Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stone Fields of Azoroth Released

Stone Fields of Azoroth is now available on PDF at RPGNow.  I originally wrote this mini-sandbox setting as an exclusive for the beta box for Mythoard.  There the folks got a color, 3-booklet version of the it.  Last night, I received a email from Jarrod, creator of Mythoard, and he asked if I planned to sell Stone Fields.  I hadn't originally.  What Jarrod decided to do is have people expand on this mini sandbox.  With the limited release of the first Mythoard box I thought it would be good to get it into the hands of others.  To see what the other folks are working off of.  I love the idea.

For now it is available on RPGNow as a PDF.  I'll set up the Lulu PDF probably tomorrow.  Am I offering a print version?  Not at this time and I'm not sure if I will.  It would be expensive.  If I do offer it in print, it will be a limited run.  I'll know more when I do the calculation.

If you want a copy of Stone Fields of Azoroth, just hit the link.  I've priced it at $4.99.  It's made of 3-booklets and a map.
  • 20 page booklet of the Village of Bad Water
  • Map of Bad Water
  • 8 page adventure Last Temple of Praxus
  • 8 page adventure The Prison of Azoroth
If you have any question you can hit me up on Google+ or leave a comment.  I've got to thank +Jarrod Shaw for creating Mythoard and getting my psyched about writing this adventure.  It was fun to do and I look forward to working with him again.  To everyone else, enjoy the adventure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When It's Time For a Character to Leave the Party

Last night something interesting happened.  My character Sidwin the Sharp walked off the stage of play after assassinating a vile knight.  Seems strange, but let me back-up.

Sidwin is a rogue, a charming guy, who enjoys a good adventure, making money, but has a soft spot for helping others.  Not in a Robin Hood kind of way, but rather manipulate the existing system into ways that favor his situation.  The only time he's went bloodthirsty was when a mage fireballed a kid he knew.  Sidwin kinda went a little psycho then.

Recently, the surrounding area has been taking sides on religious and political levels (in this case these is very little difference).  The village that the party aided took it upon themselves to overthrow the existing government, but did not think of the retaliation.  Sidwin was thrown back by this, he had plans in the work and a revolution was going to make things difficult.

The party then was infused with a cleric of Mitra, a goddess that one side of this conflict rallies behind and a paladin from a another god.  Sidwin was not pleased with the changing attitude.  The party went from helping out folks to get from beneath the murderous bandits, to a godly and political purpose.  Taking a side they saw as the 'right' or 'good' side.  Sidwin, being from City-tate knows both sides are filled with murderous psychopaths.  And taking a side is bad for business.

Sidwin was traveling to a larger town, but got distracted by saving a couple of farmers from bandits again.  He then got distracted by a side adventure that had him fighting two ghouls that nearly killed him.  So he started back to the village.

This is where last night's adventure begins.  The village was about to be attack by two knights and a cohort of yeoman.  The knights' reason for attack wasn't out of any political or religious purpose, they saw an opportunity.  The party ambushed the knights, killed all the yeoman and one of the knights.  They captured one knight.

This is when Sidwin arrived.  He didn't like that happened, but warned them that it would happen because the village revolted.  We took the knight back and they questioned him for a short time and killed him.  Sidwin saw another opportunity slip away.  The party had now slipped into a fanatical posture.  They were good, the knights were evil.  They aren't wrong, the knights were evil shits.  But in this backwoods area its not surprising those the represent the 'other side' are not going to be the most virtuous.  And that the party going out of their way to kill the yeoman was not much different than what the knights planned to do.

Despite all that, Sidwin was good with the party stopping the razing of the village.  No doubt the two knights would have left it in ash.  But, what did it for Sidwin was the killing of this vile knight.  The reason, the knight is worth money.  Sure he denied us the opportunity to ransom him, but there would have been other ways to gain money and information, but the party was quick to deliver death which is exactly what the knight wanted.

Sidwin took this as his services were no longer needed.  He could not back fanatics, again bad for business.  And it put the people of the village in harm's way.  The information and money gained from that one knight could have helped supply and equip the village.  He left to fight his own fight.  One of his own choosing.  Helping the village is his way. 

It was interesting to see the change in direction of the party and how it became more difficult for Sidwin to do much.  With the incident and the previous session, it seemed a perfect time for Sidwin to begin his own adventure.  Meanwhile, I'll roll up a new guy.  Someone with a similar philosophy as the party. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Random Map Monday 9

It's random map Monday!  Yeah, I'm not all that excited either.  Beginning of the work week, it's -10+ outside again, and I've got appointments all day with angry people.  But I got a map...

I drew this map years ago.  I have a few notepads of numbered hexes.  I like it a lot, but wish they were a wee bit fainter.  The darkness of the numbers and hexes distract from the map.

Each of those hexes is a mile.  In the center is a tower.  The gray around it is the gray desert.  It's sand is pulverized bones.  I never got around doing much with the adventure I had in mind.  I had an introduction and a title.  That was about it.

May you Monday be free of pain.  Free of pain and at least one pleasant surprise.  Me, I'll settle for not getting punched in the face today and call it a win.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Micro-Adventures Hits $100 and Breakdown of How it Works for Me and the Patreons I Support and If You Think This Title is Long Wait til You See the Post

After looking at +Dyson Logos+matt jackson and +Michael Prescott Patreon page and how well they were doing I thought I would give it a try.  At the time the Manor's expenses were increasing, I had more writers contributing content and I wanted to be able to pay them more than just a thank you.  I drop $50 to $125 on art for each issue.  And when you make about a $1 to a $1.50 an issue it takes time to get your head above water.  But its doable if you keep at it.  

I saw Patreon as a good way to supplement the cost of The Manor and my compulsive buying of game books.  I'm a bit of a game book junkie.  

I got the idea of laminating the adventures because I draw a lot of my maps on notecards and letter-sized papers.  They would get damaged by me squishing them, eating a butter bread (I recently discovered) or a knocked over ice tea disaster.  I bought a laminator to protect the maps I liked.  I started printing maps on the notecards and then taking a second notecard and printing a small adventure.  Then I would laminate them together.  I can't remember what I did first.

On June 11, 2014 I set up a Patreon page featuring micro-adventures.  I was going to model it off of Dyson, Matt and Michael's model where as the content is free to the public.  There is no requirement to grab a copy of it and have patrons who just liked the work and wanted to support it.  

For my high-end patrons ($2.50+) I wanted to give them something cool, something they could physically hold.  That's when I tried out laminating my micro-adventures and it worked!  Although the font is wee, I try to make it as readable as possible.  And some of the micro-adventures are big micro-adventures requiring a more than a notecard.  So they become little zines.  These go out to my whales ($5 patrons).  

I've lost a batch of folks over time, but gained back more patrons.  I like that folks can grab a copy for free, but if they want to leave a tip they can.  That is the beauty of Patreon.  And over this weekend +Erik Tenkar (who has his own Patreon page, Old School Gaming Blog Posts, that I have no doubt will take over the world) gave me the privilege of being the first in his series of Patreon Highlights.  And because of his boost, my micro-adventures reached the $100 plateau.  I never thought I'd reach that goal.  

I thought I would breakdown a little of what I do with the mula. 
  • Patreon charges 5%.   
  • Credit card charges of 4%.
  • Paypal charges 2% for the transfer, up to $2.  Although I have seen different amounts.
  •  I's a patron to 12 other creators.  I really like what people are going and I like having the ability to tip them.  Some are per project and some are monthly fees.  Right now I have $36.90 going out to others.  Below I've listed who I support.
  • Postage and envelops, laminating material and notecards, all cost a bit.  When I send out a micro-adventure I thin I figured it cost me around $13 in postage and another $1 in materials. 
So I have a lot going out, around $61.50.  So out of that $100, I get to pocket around $38.50.  But that's only if I do one micro-adventure a month.  My patreon is set up per project.  So folks give me a tip each time I produce a micro-adventure.  Here's the other very cool thing about Patreaon, you can set a monthly limit so not to go over your budget.  So there are some who drop out after the first project or second or third.  I'll break it down here.

Micro-adventure 1: $100.50 (44 patrons support)
Micro-adventure 2: $ 94.00 (41 patrons support)
Micro-adventure 3: $ 91.00 (39 patrons support)
Micro-adventure 4: $ 89.00 (37 patrons support)
Micro-adventure 5: $ 69.50 (28 patrons support)

...and so on.  I make about 2 to 3 micro adventures a month.  About what I have time for and can do a decent job.  So that $38.50 is just for the first adventure.  I can make a little more money with the later adventures.  The other thing I HAVE to take into account is this year I will make over $600 so I will need to pay taxes.  1099 tax forms gobble up a ton of your income.  So I need to keep money back for that next year.  That will be the most difficult for me since I suck at the business side of these things.

Okay, enough of that annoying bookkeeping stuff.  Necessary, but fucking annoying.  Onto the good stuff.  People I back on Patreon.

+matt jackson supporting for 428 days.  His Patreon features Old School Maps.  Matt is one of the best known old school map makers around.  I've always loved his approach and cool maps.  You can find them in a few issues of The Manor.  Plus, last year he ran a charity run for the Wounded Warriors Project and raised over $1000.

 +Courtney Campbell supporting for 385 days.  His Patreon feature Blog Posts from his Hack & Slash blog.  At first when I heard he was doing this I was curious how someone would do a Patreon by blog post, but Courtney is a different kind of blogger than most.  His posts are professional article with research.  Well worth tipping his efforts.

+Michael Prescott supporting for 335 days.  His Patreaon features Adventures.  His one-page adventures are not only kick ass, but they are accompanied by the best 3D maps you'll find anywhere.

 +Dyson Logos supporting for 269 days.  His Patreon features Maps & Adventures for OSR RPGs. The beast map-maker of the OSR.  He's probably not known as well for his adventures, but Dyson can write.  Make no mistake.  I remember for a time there were contests for this and that on the blogs and damn it if Dyson didn't seem to win everyone I entered.  I'm very glad to be back Dyson, his maps make up a big part of the spine that is the OSR.

+Simon Forster supporting for 182 days.  His Patreon features Maps.  There is something about Simon and his maps I just enjoy.  It goes beyond the squiggly lines and green fields.  His maps have this cool style to them that no one else could duplicate.  His maps inspire stories and adventures.  

+Johua De Santo supporting for 173 days.  His Patreon features 'ventures!.  He calls them 5-minute or one-page romps.  Another creator of small adventures that can be plugged in quickly.  He's been very busy lately with his Kickstarter, Pyramid of the Lost King: Adventures in Basq.  When it gets funded he's asked me to write a little something for it.  And Johua contributed to issue 7 of The Manor.

+Jim Magnusson supporting for 164 days.  His Patreon features "the Lost Monster Manual" page postcards.  Jim did the cover for The Manor, issue 7.  And a lot of the interior artwork.  I have all his postcards.  I love his work.  A cool guy with a fast pen.  Fastest artist I know.

+Frank Turfler supporting for 43 days.  His Patreon features Stuff for Storytellers and Game Masters.  They are printable tiles that have a 3d effect.  I believe his term for them is 2.5D.  These things are cool.  I don't see anyone else doing this kind of thing.  He's got a variety of setting, including a fricking basketball court.  

+Kristian Richards supporting for 29 days.  His Patreon features Dungeon Maps.  His maps are amazing.  They are digitally drawn, they are clean and probably the best kind to use for on-line play.  And he has a lot of them, here's a sample of what he creates.

And recently I started supporting a batch of new folks.  

+Christopher Stogdill aka The Frugal GM.  His Patreon is featuring Role-Playing Game (RPG) Aids.  He's created maps to use and looks like he's got some plans for a variety of products.  I do believe I saw the word zine somewhere!

+James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games.  His Patreon features Old-School Roleplaying Games.  A creator of games.  He recently released the very successful White Box Companion on RPGNow.  And that is just one of his products.  He's got a ton of great supplements for OSR sysems.  So if he wants to create new stuff and permit me a peak at it, I'm in.

And lastly +Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern.  His patreon features Old School Gaming Blog Posts.  I back Erik because he's a big pain in the ass.  heh.  Erik, whether you like him or loathe  him, is a critical part of the OSR.  his blog is a hib of activity and he's the go to guy when you want to know about what's going on.  He posts 300 times a day.  The cool thing about hs Patreon is he takes the money he is getting and invests it back into the OSR community by backing more folks on Patreon.  And, his wife gets to give away some of his gaming stuff.  Which cracks me up, but I also have to keep an eye out on Ivy now.  I don't want her getting any ideas.

Whew.  That's it folks.  Thanks to all my patrons for the support.  I probably could have made two micro-adventures in the time it took me to write this post.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Feature: February Mythoard Looks Incredible

+Mythoard is concluding another month of subscriptions, BUT there is still time to get in on February's selection.  Subscriptions are open until the 24th, so that means grab one this weekend.

I am being completely self-centered with this, but the thing I am looking forward to reading is +Tim Callahan of Moon Dice Games, continuation off the Mythoard piece I did for the December's box.  Another Mythoard exclusive I believe that will be an on-going thing.  I can't wait to see what one of the other fellow Tims took it.  I saw some maps so that only fueled my excitement. 

Then of course there are Chessex dice, cool orange set that is being completed over a few months.  Jarrod is such a tease. 

The other stuff that is included is a mystery to me also.  I know whose included as they are listed on the Mythoard page, but no clue as what they are offering.  And that's what I like.  I like being surprised when I open the envelope.  Usually I get the mail during work, but I make sure I don;t break that seal until I get home so I can lay them out and look at it all. 

Mythoard focuses on small publishers.  There are a lot out there.  So many I can't keep up with them all, or afford to if I could.  But Mythoard lets me sample what they do.  It points me in the direction of something cool I missed.

If you hate getting cool stuff in the mail then by all means don't join.  But if you like getting cool stuff in the mail, go subscribe.  This month is looking to the best one yet.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lo' and Behold, the Stronghold Come'th

So there's this guy, you might know him, +Boric Glanduum.  He has this blog called The Dwarven Stronghold.  I've talked to Boric on-line now since, since, Moby Dick was just a minnow.  He's been talking about do this zine thing.  Zine, as in, cool little booklet filled with cool picture, cool articles, and cool adventures.  That kind of thing.  Well, this guy Boric release a zine today!  Bet you can't guess what it's called?!?!

Look at the beautiful cover by none other than +Jay Penn.  The dude who did all the artwork for Lovitar and did some work for me a while ago.  So Boric is not messing around, he brought in a big gun to do his art. 

I will not say I am not biased.  I completely am.  Boric is about as good a dude as you'll meet and I am a giant fan of zines.  BUT!  This one stands on its own and is very, very good.  Boric permitted me a secret back stage pass to look at what he wrote (he did not have the art at the time so I am excited to get a glance).

The articles are smart and useful.  Seriously good.  There is one on mimics that I absolutely love and will absolutely use.  Boric's very good at taking a look at a common element in game and looking at it in different ways.  It shows in this issue.  He's got a great take on finding mundane items.  The treasure found on someone is not all +5 sword of kick assdom.  He demonstrated how simple, mundane items can become something significant in game.

I won't spoil anymore of what you'll find in this print only zine.  Click the link THE STRONGHOLD and order yourself a copy.  This is another excellent entry of zines being produced by us old crusty dudes who just love to game. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Tiny Rant About Why Patreon is Good

There has been some recent discussion about Patreon, mainly coming from +Erik Tenkar's end.  I'll join his so his wife can send me some of his gaming stuff.  muhaha

It seems many folks are very aware of Patreon and what it is.  I was a fan of it before I got involved with my own.  I can't remember who my first person I patroned, it was either +Dyson Logos or +matt jackson or very likely I may have discovered them at the same time.  I thought what a cool idea.  I didn't think it would come to much, but I thought it was a fun idea.

Wrong.  I was very wrong. 

People are making some serious money off Patreon.  And despite what some folks say, THERE IS NOTHING FUCKING WRONG WITH THAT.  I hope I didn't leave any gray area in my opinion. 

The great thing about Patreon is the patrons have absolute control over how much they give.  You can donate by project, the patrons can select one of the pre-selected pledge levels or you can adjust to the amount your comfortable with.  And you can put a max amount per month so you don't go over your budget. 

I back 8 or 9 projects (I forget the exact number) myself.  I love giving these guys a little monetary motivation to do what they do.  And the very cool thing is, they offer their stuff for free, just like I do.  You don't have to get involved in their Patreon to enjoy what they do. 

I offer the same for my micro-adventures.  They are up for anyone to download.  But I have a great group of folks who have backed me.  It motivates me to push the boundaries, to do something new or put that extra effort in developing a project.  For my higher patrons they get a 4" x 6" laminated version of the adventure.  It's cool to do.  Takes time and postage to do it, but I like the product.

I know I am preaching to the choir, so to speak, most folks understand Patreon and how it works.  If you have the time browse Patreon, they have some great stuff going there.  It's a ton of fun to just check out all the creativity being funneled through there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Esoterrorist Game Props

Over on Google+ I've been sharing some of the game props I've created for my Esoterrorist game.

I recently created the AEGIS handbooks to help the players understand the philosophy behind the organization they are working for.  And of course I couldn't miss an opportunity to make some look old and used in the field. 

The great thing about running a modern day adventure it the amount of material that is available the players can interact with.  There will be times during the adventure that the players may need to find information about a certain organization or event and they can use their computers to get that information.  I develop my adventures using real places, events, organizations and people (although  handful are an amalgamation of two or three people).  This grounds these fantastic and horrible events in a real setting.

"Is this real.  I'm finding all this stuff on-line."  This is what Rob Conley said during the first session.  Because the setting and events were tied in with real happenings its an easier sell to the players.  What also helps is I am using my local area as the setting so I know exactly what services are available.  What judges are kind and which ones are the hard asses.  Hell, I can tell them the price of gas from town to town if that suited the adventure.

I've got a few more props to create.  The cool thing about the game is I have no idea how they will get to where they are going, but I know they'll get there at some point or time and the significance of a clue they find could vary greatly depending on the timing of the find. 

Since we are playing on-line, delivery of props is tricky, but since I am no stranger to the post office and sending things out, I plan on sending my two players a case file, with stuff they've already discovered and sealed envelopes.  These sealed envelopes will contain clues not discovered yet.  Each will  be labeled with a letter.  And when they come across it during game they will be asked to open that envelope. 

Because of the intensity and heavy role-playing aspect of the game I think two players is good.  The larger the group the more noise involved and when I GM something like this I prefer to have as little of that as possible.  Plus, it keep the players more engaged in what's going on.  No one has a chance to slip into the background. 

I think we start next week.  I've forgotten already.  I'm a lousy GM.  I've got work to do on the game yet, but its a pleasure to do so. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Flayed King

I recently completed my 20th micro-adventure for my Patreaon page, The Flayed King.  It went through several adjustments as I wrote it and rewrote it.  Originally it was called Tullius Well.  A well constructed by the Northmen for religious ceremonies.  Originally, it was going to be a simple crypt.  A few interesting cultural tidbits to add some flavor to the undead....hmm flavor to the undead, maybe not.

But as I wrote and tinkered, rewrote and thought about it again, it was becoming a place of note.  Something or someone significant was going to be here.  I still had no clue.  That is until the last room.  I was writing in the bookstore cafe when the idea for the flayed king set upon me.  My caramel, caramel coffee drink gets those synapses revved up. 

Also included in the adventure is a cultural item that rifts off the putting coins on the eyes of the dead.  These items are more of interest to me that magical items in general.  I like the cultural connection and what it signifies to others.

Necklace of the Dead (new item) 
A Necklace of the Dead is given to a man of worth who has died.  Typically it is made of coins.  Minted on the coins are things the man enjoyed in life; weapons, ships and ale are the most common.  A necklace provides a man income to continue his adventure in his next life.
 But what would an adventure be without a little something, something.  I created an intelligent, minor artifact.  This one is not going to argue with you or compel you to do something.  The Ring of Raraek's purpose is to aid you.  To figure out what you do best and make you better.

Ring of Raraek (new minor artifact) 
Ring of Raraek is sentient, but not aligned.  It adapts to the wearer, providing two unique powers to the wearer.  Should the wearer have magical abilities, the ring may increase the potency of a spell.  For a warrior, such as Goreth, it enhances his melee prowess.  For example is has a draining burst to attackers and creates a magical two-handed sword (without the plus increase to damage or to hit).  The ring needs to be worn constantly for one month so it can decide what powers would be most beneficial.  If the ring is removed, even for a moment, the ring requires a month to reestablish its assessment.  The ring notices changes and adapts, so the abilities it provides can change over time.

I want to thank all my patrons.  While I would be doing this whether Patreon existed or not, it sure makes it exciting for me and affords a extra gaming book or art that I wouldn't have been able to have otherwise.  
You can download The Flayed King on my Patreon page.  It is free for anyone who wants a copy.  I've stylized it using sepia.  But if that's not to your liking I also have a b&w version.  In addition there is a separate GM map and a players map in case you use it on-line.   

My big goof in this adventure is the concealed door in room 5 that leads to the Flayed King's room.  It's not noted on the map as a concealed door, just a normal door.  While overall not a huge deal in the scheme of the adventure, but who wouldn't want to push the six-titted boar god to gain entry?  An opportunity not to be missed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lulu Suggestions

Looks like Lulu is doing a 28% off sale through Sunday.  So I am going to make ten suggested buys.  None of which will be my own.  These are not in any particular order, just my memory jumping from synapse to synapse.  I make these suggestions without comment.  Just ones I have personally ordered and have enjoyed and most importantly, used.

+Paolo Greco's Kefitzat Haderech - Incunabulum of the Uncanny Gates and Portals
+Ignatius Umlaut's - Fight On! Foliated Folio +8
+Dyson Logos's - Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts
+Simon Forster's - Mischievous Monsters
+Courtney Campbell's - Hack & Slash Compendium
+Matt Finch's - S&W Monster Book
+joseph browning's - Advanced Adventures Compendium Two
+Patrick Wetmore's - Anomalous Subsurface Environment (ASE1)
+Jason Sholtis - The Dungeon Dozen
+Peter Regan's - Oubliette Issues 1-4 Compilation

They all made my list because I've bought them all.  I've bought them all and used them.  Some of them are older, but I think still very significant.  Peruse Lulu and take advantage of the 28% off.

Onward to the weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Temple of the Black Oracle

A new batch of micro-adventures are mailing tomorrow.  Temple of the Black Oracle is my 19th micro-adventure, in addition I've complete two micro-location and a micro-sandbox.  For my high-end patrons they get the adventure on a laminated 4" x 6" note card.  They are a blast to make.  And it justifies purchasing a laminator.

If you want to get in on this, just head on over to my Patreon page and check out the different contribution levels.   I've enjoy the process and all my patrons are top-notched dudes that contribute to the content.  Recently I asked for some names for a future adventure/location and they delivered.

As always, my micro-adventures are free for everyone.  You can download the PDF adventure, a GM map and a players map.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Random Map Monday

Finished this one yesterday.  An out of the way hunting lodge for a now deceased cruel knight.  This may be a Patreon addition or I am going to include it in the next Manor.  I'm thinking the latter.  I'm going to add a few interior maps and make it part of a micro-sandbox setting. 

Looking at it now I think I'll go back and redo the text with a little white background to make them pop a bit more.  Hunters Creek up there is washed up on a rock. 

It's Monday.  It's game night.  And I am trying to make it sound like a great thing even though I am already late for work.  I guess I gotta go.  Today, I just want to write and layout issue 8 of The Manor.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Strange Mail Call!

It's been a very good gaming week.  It didn't stop today.  Today I got +trey causey's, Strange Stars.

This is the print version...duh.  It's just cool.  I'll even let you take a peek inside my copy.

The book is 30-pages, but it's a concise and detailed 30-pages.  A lot of setting books are bloated and over written, what Trey has managed is to give you the skeletal workings of a galaxy in a few short pages.  There is a surprising amount of content conveyed by the writing, the layout and art.  You'll be hard pressed to find a better looking book on top of it.  +B. Portly worked some kick ass layout magic and my god, the back cover.  If there were awards for best back cover, this one would win.

I love my mailbox. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mail Call!

Yesterday I bragged about my Mythoard haul.  What I didn't tell you is I also got a copy of The Ruins of Haunted Hill written by Patrick Bird and illustrated +Fred Dailey.  They created 50 copies Ruins of Haunted Hill for Save vs. Hunger Convention, to donate to a food bank.  Love that.

I believe it was Fred who put out the word that he had a couple copies left and asked if there were any takers.  Adventure.  Zine!  Fun.  I raised my virtual hand quickly and high.  I may have even said "ohh, ohh" a couple of times.  All they asked is to donate a fiver to a local food bank.  Since I do what I do for work I have a lot of interaction with my food bank, not only did I donate I got them two volunteers for the next couple of months.

I haven't had a chance to read through it yet.  So I can't write about the adventure itself.  However I have flipped through it and I'm now a huge fan of Fred Dailey's artwork.  Many of his pictures are breaking out of their framework giving the picture more depth, just like the cover above. 

I wanted to thank Fred and Patrick for the adventure and its made me think of acting on a charity I would like to work with.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January Mythoard Has Arrived

If you are still waiting for yours, avert your eyes when you read this because I am showing you the full Monty.  And it is big.

Look at this...we've got dice from Chessex, a miniature and pin from +Lesser Gnome.  I recently purchased the collector's edition of Venom & Whisper and fricking rocks.  I need to take pictures of all the stuff that came with it and do a Feature Friday.  +Zach Glazar and +John Hammerle know how to put out a kick ass product.  Then we move down to the Creature Deck featuring Abberations & Magical Beasts brought to you by +Inkwell Ideas & +Joe Wetzel. I've been eyeballing these decks for a while, but never pulled the trigger on them.  These are great, look fantastic.  They came with two card protection sleeves which I admit took me a few moments to figure out.

Then a book The Powers the Be by +Bryan Steward, a supplement for Pits & Perils.  Again, another gaming item I've seen for a while, but never explored P&P.  And that's the beauty of +Mythoard, it's a buffet for you to try new things.  Bryan introduces you to a plethora of divine beings for your players to fall on bended knee and hope the blue bolt hits the next guy. 

I got two of these paper folder holder things.  I'm not sure if I was supposed to get two, but I am NOT giving mine back.  I've got a new character keeper.  +Randy M's fantastic picture is not served well by photography skills.  Great details and I think a perfect picture of an adventuring party that is a half-a-day away from being TPKed.

Inside the folder is the Brimstone Epitaph (absolutely love that name) created by from +Carl Bussler and his Stormlord Publishing.  Carl is a known entity to me.  He's one creative dude and an excellent adventure writer.  On the other side is the Mythoard newsletter to introduce all the dudes that participated this month.  I like this, it a cool touch and in addition there is a short chart of information about each contributor.

 Look what's on the back of the newsletter, a +matt jackson original.  I've not heard much about this Jackson feller, but I heard he like to do maps.  We'll see if they come to anything.  Either way it's a good start for him.  And I do enjoy that it is Tenkar's Tomb.  heh.

 +MonkeyBlood Design graces the back of the folders.  His maps are amazing.  When I grow up one day I hope to create maps as artistic. 

+Jarrod Shaw and the contributors put out an excellent sophomore edition of Mythoard.  I got new stuff from guys I already know how awesome they are and got to sample some new things I've wondered about.  I'm really hoping Mythoard only get bigger.  I'd like to see it stick around for a while.  I loved getting that envelope in the mail.  I only had a inkling of what was inside.

The only thing that sucked was I got it at work and I had to wait to dig in.

Game Night: What It Feels Like to be in the Know

+Rob Conley started his game last night.  We jumped back into the skins of the 5E characters that we played through the Phandelver adventure.  I give 5E props for the adventure, but they still can't hold a candle to adventuring in Rob's Majestic Wilderlands.  I am bias as hell, but I stand by my opinion.  Rob and +Douglas Cole wrote posts about last night, I'd link to them, but I am sneaking this one in my lunchtime at work.

Rob's campaigns are role-playing heavy, but you need to be able to handle yourself at the same time.  When I say handle yourself I mean you gotta know who you're pissing off.  You have to pick and chose who you go against.  There is a time and place for confrontation and you don't want to be wrong.  Like for example, last night the villagers of Phandelver took it upon themselves to clear the village of all Set/Tharian influnces. 

Quick tutorial for Majestic WilderlandsThere is Set, Father of Dragons and mainly worship by Tharians, think of them as the Romans.  On the opposing side of the coin is Mitra, The Red Maiden and she is mainly worshiped by Gynorians, think of them as Greeks or sorta kinda the English.  Either way you have an ideological clash between cultures that uses religion as a weapon.

So the villagers kicked out the Set and Tharian influences.  The problem with doing that is most of the leaders, political and military are Tharians who ally with Set.  The villagers are manning barricades with two untrained boys with pointy sticks.  Sidwin, my guy, understands the conflict, but he also understands the ramifications of their actions.

During the discussion they were arguing religion and philosophy and I was trying to make my point that trained soldiers are going to slaughter them, not giving on farthing what they think.  During the end the leader of the rebellion seemed to understand and made haste to contact allies.

Meanwhile while Sidwin is no warrior and wouldn't consider going against a trained army, you can't make money if you're dead.  Maybe if you're undead, but Sidwin doesn't like that option.  So the plan is now is to use his knowledge of superstitions, the weakness of people and his ability to manipulate the situation without the threat of disembowelment.  The plan, to create a bad omen Set worshipers would never go to war after seeing. 

This is the beauty of Rob's campaign, getting entwined with the depth of the cultures.  Using knowledge as a weapon that is rarely duplicated in other games.

It's pretty cool.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cover I've Been Messing With

Here is the cover I've been working on for another project.  It's supposed to be sepia in color.  The picture isn't all that great and scanning it in screwed it all up.  I like how it has turned out.

 Here's what it looks like on the inside. 

I've already have the first section written.  I wrote this while power watching Game of Thrones, 3rd Season.  Yes, I know I am behind and I've finally saw the Red Wedding.  Anyway, this is what I do when I watch TV.

Random Map Monday 7

This week I've been working on another project.  Yeah, I know.  I'm a poster child for gamer ADHD.  This is the Village of Offcombe.  I stole the name from an episode of Robin of Sherwood - The Swords of Wayland.  Although in the episode it's called Uffcombe, but I always heard it Offcom.  I also stole the main guy who asks the Robin Hood crew to help his village, Gareth.  I always liked the name.  But in my version Gareth is the lord over the village that is being attacked by the Endless Enemy.

Sounds fancy eh?

Anyway, to the map.  I changed out the Offcombe map a couple of times until I found one I liked.  This one made more sense to me.  The other maps had indefensible huts.  Or kindling to most invaders.  This one at least had a small keep nearby and made sense for Gareth, a fighting lord who has settled this land.

The entire adventure is done in the sepia coloring.  It gives the look I want.  Even the text is brownish in color to give it that aged feel.  Plus I have cardstock that fits the theme.  I'll scan in pictures of the working cover tonight or tomorrow.

Until next Monday, keep drawing maps!