Thursday, September 26, 2013

1st Hex Completed

I final finished detailing my first hex.  It took longer than expected.  I lost the work I'd done on the map twice.  Once because the program I was using crashed and the second time the electric went out.  So the first map hex is done, I'll have smaller detail maps to do, but now that I know the layout I can get more serious with the write ups.  Especially the background/history and the way the villages/towns/critters interact. 

The starting village is complete.  The players will start there and I'll have the area developed enough that they can do some true sandbox exploration.  I'll develop random tables and I already have a stack of maps to use for dungeon or ruin adventuring.  I've marked where 'set' encounters will be, but there is a lot of room for other things and places to be added.  And that's the fun of this exercise.  The map that I have now will be completely different when its over.

What I am doing different this time it creating more specialized classes.  It's more work, but I am enjoying the process because its something I never did before.  I will ask the players what kind of guys they want to play then create their characters based around the concept.  Like the Majestic Wilderlands, I plan on using a simplified skill system in addition.  So any class can pick a lock, but a class who specializes in it of course will be better at it.

The one thing I am struggling with is the magic system.  Both the arcane and clerical sides.  Originally I wanted to do a spell point based system, but the more I get into the development that idea causes more problems.  For the clerical side I've got a gob of gods that aren't very interested in devotion.  People make offerings out of fear to avoid notice and retribution. 

My general concept of the world is a cross between the Thieves World series/game, Conan, Cthulhu and a touch of Pendragon sprinkled in.  I'll send out invites to players within the next couple of weeks and ask for character concepts.  I believe I'll be running on Google Hangouts using the Roll d20 VTT.  Seems easier for most folks and for some reason Fantasy Grounds has been very buggy lately.

Late for work.  Very late.  But I haven't posted in a while because of work.  So its only fair. 

Is it Friday yet?!?! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Artists Needed

+Sean Robson has been working his tail off and has gather an impressive batch of stories for Libram Mysterium.  He has the final draft and has begun layout.  What Sean needs is a few artists who love pulp style art.  He needs a cover and wants to include interior pieces.  If you are interested please contact Sean at pulpmill4(at)gmail(dot)com and he can give you the details.  I am really excited to see what Sean has come up with and I know its going to be good because I've had the pleasure of reading some of the stories already.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sleestak Sunday Went to Georgia

Lindsey Stirling has nothing on this sleestak created by Smurfygeorge

The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat.
And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Sleestak's feet.
Sleestak said, "Devil, just come on back if you ever wanna try again,
'Cause I've told you once--you son of a bitch--I'm the best there's ever been."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Question

My long time gaming friend +Rob Conley wrote a post of how he would explain the OSR to a novice.  His explanation is accurate, but I think too long.  If I was a novice and someone was explaining something to me I would have glazed over.

So my challenge to you dear questioneers, how would YOU explain the OSR to someone?

I think mine would be and this is off the top of my head.

OSR is old D&D.  When it was more about being inventive than knowing the rules.  Just grab some dice, if you don't have any I've got a mound of them.  You make up a character and we start playing.  If you want to do something let me know and we'll figure it out.  The only three rules I have in my game are, 1. Don't be a dick.  2. Have fun.  3.  The last coke in the fridge is always mine.

So how would you bring someone over to the OSR side?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where Did I Leave Off?

Back to those 30 day of questions. 

Question 13: Favorite Trap or Puzzle
I guess S1 Tomb of Horrors has a bunch of good ones.  I guess my favorite of those is the Sphere of Oblivion trick.  I think I like the basic traps the best because over complicated traps are...over complicated.  Give me a 10' hole with some spikes on the bottom and color me a happy GM.

Question 14: Favorite NPC
The first one the comes to mind is an NPC that never really had a named.  He was the captain of a slaver ship who was polite, sadistic and playful.  The players had a very tough time figuring this guy out, but knew their time was limited.

Question 15: Favorite Undead 
Okay, I seriously have a tie in this area.  My first favorite is a Bodak.  When I cracked open a brand new copy of S4 and read their description I knew I had to get me one of those.  The second creature is just freaky and he scares me a little, Devourer.

Question 16: Favorite Aberration Monster
We are getting a little too 3E for me.  I never paid much attention to the classification of critters other than undead and elemental.  I had to look up which were which.  I'm going with Umber Hulk cause I like to say Umber Hulk.

That's it.  Go about your business.

I'm Impressed

I've got to say I am very impressed with two of my Monday night gaming goobs.  +Rob Conley has recently reorganized a ton of very useful posts.  The post about it is here and the actual page with all of Rob's Stuff in the Attic page is back there where I said Stuff in the Attic.

The second gaming goob of note is +Ken Harrison, his detailed account of his Montporte campaign is amazing.  I've never seen such detailed notes.  It makes me was to be a better GM *sniff sniff*.  He's got details of all the aspects of the game.  Game notes, cosmology, magic items, creatures and the maps.  Wow.  Very impressive.  Here is a link to the Montporte Campaign, grab a drink and a peanut butter sandwich cause there is a lot to check out.

I guess I should add a third to our gaming good crew, +Chris Bard who manages to capture all the inappropriate and funny things we say.  He must be bust cause we are pretty damn funny.  Even if only we think so.  That still counts.  Here is a link to all the Soundbites of us playing a typical game on a Monday Night.

And as an extra that has nothing to do with what I wrote about.  ThinkGeek has a very cool set of Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock dice and bag.   It would be over $25 with the shipping.  Too much for me, but I'll have to keep an eye out for this one.  I really dig the bag that comes with it. 

Oh, and I made a new sign for our game night.  I'm home today because of a migraine and this was the first I was able to sit up.  So first thing I thought about doing was making a sign.   So here's your sign. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We Fought Until Our Arms Fell Off

From the Dungeon Journal of Adzeer Mattiu, Hunter of the 1st Circle

My arms.  We battled through the night without rest.  My own zealous passion for squishing nearly got the best of me.  Gaunts and gray robes and black robes, we killed them all.  Montporte was well fed last night.  The gods must have been pleased with the spectacle.  Even Luvin proved to be fierce.  Time has gone by quickly and with the help of the strange mushroom men, we have found shelter.  We can rest.  My arms feel like they are made of stone.

It is a relief that I now believe we know our location once again.  Losing one's way in this immense dungeon could be the deadliest mistake.  We've discovered the two main sources of food are humans and mushrooms.  I don't think we would starve.  Our healing options have been nearly depleted.  We have a few healing droughts saved for emergencies, but I am the only source of healing, Praise Adzeer for his generosity and his appreciation of our fight.  But even he will grow tired of the calls for mending wounds.  Like him, I desire the thrill of violence that rips through my hand and smites my enemies. 

I fear and relish the opportunity to exterminate the population of breeders, those we have named who feed on humans.  We have no idea of their numbers.  They seems to have an endless supply of bodies to throw at us.  While not a threat in battle as such, their numbers wear us down.  By the end of the night bodies covered the floor and still more came. 

These breeders have an understanding or command of machines I've not encountered.  I believe we have not seen all of what they can do yet.  They follow a man they call a god.  I wish to meet him so I can send him to Adzeer and show him true might, true power and to quiver before The Lord of the Hunt.  This is my quest.  My goal to earn my place within the second circle.  I will vanquish this god and offer his spirit to Adzeer, forever may he hunt and his spear strike true.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sleestak Sunday: Enik Levels Up

Enik is looking badass in his monochrome, thanks to kidchuckle.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Campaign Map Time!

I finished a region of my campaign world.  Here's the colored pencil/sharpie version without names and sites.
As you can see, Whisk was doing coupons on the kitchen table, but I still took the picture.  The overall region is the picture below.  Then maps of the four of the hexes are above.
Hex 0910, 1009, 1010 and1110 are the four hexes I did area maps for so far.  The campaign will start in hex 1010.  Each of those hexes are 14 miles across.
Here's what they look like cut out and put together.  I forget where I found the hexes in a big hex paper, but I made several copies.  I think I would like to at least have the central hex and all the surrounding hexes finished.
I showed a version of this one in an earlier post, Game Night Chat
This is what it looks like after I put the names and mark the sites on the maps using Xara.  To my players, go ahead and print this out if you think it will help. 
This is hex 1009.  I some how managed to make every hex a little crooked.  It takes skill to be the consistently inept.  I make it look easy.
Okay, why does blogger keep flipping my photos?  I have to save them on there side so when I download them here they are right side up.  That is not a pube in the lower left hand corner...I think.
Last hex map.  I couldn't get the color to work that well for this one. 

After I finish them they will go in the scanner.  That was if I spill ice tea on the originals I have a copy.  I learned that lesson the hard way a few times.  Then I open Xara and start naming and marking sites.  But before that I like to write up a few details just looking at the blank map.  I don't want anything defined at that time.  I just write what comes to mind and try to weave it with the other things I've written. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

No Friday Question About Encumbrance

I had one, but Tenkar asked it before I got to.  It's an encumbrance question.  I've never used it in the past, but considering using a simplified system.  I'm favoring Neoclassical Geek Revival's system by the Mighty Zzarchov.  He's got a dot system that I think may work well. 

If anyone has ideas of a simple system please comment and or send me a link.  Thanks and have a great Friday.  Weekend is almost here.

As the Days 9 thru 12 Go By

Question nine, Favorite Character You Haven't Played...
At first I wasn't sure how to answer this, but then I thought of a game that a friend of mine was going to run.  He was going to run it based off of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber.  I'd read the first book, but as soon as I found out he was planning on running a game I read the others.  Each one of us was to play one of the characters.  He wouldn't let anyone play Benedict except me.  I really wanted to play him.  But the game never got started.  At least I read some good books.

Question ten, Craziest Thing That's Happened...
Hmm.  Craziest, I'm not sure.  One of the goofiest ones I remember was when one of the players was playing a bard jester and a barbarian was going to attack us.  He asked if he could throw milk on the barbarian.  DM said there was not milk.  Player asked if I roll a three on the twelve sider can there be a cart of milk nearby.  DM relented.  Player rolled a three and the barbarian was splish splashed he was taking a white bath. 

Question eleven, Favorite Adventure I Ran...
Hmm.  I'm doing a lot of hmming.  I've got a three way tie.  I ran a slave boat adventure that was pretty fricking good.  I also ran a Arthurian  adventure that worked out as best that could be expected.  But I am going to pick this last one.  We were coming to the conclusion to a campaign that I'd run for three years on and off.  One of the players was a templar that was very selfish and materialistic.  Before this adventure I took the other players aside and asked them to slip in the phrases, "Have you ever sacrificed your self for anyone?"  "Do you know what it means to sacrifice yourself for another?"  And they did an excellent job.  Freaked the guy out a little.  Loved it.

The reason I had them do this was he would need to make a decision at the end of the session.  Way in the beginning of the game a child was found to be a heretic and was hung.  That player was one of the people who investigated and approved the execution.  When he rope went taut the child vanished.  Three years later this child is standing before him.  This child was an ephemeral representation of the god that the templar served.  The god had forsaken the land and needed someone to show him that returning would make a difference.  To return the templar needed to offer his life, his body, as a vessel the god could return to.  It was pretty good.

Question twelve, Favorite Dungeon Type/Location...
As a player I love exploring ruin towns.  A good mix of urban and dungeon exploration.  Throw in a dark temple or an unholy graveyard then you can color me happy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GM Games Surpasses 1000 Sales

I saw someone did a post a while ago announcing the total number of sales they've had and I thought I should count up my sales just to see where I'm at.  This is what I found out.

Knowledge Illuminates: 377
Manor #1: 290
Manor #2: 207
Manor #3: 113
Manor #4: 60
Where is Margesh Blackblood?: 5

Total Sales:  1052 as of End of Sales Report for August 2013.

I am the most surprised at this.  I know when I first started I spoke to my friend +Rob Conley and thought if I could sell 25 copies of Knowledge Illuminates I would be happy.  If I sold 50 I was be thrilled.  Rob said I would sell a 100.  I have no idea in the realm of gaming whether this is a good thing or not so good.  But I can't imagine 1000 being bad.

I had a horrible expectation of failure.  I expected to make something and no one would notice.  I got lucky with the help of some reviews and mentions from some great bloggers out there.  No way I would have done as well without their help.  Thanks to those who took the time and did a review or posted a play session.  It's been very cool and I plan to continue making a few gaming products and encouraging others to do likewise. 

Picture Inspiration

Just wanted to share one of the many pictures I've been collecting to help inspire the campaign I'm working on.  This one is for an adventure.  Gave me a great idea. 

Off to work.  Have a great one folks.  Tonight I write this encounter.  I love having something to look forward to when writing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Game Night...Chat

Last night was game night, but we didn't play.  Two of the four in our group had real life obligations.  We've gamed with two of us tromping around, but considering where we are in the megadungeon, meaning, we have to clue where we are, we decided it might be too dangerous with half the party.  So instead we talked about gaming for our session last night.  Sometimes I even like doing that more than playing. 

Some of the topics we covered is what adventures didn't work.  +Ken Harrison ran a canned module, I won't mention which one, but it was awful.  Ken had thought he could save a little time and run an series of these adventures.  We never got past the first one.  As a player one of the first things I noticed is the adventure had a very narrow scope of choices.  Railroad, but it wasn't even interesting.  Our party started out unconscious and when we awoke the first thing we wanted to do was track down who thumped us.  That wasn't an option.  The premise was to go into the nearby village and do the tasks they asked of us and discover the secrets along the way.  The problem was the tasks they asked us to do were not interesting.  I went along with it, but even as we reached the climax of the first adventure in this series even the map was boring.  Poor Ken couldn't even hide his distaste for the adventure.  While the adventure was not at all interesting it did teach me a few lessons on how not to design an adventure.

We discussed all the things that work in Ken's current megadungeon campaign, Montporte.  I've written about it a few times, but Ken continues to add layers onto it which keeps me and my character seeking the answers to the mysteries.  And the great thing we discussed is Ken will be able to carry over much of what he's developed into other campaigns.  

+Rob Conley he is working on a different system to implement for his Majestic Wilderlands.  A Fudge version.  I've never had the chance to play and look forward to how it works.  Rob always does an good job on his projects.  He's splitting his time between a couple of projects and currently this one is on the back burner. 

I shared the campaign I was working on.  I showed them a map of one of the hexes.  I have drawn the region map, but haven't had time to scan and detail it.  This map will change once I get around to detailing it more.  The players will start in the village on the edge of the lake, Baludor. 

Each of the smaller hexes is 1 mile, making the larger hex 14 miles.

One of the main topics Ken and I discussed was developing a consistent group of gods.  Not necessarily a pantheon because this world has many gods from many cultures.  For example the one thing I've established it there are seven gods of death.  While not all gods will not have an aspect they influence, but good many will super powerful beings.  I'm still not sure how it will work out.  Usually I just start writing about one thing and eventually some idea will spring from my pen and I'll run with it.  I've got a few adventures I'm working on the first few sessions and I've gotten some very interesting images from the web to help me realize some of the locations and monsters. 

So while no game occurred on game night we had a good time talking about what we were working on.  How things in gaming worked or didn't work for us.  Next week we head back to Montporte.  The Steelers are playing Monday night.  I have conflicts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Guard Class: Updated

UPDATED: I've redone the Guard class with the assistance of some very good suggestions.   Should you have any more thought please add them.

Last night I was at the bookstore, not writing my campaign, but came up with something else.  I created a Guard class.  I placed it in my Dropbox for you to take a look at.  Class design is not my strength.  I always tend to make them too powerful.  I did a short write up.  I gave the class a few special perks/abilities to give it its own flair.  I plan on using this for my own campaign for the city guards/caravan guards and so on.

Please take a look and if you have an suggestions please let me know.  I'd like to add this to my class arsenal.  Thanks ahead of time.

I'm a guard and now I've got class, but not until after this nap.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

30 Day Challenge Catch-Up Post: Days 5 - 8

Okay let's see what these next few questions bring.

Day 5: Favorite Dice or Die
This one is easy.  I have a d20 I call Whimpy that was part of the original set of dice I bought in '79.  In fact, I wrote my second overall post here at the Manor back in April of '09.  If you're so inclined, here is the link to Meet Whimpy. The Magic d20.

Day 6: Favorite Diety
Hmm, this is a tough one.  Back when I was a preadolescence Loviatar was always a favorite to slap on a change alignment helm and make her a wife.  I guess I would have to pick one of mine.  On that is used often.  Actually it is two.  Delaquain and Sarrath.  Two side of the same coin.  Both gods of battle, but both have to very different approaches.  Plus, they add a instant us against them element to a campaign.

Day 7: Favorite Addition
AD&D is the main one I played.  Basic never made much sense to me with their race as class.  To me that just sterilizes the races down to a drop of boring.  Why bother to have a different race if you don't flesh it out.  Before I knew there were different editions I was off playing GURPS (2nd edition) and didn't come back to a d20 game until after OSRIC came out.

Day 8: Favorite Character
 I've had a lot of cool characters that I've enjoyed, but Draco-Lindus stands out the most.  I'm not going to bore you with details, but he started as a mercenary on a slave boat and ended up as a Duke of City-State/Champion of a God/more titles I can't remember.  What he did with the assistance of Dwayne's William Endril still echoes in Rob's Majestic Wilderlands campaign. 

Alright, that's it.  Done and done.  My Steelers lost.  So I'm headed to the bookstore to cry myself into one of those expensive coffee drinks that don't taste like coffee. 

Zombie Football Sunday

Oh yeah.  Football season is here.  And I got a zombie.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: Life of Rage OSR Edition

+Tom Doolan of the Wishful Gaming blog has written Life of Rage, an Orcish adventure game.  Tom also writes short fiction that is available on Smashswords.  If you're looking for a good fantasy fiction story give them a look.  I've read two of his stories and enjoyed them both.

But what I want to talk to you about is Life of Rage.  Besides being a kick ass title it is a very good gaming book.  Tom wants you to play an orc and stop being a damn sissy about killing things.  And I quote, "...every adventure should be able to be solved with the judicious use of violence."  That folks, is poetry.  Tom has developed a mini-handbook so you can play orcs in your campaign.

I think what I like best about Life of Rage is Tom keeps it simple.  You'll be able to read it through in a single pass and roll it out for your players.  He offers you three classes and a sub-class.  Keeping with the basics, the three classes offered are race classes; orc, half-orc and goblin.  Yup, goblins are considered weenie versions of orcs.  The sub-class is the shaman.  Here's where he does something I like a lot, shamans can chose from four dominions and that determines what spells they gain.  Guess what?  Not one fricking healing spell in any of the lists.  Oh yeah!  Oh they can heal.  It's an innate power.  But they must draw the life from another thing to do the healing.  There also a great write up about herbal healing, but you still get your ass kicked even when you're healing.

Orc do no accumulate experience points.  That's what the stupider weaklings collect.  Orcs horde glory.  He even introduces a new currency into the orcish culture, targs.  I really like both ideas.  They both may be cosmetic, but it adds a depth to the orcish way of life.

He provides a player's guide to orcs, sort of the ecology of an orc.  My favorite section was about orc gods.  Bravo for Tom for not falling back on good old Gruumsh.  I like old one-eye, but Tom creates his own pantheon of brutishness.  These are very well thought out and interesting.

Lastly Tom gives you a sample of the orcish lay of the land.  It could easily be lifted in placed into a campaign.  He includes some nice details about some different tribes.  Each has their own personality and distinction.  Lastly, he includes a section about how you could run a orcish campaign.

I think Tom has done an excellent job with Life of Rage.   I've been creating a campaign world lately and I plan on using many options offered in Life of Rage.  It adds a depth to a race most consider cannon fodder. He also offers a choice to make orcs more than just a 1HD critter to be killed without a thought.  There is a lot of great stuff in here that I plan on including my world.

It is a 29-page PDF for $2.99.  Well worth the price.  Go get a copy by going to RPGNow or click on any of the Life of Rages.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Question

Are there any rules that you've put into you home game that you borrowed from a non-tabletop RPG?

I  borrowed the lockpicking style of the Elder Scrolls video game.  I wrote a post about lockpicks it's my attempt to bring a little more play into that part of the game because I enjoyed the challenge playing the video game.  I haven't had a chance to test it out on players yet, but hope to do so soon. 

It's Friday and that my friends, is a very good thing.

(Unless you have to work on the weekend then it sucks to be you.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

All Right, I'll Bite - 30 Day Challenge Catch Up

Many folks are doing that 30-day gamer blog thingy.  I wasn't going to do it, but decided why not.  I cannot guarantee my answers will be serious or even truthful all you can really hope for is that they will be short. 

I'm behind so I'll do a bit of catching up.

Day 1: The Beginning
1 In the beginning there were no dice other than the one.  We did not need to differentiate the sides. There was but one die and it had six sides. 2 Awash in boards and cups, popping bubbles and cards there was no game that required imagination.  One only need to follow directions.  3 There was only one way to play. 4 In the harsh winter of '79 a game with no board arrived.  Only the scarcest of instructions were given.  Confused.  Intrigued.  We played. 5 Dice were taken from Yatzee, Monopoly, Payday and Clue.  Games now abandon.  Diceless. 6 We struggled to make sense of these Borderlands.  What was an orc?  7 Dice were rolled to celebrate our imagination.  Instructions were not needed.  We created them. 8 We used our imagination. 9 There was much laughter.

Day 2: To Be Human?
1 What strange races stand before us?  All standing waiting to be chosen. 2 Elves too delicate.  Too precious.  3 Halflings too short.  Too hungry.  4 Gnomes too silly.  Too useless.  5 Half-orc too ugly.  Too unknown.  6 Half-elf too confused.  Too desperate.  7 Humans just right. 

Day 3: Blood for Blood
1 Upon the first creation there was a man.  He bore armor.  He bore spear.  He hungered for war.
2 Weapons a delicacy.   Armor a justification for rage.  3 There will be no blessings.  4 There will be no witchcraft.  5 There will be no deception.  6 Enemies will be faced and destroyed.  7 Worlds will be conquered as you look into their weeping eyes.  8 With sharpened blade a rift of possibility spills before your feet. 9 Blood calls out for the brave.

Day 4: Upon the Cobblestones
1 The great gates of City-State swallow the crowds.  2 Upon cobblestones history walks with beggar, merchant and Overlord.  3 Voices thicken the air.  Smells of shops of every kind.  4 Secrets upon secrets out number all the stones upon we walk and within the walls that protect.  5 It is here that I feel at home among the crowds of strangers.  6 It is here I go to the Seahawk Tavern and rest between adventures.  7 City-State, my home. 

Does Your Woman Eat All the Chocolate Before You Get Home from Work?

This post is in response to Whisk's post, Does Your Man Garbage Pick?  A little clarification.  It was a paper recycling bin.  No rotten bananas, coffee grounds or ROUSs.  Just paper.  Plus she gets excited when I bring them home so why not.

Yesterday I come home, bearing coupon flies I might add, and I thought it would be nice to have a piece of chocolate.  Ivy bought four Dove bars the other day and I had a piece and it was pretty good.  So I said, "I think I'll have a piece of chocolate."

Whisk gets this guilty look.  She tries not to smile, but she usually breaks in a matter of seconds.  "There's none left."


"I ate them."

"You ate ate all four bars today?"

"No. Only two."

"What happened to the other two?"

"I ate them yesterday.  You didn't notice."

"You ate all four of them?"

"I was sitting at my computer decorating my blog for Halloween."

I frowned, "That's it, I'm doing a post."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thoughts on How to Keep a Mega-Dungeon Interesting

This is not Monteport.  If this had been the actual map of Monteport instructions would have followed.
+Ken Harrison wrote a great post about Creating Meaningful Choices.  The post was written in response to the mega-dungeon campaign, Monteport, he runs on Monday Night.  I've had a great time playing in his dungeon crawl, but it took some minor adjustments in my gamer-state-of-mind.

First off, I've never playing in a dungeon campaign.  The majority of my gaming experience is urban campaigns with the occasional dungeon in between.  There is a lot of role-playing and figuring out where you belong in the current power structure and plotting how to arrange that structure to suit your needs.  In a mega-dungeon you are in survival mode all the time.  And you know where you are in the power structure of the dungeon all the time, the bottom.  Shops and taverns and streets are gone.  In mega-dungeons it's the next door to open.  The next sound to follow.  The next mystery to solve.  There is no break from the exploration in a mega-dungeon so it better be interesting or it can become tiresome quickly.

Ken has managed to keep things interesting by develop a series of cultures and ecologies within his massive maze.  The party has made a morale decision on who are the good and bad guys.  It wasn't too hard of a choice since the bad guys grow people and eat them.  Each game night I manage to slip in one poorly executed Charles Heston imitation.

Then there is the history of the dungeon.  Layers of it.  This is the stuff he's added that keeps me intrigued.  There are long forgotten people or things that populated this space when it was born.  They left behind scraps and bits of themselves.  These things are so alien to us that it will take more exploration to start understanding them.  We were introduced to a entirely new cosmological point of view.  How can you not get excited about something like that?

The mechanics are routine.  Find a door.  Check for traps (maybe).  Open door.  Fight or friend if someone is on the other side.  Loot room.  Find another door.  Repeat.

That's the skeleton of a mega-dungeon repeated a hundred times.  It's important to make the exploration interesting beyond the collection of treasure or soon your players will be watching reruns of Fraiser instead of showing up for game night. I think it's vital to have small quests within the massive setting.  Mini conclusions along the way.  Little rewards for continuing to go deeper.  Like I've stated before, exploring, killing and looting is fun, but without a purpose the game will loose its focus and fun.

Tomorrow I plan on writing up a few tips on exploring a mega-dungeon from the view point of my character, Adzeer Maitu, Monster Hunter of the 1st Circle.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

GM Games Sales Report for August

At the end of July I released the 4th issue of the Manor (PDF & Print) and shortly after I offered a bundle package of all four Manors on RPGNow and a bundle print option.  In August I reformatted and released a one-page dungeon, Where is Margesh Blackblood?  I offered it as a free download, but also with the Pay What You Want Option.  If someone throws a few pennies into my tin cup then it goes to buying other gaming products. 

It was a steady month for sales, most of which came at the beginning of August.  I divide the sales by print and PDF.  This month saw a big old goose egg over at Lulu.  No sales at all.  Lulu only nets me a few sales each month, but I think this is because I have no print options theret.  I know I go to Lulu for print products. 

I'm adding the free products in the report along with the Pay What You Want products.  Free download numbers are in red.  The products are listed in chronological order.

Knowledge Illuminates: released February 16th, 2011, print version released October 29th, 2012
PDF: 4 (10)   Print: 0   Total Sales: 377 (96)

The Manor, Issue #1: released May 5th, 2012
PDF: 7   Print: 3   Total Sales: 290

The Manor, Issue #2: released July 4th, 2012
PDF: 7   Print: 3   Total Sales: 207

Cave of Seiljua: released September 9th, 2012
PDF: (98)   Print: N/A   Total Sales: (458)

The Manor, Issue #3: released released February 7th, 2013
PDF: 6   Print: 5   Total Sales: 113

Mini Manor: Faces Without Screams: released April 19th, 2013
PDF:  (18)   Print: N/A   Total Sales: (237)

The Manor, Issue #4: released July 28th, 2013
PDF: 9   Print: 10   Total Sales: 60

Where is Margesh Blackblood?: released August 12th, 2013
PDF: 5 (104)   Print: N/A   Total Sales:  5 (104)

Total Sale for August 2013
PDF: 38 (230)   Print: 21   Total Sales: 59 (230)

A good month for sales overall.  When I started doing the list with all the free and PWYW products included I didn't feel too bad.  I am a slow poke and get distracted by shiny things easily and often feel I should be working harder.  After looking at the list over the past couple years I don't feel too bad.  I'm hoping to get two more releases this year.  Another issue of The Manor and another product I've been working on for a while and hope to have an announcement soon.