to get into work early and get some damn paperwork completed.  I see I'm coming up on my 1000th post.  Ivy just completed her 444th post and had a giveaway.  I was thinking maybe doing the same thing.  A bundle giveaway of OSR PDF stuff. 

My question, got any suggestions?  I'm thinking of doing 4 items in each bundle.  And try to keep the suggestions of them under $20 for each bundle.  Okay off to work.  Talk amongst yourselves. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Look at All the Great Gaming Stuff I Got in the Mail

I be-bopped to the post hoping my S&W Kickstarter was there.  Tenkar got his and I am tired of him gushing about it when I can't even play with mine.  No kickstarter package.  Crap!  But wait.  There are a few things in here.  Gaming things.  Pow.

First thing I got was a check from the LotFP Kickstarter.  Now I can get a pizza and art.  Cool.

Then I found this little blue beat up envelope.  It contained a +matt jackson creation.

 His little scout books are incredible.  I love these things.  I love the feel of these booklets.  And Matt did an excellent job with art for the covers.  It's like a song that hits all the right notes and you can't wait to hear it again.  Well done Matt.  I think you have a small success on your hands.

Then there was a yellow slip in my box.  Yellow slips means big stuff.  Big stuff is always good stuff.  I got a big box of gaming goodness from +Martin Ralya.  No really.  He sent me a lot of very, very cool stuff.  He popped on Google+ one night when I should have been sleeping and asked if anyone wanted to provide a good home to these books.  I looked to the left.  Looked to the Right.  Commented and he sent them out.  You just gotta love gamer guys who just want their books to find a good home.  I sent him a rack of Manors as a thank you.

Below is the unboxing.

I'm keeping this box.  I have some gaming books that need a good home.  Maybe this will becoming the giving box.  So the person I send it to can use it to send out some books to the next person.  A little Shel Silverstein, but if you ever saw his picture he was kinda scary.

All these books are in very good condition.  I am looking forward to digging into these.  Especially +Jack Shear's Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque.  The OSRian in me is of course going to go for that one first.

Did I make out like a champ today or what? 

Playtest Announcement

Next Thursday on the 14th of March, I'll be running a playtest for "The Last Candle", a campaign starter written by Greg Christopher.  The game will start at 6:30pm and end around 9:30pm (these are EST).  I'll be using the Swords & Wizardry Complete ruleset.  I'll be running it on Fantasy Grounds 2 so you'll need to have at least a player license to join.  And Skype will be used for the talkie parts.   If you're interest please let me know, as of now I think I have two to three virtual seat available. 

This is a campaign starter so I am streamlining the adventure to the Priory and the included adventure itself.  I am thinking I will run this in two sessions.  I'll have pre-made character available, if you wish to character you run already that shouldn't be a problem.

Any questions, just email or leave a comment.  Want to join, just email or leave a comment.  Just want to complain, just go away and leave.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

GM Games 25% Off

Hi folks.  I just wanted to let everyone know that GM Games is participating in the GM Day sale on RPGNow.  So if you got a Manor in your wishlist or cart now is the time to grab a copy.  And those of you wanting a one-shot adventure, Knowledge Illuminates is also on sale.  My wishlist has gotten smaller since the sale started.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

444th Giveaway

The Wife, is giving away four books to four winners over on her The Happy Whisk blog to celebrate her 444th post.  All you need do is leave a comment.  She is giving away e-books Alex J. Cavanaugh, Susan Gorley Kelly and Suzan Harden.  Oh, and I'm the forth one.  I'll send you which ever Manor or KI in PDF or print.  All you need to do is comment and your in.  I think the deadline is by Thursday night.  Might be Friday, but just go over now and you won't have to worry about when it ends. 

Congrats to the wife who never thought anyone would read her blog.  Keep up the great posts and don't put hearts on my blog again. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Skeletons in the Crapper

Tonight we played in Ken's mega-dungeon campaign.  Rob GMs for three Mondays and Ken does it the off Monday.  It gives Rob a break and allows Ken to flex his GM muscles.

Adzeer Mattui, Monster Hunter, and his band of thieves (no seriously everyone else is some form of thief) delved farther into the dungeon.

But first we smeared goo into the face of a comatose woman.  I would explain why we did, but it won't help.  It was as bad as it sounds.

Onward to battle.  Two orcs.  Fairly confused.  I walked into the room and proclaimed, "Come embrace Death."  They looked at each other and asked, "Who's there?"  "I'm death.  Come hug me."

Orcian butts were kicked and the glory of Adzeer raised ever higher.  Next were a nest of rats.  Not much of a challenge since they were put to sleep.  I clonked them.  And then it happened.

We fought two skeletons in a crapper.  I missed 92 times in a row.  I nearly tossed my mace into the pooper hole.  In the end I stood victorious, but I felt unwashed.  One was trapped in a net for the fight and it ended up killing itself by smashing its arm against the wall. 

In our final room of the night we found a chest.  Before it was opened we were attacked by a horde of four zombie gnomes.  I use my almighty power and sent them running.  "Run you undead bastards before the power of Adzeer.  Run and never return."

They returned.  Luckily one of the thieves threw down a layer of caltrops.  Two of them died on the pointy jacks.  One was killed by the thieves trickery and I sent mine to the next afterlife in a purification liquidation explosion with my mace.

There was nothing more to do this night.  Our enemies at our feet.  Their treasure in our pockets.  And I still have not learned the names of my fellow party members. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dungeon Deck Kickstarter

A few years back I met a very enthusiastic couple at Origins.  They had an interesting product, Dungeon Deck, cards that help you create and adventure in 30 seconds.  I thought it was a cool idea and I bought a deck.  Now they are doing a Kickstarter to get some additional decks printed.  I haven't seen anyone mention this one yet so I thought I would post about it.  Ivy please ignore the following sentence.  It looks like they have a good start on their goal and I'll probably be backing them so I can get the expansion packs.  I don't want to get randomly smacked in the back of my big, bald head. I'll do a follow up post of me using them.

Sleestak for the Win

That's right Francis, sleestak have won.  They're just not saying what they won...yet.

I finally got around to ordering Barebones Fantasy RPG and Keranak Kingdoms.  I haven't solved my problem with the PO box yet, but working on it.  For now I'm having the books mailed to my main job site.  I got BBF in hardback and the other was offered in softback.  I used up all my RPG credit, but that's what its there for.  I sell Manors to keep my gaming addition satisfied. 

I rewrote a few of the farms in T1: Village of Hommlet.  I was pretty happy the why they came out.  I will go through them today and share them later.  It definitely is a different place.  I'm not sure where I am going with it, but I'll post it all and if I accidentally have a completed product I'll post it as a free download. 

Oh, tomorrow RPGNow will start its GM Days sales.  I am participating in it again this year.  All the PDFs of the Manor and KI will be 25% off.  I already blew all my credit, but my wishlist is still of stuff I want to buy.

Glorious Sleestak Sunday!  Okay, glorious may be overshooting, but I didn't want to use happy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rewriting a Classic

I've been writing and layout for issue #4.  I think I also have the proper software to bookmark PDFs.  I didn't realize it was so easy.  So I am sure I'm missing something.  I've also been taking notes and preparing to do a couple playtests of an adventure Greg Christopher gave me.  And in a few minutes I am head to Staples to get some supplies.  I got one of the 20% off everything in the bag (this is a non-existent bag) coupons and going to get some better paper.  I'm not digging how the images are bleeding through the paper.  I'm upgrading to the 24lb, 98 bright for the next zine.  It will look better and feel better.

If that wasn't enough I am looking at doing a rewrite of a classic module.  Nothing new, but something I never attempted.  I am going to tinker around with rewriting the Village of Hommlet to fit my gaming sensibilities.  I know without even looking at it I know there were a crapload of magic items in the villages.  I got some pruning shears to trim a lot of them out and those that remain will become unique items.  I'll post the entries here.  Just doing that one as an old exercise in writing.

Well off to the store.  Need anything?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Question

Tenkar has been asking a lot of great gaming questions so I'm going to go a different route.  This subject was brought up at work the other day.

Who would you like to see direct the next Star Wars movie?

I think Abrams is slated to do it.  I don't follow it all that closely.  But I could think of other directors I'd rather see at the helm.

Ridley Scott.  He's a tough one.  he either makes movies I really like or really dislike.

Quinten Terintino.  I think I could get behind the Jedi grooving to some tunes as the slay some sith.  Actually scratch that.  I think I could get behind the sith grooving to some tunes as they slaughter everyone on screen.

Christopher Nolan.  Interesting mix.  I think he and Yoda would be on the same wavelength. 

David Fincher.  Let's get this guy back at what he does best.  Make gritty movie.  None of the Benjamen Button bullshit.  Star Wars could use a little Fight Club in it.

If you could choose.  Who would you like see directing the next film?

This has nothing to do with the question.  I just thought it was cool.