Saturday, December 17, 2016

El Raja Key Archive review

Rob Kuntz has finally published his collection of maps and notes from the early days of D&D. It is available from Three Line Studios as the El Raja Key Archive. From the blurb on the website:

The El Raja Key Archive is an interactive, searchable, fully indexed, virtual museum of roleplaying game artifacts from the dawn of the Dungeons & Dragons game! Contained within the Archive are over 1,000 high resolution scans of adventures, maps and keys, campaign notes, character sheets, and manuscripts from the Original GreyhawkKalibruhn, and Blackmoor Campaigns. That's right, from the very creation of Dungeons & Dragons! Includes all maps & some keys for Rob's Castle El Raja Key, the dungeons where Gary Gygax cut his teeth as Mordenkainen; Rob's manuscript for his lost Dungeons & Dragons Supplement V: Kalibruhn; maps, keys, and notes for over 40 adventures from the Original Greyhawk and Kalibruhn Campaigns including, maps & some keys for 16 of Rob's Original Greyhawk Castle levels, the map for the first ever D&D demo, the Machine Level, at GenCon VII in 1974, and the map for the first ever D&D tournament, Sunken City, and notes, NPC cards, and adventure maps and keys for the Original City of Greyhawk!
Given my love of old maps from the seventies, this was a purchase I wasn't going to pass up. I ordered the DVD standard edition, which showed up promptly in my mail box a few days after my order. I chose the standard because it contained all the old maps which were my primary interest, although i am missing out on the new adventure included in the Deluxe and Collectors editions. I have posted a sample copy of  a typical map at the top of the page (so as not to reveal too many secrets I have used the same map Rob posted to his webpage). True to its billing it provides large quantities of maps and notes from Rob's early days. I liked finally seeing at least some of the actual Castle Greyhawk (Rob only includes the levels he drew), including the infamous Black Reservoir (subject of a Gary Gygax play report). I am not that enthused with the woodgrain/notebook paper .html interface, but much of the material is directly accessible as .jpg files as wel. I wish more of the levels had the key as well as the map. After looking at Castle Greyhawk I was a little disappointed  to discover that El Raja Key is most of the same levels just arranged in a different order. It will require some intense study of  Robs scratchy handwriting to decipher the contents of the El Raja Key supplement. It seems to be in the floating charts and tables style of the original books, as well as the Greyhawk and Blackmoor supplements. I am grateful to Rob for getting this stuff out in his lifetime, rather than taking his secrets to his grave like Gary did. I much more interested in seeing stuff as it was in the day, than waiting for a modern polish to suck the life out of it (TEKUMEL SOCIETY LISTEN UP!!). For me this purchase was money well spent.

P.S. The job of cross indexing these scans with clandestine photos of Gary's notebook, and the other pieces of Castle Greyhawk in published  modules is left to others for now. I can tell you the levels presented do not match the maps of Greyhawk Ruins at all, and although the style is somewhat similar to Grodog's Greyhawk the levels are different.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Death of Lone Wolf author Joe Dever

From EN world

We are sorry to be the bearers of such tremendously sad news, but our father passed away peacefully at 10:15 yesterday morning. This follows twelve years of an illness that he kept secret to all but those closest to him. We appreciate this news may be a shock to many.

He died as he lived - with colossal bravery and dignity - and held by those that loved him. He was working on the final three Lone Wolf books until Monday evening. His thoughts were with his work and thusly his fans until the last possible moments. His work clearly meant a lot to his fans, and your loyalty meant everything to him.

It is with enormous honour and great responsibility that these notes for the final three books of the saga, and the legacy of his incredible universe, are passed to us to complete.

Please allow us time to attend to the family, and his personal affairs. We will be in touch via this page and his website with further news about a memorial service that we hope to arrange for late January. We will also share how you can apply to attend the memorial, with full details of the time and location.

With love,
Ben Devere & family

Joe and I in happier times

You can find a great deal of his work available for free at the Project Aon website. One of his latest and perhaps last project (although the obituary mentions three more books in the works) the Lone Wolf Adventure Game is available from Cubicle 7 .

Friday, November 25, 2016

Post Turkey Update

Dear Reader,

Just a quick post to try and catch up.

My Tuesday night game has been perking along. After assaulting the drow army (which provided just the cover the white kobold needed to slip into and grab the artifact the party was after); they escaped the drow hit team sent to extract revenge; Signed on as met cutters to help carve the Tarrasque (Totally borrowed from Salt-in-the-wounds blog); discovered a secret door inside the Tarrasque leading to a plane of ice and snow; recovered a 3' cube which seemed to be blowing snow and ice everywhere ( another of my artifacts); Traded this cube to a weird elf guy in exchange for a magic item each; and are currently working for the elf guy to grab the sphere (the last remaining artifact in the set). I'll try and put the story about the cameo of the fire lich and the nightmare up in it's own post.

Recent purchases have included:

A bunch of pay what you want adventures from the DMs Guild

El Raja Key Archive

A realy good look into the maps and notes one needed to play "Old School" DnD. Contains the levels Rob Kuntz drew for Castle Greyhawk (about half of them) including the infamous Black Reservoir.  Big on maps, map keys and content not so much.

Zodiac Campaign Setting

Kickstarter I didn't sign on for, but they had hardbacks for sale at Con-on-the-Cob

And of course, Volo's Guide to Monsters

Cons attended:

Con-on-the-Cob. Only there Friday and Saturday, less gaming stuff in the dealers room than last year, and not as many name brand artists. Had a nice demo of a game to be released next year, and played in my friends "megagame" Night Falls (semi RPG semi Parlor game similar to "mafia"). My vampire cult team won, but somehow our allied villager team managed to come in last out of four teams.

If  I get ambitious this weekend I may expand on some of these, but that's it for now. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Shadow of the Demon Lord Review

"... I wanted something to call my own, a tabletop roleplaying game freed from canon and born from my imagination..."

Robert J Schwalb from preface to Shadow of the Demon Lord

I signed on to the kickstarter for all the .pdfs and liked it so much I bought a hardback of the core rules from my friendly neighborhood game store. Things I like include starting simple and adding complexity as well as a clear and easy to read prose style. The add or subtract a d6 to the d20 is a good alternative to the roll two d20. The game also allows for multiple d6, but the take the highest helps to keep it from getting totally crazy. I found the core rules chapter clear and comprehensive, although I would be inclined to present more of it as charts and tables, and less as prose (When I write my fantasy heartbreaker I'll give it a shot). I am afraid I'll not be able to judge the true balance of classes and spells until I turn my min-maxer friends lose on it (which hasn't happened yet). If you are a connoisseur of roleplaying games definitely pick this one up. The kickstarter has filled driveRPG with a lot of adventures as well. I haven't talked my 5e players into this yet, but it may be worth giving it a shot (Although she-who-must-be-obeyed is still struggling to switch from 2e to 5e, so perhaps best not to switch targets).

Chapter by Chapter Skim Through.
Table of Contents
Always useful (although I like indexes better)

Kind words from Frank Mentzer

Thoughts from Robert himself (see quote at the start of this review for example)

Some basic concepts and play examples

Chapter 1 Character Creation
Four attributes Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Will. Starting attributes are determined by race with some slight wiggle room. Only half a page on attributes here. Races include Humans, Changelings, Clockworks, Dwarfs, Goblins, and Orcs. No elves, halfings, gnomes or lizardmen (Probably only I will miss the lack of lizardmen, but the lack of elves  is more conspicuous, certainly after watching Shannara on DvD I am convinced that both elves and gnomes can do grimdark well). Lots of roll up tables for backgrounds and starting professions (better selection than 5e in my opinion).

Chapter 2 Playing the Game
Making decisions ask your DM.Time timekeeping is important (but not talked about here). Rolling dice 2 pages boon/bane only thing you haven't seen before. Attributes (1.5 pages kinda short shrift.) characteristics mostly calculated from attributes, long descriptions for insanity, and corruption. Speed for some reason includes the movement rules. Damage is the next section, mostly the standard stuff. Disabled has some possibilities. Afflictions (same as conditions in 5e) mostly the standard stuff. Environment deals with objects, range and distance, obscurement, illumination and invisibility. Role Playing covers social interactions and includes options for character bonds. Combat is comprehensive covering most options and ends this chapter.

Chapter 3 Novice Paths
Four novice paths: Magician, Priest, Rogue, and Warrior. Novice paths provide powers for 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th levels

Chapter 4 Expert Paths
Sixteen expert paths: Artificer, Assassin, Berserker, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Oracle, Paladin, Ranger, Scout, Sorcerer, Spellbinder, Thief, Warlock, Witch, and Wizard. Expert paths provide powers for levels 3, 6, and 9.

Chapter 5 Master Paths
64 master paths: Abjurer, Acrobat, Aeromancer, Apocalyptist, Arcanist, Astromancer, Avenger, Bard, Beastmaster, Blade, Cavalier, Champion, Chronomancer, Conjurer, Conqueror, Death dealer, Defender, Dervish, Destroyer, Diplomat, Diviner, Dreadnaught, Duelist, Enchanter, Engineer, Executioner, Exorcist, Explorer, Geomancer, Gladiator, Gunslinger, Healer, Hexer, Hydromancer, Illusionist, Infiltrator, Inquisitor, Jack-of-all-trades, Mage knight, Magus, Marauder, Miracle worker, Myrmidon, Necromancer, Poisoner, Pyromancer, Runesmith, Savant, Sentinel, Shapeshifter, Sharpshooter, Stormbringer, Technomancer, Templar, Tenebrist, Thaumaturge, Therge, Transmuter, Traveler, Weapon master, Woodwose, Zealot. Master paths provide powers for level 7 and 10

Chapter 6 Equipment 
You know armor, weapons, adventuring gear, hirelings seem cheap. Options to buy scrolls and potions are always nice.

Chapter 7 Magic
brief introduction then list of spells split up into small schools called traditions Air, Alteration, Arcana, Battle, Celestial, Chaos, Conjuration, Curse, Destruction, Divination, Earth, Enchantment, Fire, Forbidden, illusion, life, nature, necromancy, primal, protection, rune, shadow, song, storm, technomancy, teleportation, theurgy, time, transformation, water. Have to turn my optimizing friends loose on this to which traditions have the killer apps. Air has some nasty spells. Arcane is for your magic misslers. Forbidden has some really freaky stuff. finally fire for fireball. I suspect there is a close correspondence between the Master paths and traditions, but I have not mapped it out in detail.

Chapter 8 A Land in Shadow
Gazetteer of the campaign setting

Chapter 9 running the game
A nice basic introduction to Dming. A nice section on horror as well. Read if you have need of such things.

Chapter 10 Bestiary
The bestiary closes out the book. A quick look shows most of the old standards, but nothing leapt out as new and noteworthy. I like the sections on characters, customization and templates

There is a lot of potential here. Fairly close to its d20 roots the main distinctions in the paths and traditions providing a bit finer division than classes and spell schools (a feature which intrigues me). Although it claims a grimdark setting, most of this system is just solid roleplaying. I like starting with basic classes and expanding outwards as levels increase. I think picking new classes for higher level powers will cut back on the 1000+ feat optimization problems of  3e and pathfinder. However, an extensive effort to find where the cracks are has yet to made. Pick this up, play it, find the cracks and let me know.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Return to and escape from Black Rock

Well the adventure went reasonably well. The after climbing down the ladder the half party finds itself in a room filled with periwinkle mist. They defeat the ogre which materializes out of it and add the paladin which materializes to the party (had to add the new player somehow). They move on to find in the next room to find a kobold wearing welder's goggles and a reptilian beast with glowing periwinkle eyes. The kobold turns to gas and flees sicking the beast on the party. The discovers much to its horror that the gaze of this beast turns people into periwinkle mist, but only the druid misses enough saving throws to be fully affected. They find several bottles of periwinkle mist carefully labeled things like "White Dragon" and "Frost Giant". They put the druid in an empty one. They progress on to the next room which has one door heavily guarded by a balista, barred from this side with a lighting bolt projector in front of it. The other door is just shut although closer inspection reveals that it is barred from the other side. The thief uses his tools to unbar the door. On opening the door they find a chamber with four iron cells on the left and a carriage equiped with four dragon headed nozzles on the right. In back is the kobold with welders glasses and another kobold with a whip. The party decides to talk, once the kobolds explain about the four nightmares behind the iron doors, the party decides to go a different way. They talk the kobold with welders glasses into disarming the traps in the previous room exit through the formally heavily trapped door into the great underway and reunite with the rest of the party sleeping in the kobold camp above. They retreat to a hidden spot and take a long rest (there is some stupidity with a captured kobold which I will not go into). They are horrified to find on their return to the underway a drow army storming through (guess they weren't the only ones interested in finding out how the traps for the door worked).

Final Battle Mat
Original keyed sketch

P.S. Although the players prudently exited before reaching the lava pool, I am bit disappointed not to see how 4th levels deal with lava.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

What I did on my summer vacation

Well I appear to have taken the summer off. Staying step ahead of my players in my Tuesday 5e game seems to be taking most of my creative time. I am of course using this blog post to procrastinate finishing the lower levels of Black Rock, a strange twist of fate whereby my players always want to head into the areas I have not defined in my 20+ years of campaign notes. Most of the parties hearing about 400+ kobold armies and something called a "Fire Lich" would run the other way in a sandbox campaign, but not my players. After launching a frontal assault on a vanguard of thirty kobolds they successfully carved their way into the Black Rock itself, only to be met by the elite guard. The wizard was horrified to discover that his sleep spell only dropped one kobold. However they still carved their way through, only to be met by the next wave. A quick challenge to single combat with the CR 5 Kobold chieftain was accepted and although the principal fighter was defeated, her lizardman henchman was able to finish off the wounded chieftain. At that point the kobold shaman, his gaggle of kobold archers and elite kobolds asked them to leave. The cleric, the lizardman, and the fighter did. However the thief, wizard, and druid used a handy side passage and rope trick to lay low until the commotion died down, sneak into the depths of the Black Rock. I halted the session there as the deep depths of Black Rock are as yet undrawn. However, as the inner sanctum of a lich I have always envisioned them as  at least CR 6. So do I stay true to my vision keep it high level or do I tone it down so my half party of  4th level adventures can succeed?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Darkest Hack part 4

The final two classes for my Old School Hack version of Darkest Dungeon (unless they have sneaked another one in during the last month or two)

Nervous Stab: Melee attack but based on dex

Festering Vapors: Ranged burst 1 save versus con or blight

Flash powder: Ranged attack target must dex save or be blinded for the next round

Get Down: gives disadvantage to the next attack

Fortifying Vapors: Heal 1d4

Invigorating Vapors: +3 AC for next attack

Protect me: forces opponent to target adjacent ally. Ally has advantage against the attack.

Transform: Change to beast mode (like druids in D&D)

Manacles: Reach 3 melee 1d4 damage, but con save or stunned

Beast Bile: Ranged attack Con save or Poisoned

Absolution: Heal self 1d4

Rake: Beast Mode only melee attack two targets damage 1d6 per hit

Rage: Beast Mode only Melee attack 1d12 critical hit on 19-20

Slam: Beast Mode only Opponent makes Strength check. If failed target is knocked back and you enter the square he was in.

Just do it *rant*

I originally wrote this as an addendum to my Darkest Hack part 4. However as I am starting to dive of the deep end with this one, I thought I would publish it separately, so those interested only game mechanics could just look at that.

Reading the strange fate of "Axes and Anvils" has put me in a just do it sort of mood. A long ago promised and kickstartered game. Its principal, Mike Nystal has long ago fallen silent. However he has tag teamed in Andrew Shields of Fictive Hack to finish the project. Andrew has created a wordpress blog, and from the list links has assembled enough text to make a decent game (although having not been sucked into the kickstarter, I cannot actually view the content). When last we heard from Andrew the game was still in playtest (although that was 2015). My advice to Andrew JUST DO IT! Assemble what you have into a .pdf send it to the backers and be free of it! If you put it for sale on Drive Thru RPG you might even make enough money you could send out the hard copies you promised people. Honestly folks, although nice artwork and slick layout are nice to have, for me what matters most is that I have something in my that I can game with. If you are spending more than six months on layout you are wasting everyone's time and for gods sake don't tell me you need a professional, almost anyone can do a pretty decent layout just using Microsoft Word.

In the "just do it spirit" the final part of my converting Darkest Dungeon characters to Old School Hack will appear about five minutes after this post.

P.S. I should mention that Andrew Shields Fictive Hack blog is one of the most active Old School Hack related sites on the internet

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

News from the Underdark *Updated*

A quick update. Somehow my players adventure tonight involved duking it out with three sharks for the remains of a plesiosaur, and then schlepping 800 lbs of plesiosaur meat on a sledge made of plesiosaur bone through the underdark in a direction they hope leads back to the surface. Good times!

*Update* Illustration Courtesy of She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed

Monday, May 2, 2016

*News Flash* Rulenomicon Updated

The Rulenomicon page has been updated. I got all the names of my new rules pasted in. Even got the formating to be more of a table. However, no new reviews or links yet. That will have to come later.

Enjoy! ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Rulenomicon Update a Start

Sorted all my roleplaying rule .pdfs so there is one folder per game. Then I generated a list of names. There are 536 discrete games in the list. Just in case that wasn't enough I have an additional uncounted number of microgames in the folder 1KM1KT and zip file 24hr2012. Clearly updating my Rulenomicon page is going to take a while. Here's the list:

13th age
1974 Rules
52 page
A Song of Ice and Fire
Abstract Dungeon
Accordian Files
Adventerers Tale
Adventure Fantasy Game
Adventure Time
Adventurer and Troll
Adventurer Conquerer King
Adventures Dark and Deep
Adventures Fantastique
Adventures in Fantasy
Adventures in Oz
Adventures in the New Kingdoms
Adventures under the Laughing moon
Adventuring Party
Age of Shadows
Ages past the Incan Sphere
Alchemists of Pwang
Altus Adventum
Amazing Roleplaying
Anima Prime
Argyle and Crew
Army Ants
Arrghh bottom Sound
Arrows of Indra
Ars Magica
Astonishing Swordsmen
Avalyn Quest
Back to the Dungeon
Balrogs and Bagginses
bandits and Basilisks
Bandits and battlecruisers
Barbarian Prince
Barbarians of Lemuria
Barebones Fantasy
Baron Munchausen
Barons of the West
Basic Fantasy
Battle Axe
Battle masters
Battle Tech
Beast of Limfjord
Beasts and barbarians
Beat to Quarters
Beyond the Gates of Antares
Beyond the Wall
Big Brown Book
Bleake Rebelion
Blood and Bullets
Blood and treasure
Blue Ocean
Break the Ice
Broken Urthe
Burgs and Baliffs
Burning Wheel
By this Axe
Cartoon Action Hour
Cave Adventures
Caverns and Cavaliers
Chain reaction
Chivalry and Sorcery
Chronicles of Cathura
Chronicles of Skin
Chronos LARP
Chuubos Marveleous Wish Granting Engine
Circle of Hands
Clash of Arms
Clockwork Empire
Cog Wars
Colors of Grey
Conjectural roleplaying gamemaster emulator
Creatures and Caverns
Creeks and Crawdads
Crimson Blades
Crimson Dragon Slayer
Crumbling Epoch
Crypts and things
Dangers and Dweomers
Dark Dungeons
Dark Eye
Dark Horrors Hidden places
Dark Passages
Dark Realms
Darkest Age
Dawn of Worlds
Delving Deeper
Demon the Descent
Devil John Moulton
Dinky Dragons
Divvy in thr Dungeon
Dogs in the Vineyard
Dragon Sword
Dragon Warriors
Drowning and Falling
Dungeon Crawl
Dungeon Crawler
Dungeon Delvers
Dungeon Escape
Dungeon Kind
Dungeon Raiders
Dungeon Slayer
dungeon Squad
Dungeon Teller
Dungeon World
Dungeons and Drunkards
dungeons daring
Dungeons the Dragoning
Duty and Honour
Dying Earth
Early Dark
East Mark
Elder Scrolls Table Top
Eldritch Ass Kicking
Empire Galactique
Endless Fantasy Tactics
Engines and Empires
Entropic Gaming System
Epees et Sorcerile
Epic Heros
Eternal Contendera
Exemplars and Eidolons
Exiled in Eris
Explorers and Exploits
Fabled Lands
Faith and Demons
Fanstastic Adventures
Fanstastic Heroes
Fantasia the Book of All Knowing
Fantasy Core
Fantasy Hero
Fantasy Saga
Faraway Land
Fate of the Norns
Fate Worse than Death Rentpunk
Fear No Darkness
Fighting Fantasy
Final Fantasy Roleplaying
Fire and Sword
Five Moons
Flying Swordmen
Fog of War
Forest of Doors
Forgotten Futures X
Freebooters Fate
Full Metal Plate Mail
g core
Gates and Gorgons
Glimpse the Beyond
Gods and Minions
Gods and Monsters
Gold and Glory
Golden Age
Gothic Earth
Gray Magik
Grey Six
Grim World
halberd games
Hand of Fate
Heroic Fantasy
Heros against Darkness
Heros and Other Worlds
Heros Journey
Heros of the Dungeon Crawl
Heros of the Jade Oath
Hither Lands
Hollow Earth Expedition
Holmes Blue Book Companion
Hoodoo Blues
How to host a dungeon
Hulks and Horrors
Humanspace Empires
Hungarian RPG
Impresa Express
Into the Dungeon
Into the Odd
Into the Wasteland
Iron Age
Iron Falcon
Iron Kingdoms
Iron Sword
Jaws of the six serpents
Judges Guild Universal
Kids DnD
Kobold Midgard
Labyrinth Lord
Lady Blackbird
Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Legend of Anglerre
Legend of five rings
Legend of the wayfarer
Legend Quest
Legendary DnD
legendary quest
Legends of Anglerre
Legends of the ancient world
Life and Times of a Teenage Socerer
Lone Wolf
Longsword and Shield
Lords of Gossamer and Shadow
Lost City of the Dwarves
Lost Empires
Lost roads of Lociam
Lost Worlds
Lowell was right
Mage the Ascension
Magitech Wars
Mass Effect
Matter of Honor
Maze of Torment
Mazes and minotaurs
Mazes and Perils
Mecha versus Kaiju
Mechanical Dream
Medical Bay Three
Middle Earth Adventure Game
Middle Earth Roleplay
Mini Six
Modern Adventures
Moebis Adventures
Monster Box
Monsters and Magic
Monsters and Mazes
Murder Hobos
Mutant Chronicles
Mutant Scavengers of the Ruined Earth
My Life with Master
Myth and Magic
Myth Weaver
NeoClassical Geek
Neon Sanctum
New Kingdoms
Night of the Barrel
Nights of the Crusades
Nordic LARP
Northern Crown
Old Dragon
Old School Hack
One Dice
Oni Puncher
Open Quest
Orbis Terrum
Order of the link
Original Edition Delta
Other Role Playing Games nook
Ouroboros engine
Pandora London
Pars Fortuna
Perilous Worlds
Pirates and Privateers
Planet Eris
Pocket Things
Pokemon X
Prince Valiant
Prose Descriptive Qualities
Prowlers and Paragons
Pulp Karma
Questers into the unknown
Questers of the Middle Realms
ra kickstarter
Radio Show
Raiders of the Ruins of Kanthe
Raven Crowking
Razor Coast
Reality Changing Game
realms of Adventure
Realms of Bethica
Realms of Lore
Recon 6
Red Box
Refuge in Audacity
Retro Phaze
Riddle of Steel
Roal Armies of the Hyborean Age
Robot menace
Saga of the Splintered Realms
Savage Swords of Antor
Savage Worlds
Scarlet Heros
Searchers of the Unknown
Second Dawn
Secret Fire
Seven Voyages
Shadow of Yesterday
Shinobi and Samuri
Siege perilous
Simple DnD
Simple Game System
Simple Sixes
Six Fist fuls
Slight mistake
Small but Vicious Dog
So now youre a time traveller
Something went wrong
Sorcery and Super Science
Space fight
Spawn of Fashan
Spears of the dawn
Spellcraft and Sorcery
Spellcraft and Swordplay
Spooky Four Things
Stars without number
Starship from hell
Steel and Flame
Sticks and Stones
Strange magic
Strange Trails
Strike Force
Strip DnD
Super Repo
Swift Swords Underworld
Sword and Board
Sword and Shield
Sword Lords
Sword of Abandon
swords and sorcery
Swords and Storytellers
Swords and Wizardry
Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonsque
Tarnhlems Terrible Tome
Team Renegade
The System
Theorems and Thaumaturgy
ThowiGames Simple Roleplaying System
Torch and Sword
Totems of the Dead
Tranchons and Traquons
Traveller adventurer
Treasure Awaits
Troll Babe
Two Worlds
Unchained Heros
Under the moons of Zoon
Underworld Kingdom
Until Dawn
Village on the Hill
War of Ashes
Warrior Rogue Mage
Warriors and Wizards
Watch the World Die
wayfarers song
Welcome Minions
Whats Old is New
White Star
Wild Talents
Wizards and Warriors
World of Darkness
World of Fire and Sand
World of Urtusk
World of Warcraft
Worlds Apart

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Darkest Hack part 3

Four more classes! I am not completely happy with the Jester, he seems to have several attacks that are about the same. The hound master of course raises the question of can the hound and the master work independently.  My tentative is yes since the hound masters attack is fairly wimpy. However the hound will be limited to just basic attacks without an action to command it from its master. The newest classes Antiquarian and Abomination next time.

Dark Stab: Melee

Harvest: Melee two targets normal damage, save versus Con or bleed 1d4 per round

Finale: Melee high crit 1d8 extra damage (must start next to single opponent, must disengage), attackers have advantage next round

Solo: Close blast 3 save versus Cha or disadvantaged

Slice: Melee high crit normal damage save versus Con or bleed 1d4 per round

Battle Ballad  Close Burst 2 +3 initiative gives attackers disadvantage on next attack (must not be in combat).

Inspiring tune: Heals stress next stress event halved

Grave Robber
Pick to the face: melee

Lunge: Move 2 melee attack high crit(must not be next to opponent)

Flashing daggers: Ranged attack hits two targets

Thrown dagger: Ranged attack high crit

Poison Dart: Save versus dex or blighted

Toxin Trickery: Cure blight, opponent disadvantaged on next attack

Hound Master
Hounds rush: hound move followed by melee attach save versus con or bleed 1d4 extra 1d6 versus beasts extra 1d6 for marked targets

Hounds harry: melee close burst 1 -2 damage but save versus con or bleed 1d4

Target Whistle: Ranged attack no damage marks target

Cry havoc: heals stress

Guard dog: target ally hound moves to block next attack takes attack instead of ally

Blackjack: -2 damage but con save or stunned

Plague Doctor
Noxious Blast: Close blast 3 save versus con or blight

Plague grenade: Ranged burst 1 save versus con or blight

Blinding gas: Ranged burst 1 save versus dex or blinded

Incision: Melee attack

Battle Field Medicine: heals 1d4 cures bleed and blight

Emboldening Vapors: +2 initiative, advantage on next attack

Disorienting Blast: Close blast save versus con or stunned

Monday, March 21, 2016

Darkest Hack part 2

I once again yell my barbaric yawp into the void with four more Darkest Dungeon classes reworked for Old School Hack. Let me know if you want to see more.

Mace Bash: Normal Melee Attack

Judgment: Divine bolt 1d6 target heals Vestal damage dealt

Dazzling Light: Raises light level target must Dex save or stunned.

Divine Grace: heals 1d8 by touch

Divine Comfort: Heals all party member within sight 1d4

Illumination: Ranged attack target must Dex save or Blind

Hand of Light: Meele attack extra 1d6 against unholy

Chop: Normal melee attack

Hew: -2 to damage but attacks all targets next to Leper

Purge: Successful attack knocks target back 2

Revenge: Advantage to attack, but give opponet advantage on next attack

Solemnity: Heals self 1d8 grants advantage to next attack

Withstand; Raises Morale grants opponent disadvantage on next attack

Intimidate: Close blast 3 Cha save or disadvantage on next attack

Sacrificial Stab: Melee attack Con save or bleed 1d4 per round

Abyssal Artillery: Ranged blast 1, save versus Dex or 1d8 damage

Weakening Curse: Ranged attack, save versus Int or disadvantaged

Wyrd Reconstruction: Touch heal 1d10 but save versus con or bleed 1d4

Vunerablity: Ranged attack save versus Int or grants attackers advantage and marked

Hands from the Abyss: Touch attack, Save versus dex or stunned

Demon Pull: Ranged attack Save versus Dex or pulled 3 squares towards the caster

Sniper Shot: Ranged attack weapon plus 1d6 extra damage to marked target

Suppressing fire: Ranged attack targets three, but -2 to damage

Snipers mark: Ranged attack marks target

Bola: Ranged attack Targets two targets, if hit targets are restrained

Blind fire: Ranged attack targets random target, no penalty for adjacent opponet

Rallying Flare: clears all stuns and marks from allies

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Darkest Hack part 1 First pass characters

Here's my first cut at adapting Darkest Dungeon to the table-top. Core system is based on Old School Hack (OSH): where every class has a list of powers; every character picks one power at the start and adds a new power every level. Description are perhaps more fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons than OSH, since I am used to thinking that way (OSH still has six attributes but renames them). Here's the four Classes I have done so far:


Smite: Standard attack +1d4 damage against the unholy (undead, evil aligned monsters)

Zealous Accusation: Close blast 1d4 radiant damage

Stunning Blow: Standard attack -2 damage but CON or stunned

Bulwark of Faith: +2 AC for 3 rounds

Battle Heal:  Touch Heals 1d8

Holy Lance: Normal movement without provoking, must end next to an opponent and make a standard attack against that opponent. Must start not next an opponent to use this power

Inspiring Cry: Heal 1d4 all allies within 30’ Raise morale one level

            Wicked Hack: normal attack plus dexterity bonus
Iron Swan: Leap over 3 squares, avoid AO with successful acrobatics check attack at end of leap

Barbaric Yawp: Close blast 3 Wisdom save or stunned

If It Bleeds: Attacks second rank. Save versus Con or take 1d4 bleed damage each round until save is made

Breakthrough: Hits three targets in a line -2 damage

Adrenaline Rush: heal 1d4 ends poison and bleed conditions

Bleed out: normal attack plus Save versus Con or take 1d4 bleed damage each round until save is made

Bounty Hunter

            Collect Bounty: Normal attack plus extra 1d8 on marked target

            Marked for Death: Marks Target
Come Hither: Range 3 Successful attack pulls target two squares (must use hooked chain as weapon)

Upper Cut: Successful attacks pushes target one square back on failed STR check

Flashbang: Close blast 3 Dex save or stunned

Finish him: extra 1d6 against stunned targets

Hook and Slice: Range 3 Save versus Con or take 1d4 bleed damage each round until save is made (must use hooked chain as weapon)


            Wicked Slice: Normal attack with DEX bonus to damage
            Pistol Shot: Gun based ranged attack

            Grapeshot: Ranged burst 1 -2 to damage

            Point Blank Shot: Gun based attack Range 0, move back 2 without AO

Tracking Shot: Gun based attack -2 to damage but subsequent attacks on this target are mad e with advantage

Duelist’s advance: Move up to full move without AO, make attack at the end (must start not adjacent to enemy)

Open Vein: Normal attack with DEX bonus -2 to damage. Save versus Con or take 1d4 bleed damage each round until save is made

Monday, February 29, 2016

Welcome to Middle World

Found some files I scanned awhile ago. My attempt to map a role playing world from the top down. Done at the time when I first moved to Cleveland and most of my stuff was in storage,because She-who-must-be-obeyed and I were in an apartment waiting for our house deal to close. Didn't have the TV but we did have a yellow quarille pad , some fine point markers and a roll of "flimsy" (similar to tracing paper, the old school equvalent of layers in your draw program). These maps track one large continent with various layers from biomes to population.

Right Side Detail Map with Mountains and Rivers
Left Side Detail Map (unfinished)
Biome Map

Close-up Biome Map (Using Slightly diffent system)

Map of City Locations

Cultural Diffusion from Origin Centers

Population Density
 Although I had great fun generating this map, ultimately I did not actually use it to run a campaign.   I was not really taken with effect produced by the yellow background; I felt I had once again drawn too many mountains, and although the yellow-out helped with rivers it was not going to work on all the mountains. It also seemed that given the ancients preference for water travel that a realistic campaign would require detailing the nearby southern continent as well. However, we also found a new RPG group in Cleveland who already had a DM so I spend next couple of years playing rather than DMing. When next time my chance to DM rolled around I started on the micro-scale and worked my way up. You can read about that in my Great River posts.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Blog of many things

Afraid lately I have been distracted by many shiny objects:

Playing Diablo 3. I really love the loot drop and having so many magic items I have to decide which ones to keep. Reminded me of the fine 3rd edition Diablo Diabere supplement magic item roll-up chart. Someone should make a 5e version of this. Already had some second edition rules for socketed items, but these need to be updated as well.

Playing Darkest Dungeon. Some interesting thoughts for random map generation (although I would use some geomorphic battle maps as well). Love all those character classes and their quirky moves. Working on an Old School Hack version for each of these.

Working on an Old School Hack/Skill based power system of my own.

Trying to talk the new Bard in our Tuesday 5e game to take at least some combat skills, instead of another skill baby my Cleric has to tank to protect.

Cataloging all the monster from All the Worlds Monsters and seeing how they stack up against the modern version in Pathfinder and 5e. There's a monster vs fighter combat spreadsheet on Deltas D&D hotspot I could use to check them all...

Grabbing random images for my pinerest page

Trying to skim through the 1000+ posts on my RPG feed

If I manage finish to any of these I'll be sure to post them here.
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