Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Notes on Running B3 Palace of the Silver Princess (Basic) By Tom Moldvay, & Jean Wells

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 07:46
I've been thinking more about B3 Palace of the Silver Princess by Tom Moldvey & Jean Wells as well as  the Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg. Today I came across a very interesting post on the Alexandrian blog and its author's attempts to reskin the Green Moldvay module & Jean Wells original orange  version.  It  might make sense that there's more going on below the module' surface. Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Flip Through 88: Pathfinder 2.0 core Rulebook Second Edition

Gamer Goggles - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 04:53

In this Flip Through Matt Takes a look at the Pathfinder 2.0 Core Rulebook. He focuses on the layout, design and some of the subtle changes he noticed from the playtest.

This is a beautiful book!

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Gen Con 2019 Video Blitz 1: Pathfinder 2.0 W/Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn

Gamer Goggles - Fri, 08/02/2019 - 02:45

In this Gen Con Video Blitz Matt caught up with Paizo and chatted about Pathfinder Second Edition with Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. We chat about the 3 action economy, beasts empowering GM’s, combat and multiclassing.

I am so happy that this is now our game!

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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

[BLOG] OSR Module O4: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Beyond Fomalhaut - Thu, 08/01/2019 - 18:16

A long time ago, when I was a beginning PhD student, I noticed that a professor from a rival faculty had taken my first published journal article, and released it pretty much word by word under his name as course material. Shaken, I sought advice from my department head, a chain-smoking old grump who had been well known for his strictness and foul mouth, and somewhat less so for his golden heart. He listened to my woes, and gave me three pieces of advice:
  1. This is not Western Europe. You can't fight them and win.
  2. You should be proud you have something worth stealing.
  3. Always stay two steps ahead of the fuckers.

He was right, and I have lived by that wisdom ever since. But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice.
***
The question of imitation can be tricky in something like old-school gaming. The systems and supplements we use are often homages, and ideas get around, as they do in creative communities. It is not surprising to discover a module based on Keep on the Borderlands (although there have been surprisingly few genuinely good ones) or The Tomb of Horrors (although it is a module whose lessons are far less universal than people think). People can also take ideas and build something interesting upon them, or develop the subject of a forum conversation into something more substantial. Or run an adventure and decide they can do it even better. Fine and good – this is how a lot of refinement and incremental innovation happens. But it is only right in this situation to give credit for the original idea, and if possible, notify the idea’s originator. It is not a matter of life and death – but it is a matter of basic courtesy. And the opposite seems to be happening ­ with surprising regularity these days.
I am not talking about the time some psycho from Hungary stole a very early (2003) prototypeof The Barbarian King, and published a shoddy 5e conversion on the DM’s Guild under his own name. That guy is just cuckoo insane. Nor am I talking about the people just republishing free material for a few bucks (as I hear, this has happened to Kellri’s netbooks on several occasions), and I am sure as hell not talking about outright dirtbags like James L. Shipman. Those are clear cases of theft. No, I am talking about small things I have been noticing. Thus…
***
 Exhibit 1: The Great Wheel Gets Even Greater
Make Wheels Great AgainRight: Echoes From Fomalhaut #03, p. 2. (2018)Left: Winning entry from the 2019 One Page Dungeon Contest (2019)
Well, one wheel is 50' and the other one is 500', so it is clearly different. Moar giant wheels = Moar fun. No harm no foul.
Exhibit 2: Disco Inferno

BURN BABY BURN!
Left: April's Fool post from Beyond Fomalhaut (2018)
Right: New hotness from J. Halk Games (2019).


Stoked!Actually, this one doesn't stop here, because it turns out Velour Palace of the Disco Emperor has already been the subject of a heated IP battle, with the module's author trashing a larcenous upstart. No kidding.



You tell 'em, Joe!

Now that he is informed, it is no longer a coincidence. Well, well, WELL! The things you learn on the Internet.
AWKWARD!There is also this thing:
UH-OHLanguage gap aside, you will note that Velour Palace of the Disco Emperor's first convention appearance was 24 November 2018. Except it was a different convention, a different Disco Emperor module (obviously), and a different designer - my good friend Premier, the only one who had, in fact, asked me if he could run with the idea. (Of course he could.) All testers and con players had agreed it was a great adventure. I have even been reminding Mr. Premier that he might want to publish it, and there might even be an interested publisher (presumably not J. Halk Games).
So here our story ends. 
But wait! This just in! Turns out Luke Gygax himself also wants in on the Disco Emperor dollars!


STOKED
I am honoured to, ah, inspire none else but Melf the Elf. That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what I call "an OSR Thief class"!

***
So that's how things work in the murkier corners of our cottage industry. What am I going to do about it? Well... Largely nothing. I will surely be flattered a bit. Inspiring people is reassuring you are doing something right.

But I will also sure as hell try to stay two steps ahead.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Friends shall gladden each other

Torchbearer RPG - Thu, 08/01/2019 - 13:00
Walhall, die Götterwelt der Germanen (ca. 1905) by Emil Doepler

[41] Friends shall gladden each other | with arms and garments,

As each for himself can see;

Gift-givers’ friendships | are longest found,

If fair their fates may be.

[42] To his friend a man | a friend shall prove,

And gifts with gifts requite;

But men shall mocking | with mockery answer,

And fraud with falsehood meet.

Hávamál, from The Poetic Edda, translated by Henry Adams Bellows

Hello friends!

How much do you make use of relationships in your games? Do the PCs frequently call in at home so their parents will do their laundry? Do they lean on their friends for help? Do they seek instruction and guidance from their mentors? Do they seek out their rivals for a loan? Why not?

The world of Torchbearer is a cold and lonely place. Trying to navigate it without friends and family who have your back is so much harder. Being a loner might seem romantic, but you may feel differently when you’re dead broke, hurt, sick, and in desperate need of a hot meal and a safe place to sleep. 

It’s a good idea for adventurers to make friends and influence people. Those friends can make the difference between life and death when you’re truly hard up. But I want to deal with making new friends and gaining new mentors in a later post. For today, let’s just take a closer look at what parents, friends, mentors and even enemies are good for.

Unless you are that unlucky, foolish loner, you have parents, a friend, a mentor or maybe even an enemy, and even loners have enemies. Each can offer some solace in your time of need. (Yes, even your enemy will help; what better way to put you in debt?)

Here are some thoughts that Luke and I have put together regarding what your relationships can do for you. Keep in mind, though, that your relationships may ask things of you as well.

Parents

You will find your parents in your hometown unless an event indicates otherwise. Your parents work the same trade you chose as your hometown skill. Your parents, annoyingly, have the same trait you chose as your hometown trait (even if you changed it later). Your parents are busy trying to keep their heads above water. Your parents are privately worried about you.

You do not have to pay for room and board. Instead, you pay a tax of querulous glances, inquiries about the stains on your undergarments and investigations into the recesses of your pack.

  • Your parents home counts as: Roll d6: 1-2: Stables, 3-4: Flophouse, 5: Inn, 6: Hotel. Roll the first time you visit your parents. Note the result. The old place isn’t quite as you remember it.
  • Your parents will provide for you as they are able (according to the accommodations rules).
  • They will also provide reasonable small craft or trade items that could be generated with their skill. Doing so will eat into their livelihood, but no, you take it; you need it.
Town Friend

Your town friend is someone you know from way back. Maybe you grew up together. Maybe you were first loves, but your lives went separate ways. Maybe they caught you stealing but were kind enough to let you go.

You decided in which settlement your town friend lives and what their profession is when you created your character.

  • Your town friend will put you up when you’re in town. Their accommodations: Roll d6: 1-2: Stables, 3-4: Flophouse, 5: Inn, 6: Hotel. Roll the first time you visit your friend. Note the result.
  • Your friends will provide for you as they are able (according to the accommodations rules). You do not have to pay for room and board.
  • Your friend will also loan you 1D of coin if you’re desperate. It’s not charity, it’s friendship. You need it. Here, I’ll just leave it on the table then.
Adventuring Friend

Your friends in the life truly understand you. More than anyone else, they know the choices and sacrifices you’ve made. Meeting your adventuring friend in town is always a welcome event. They can’t provide you with a roof to hide under, but they will share whatever they have with you: food, wine and coin. Nothing is too much.

  • When you meet your friend out in the world and spend time reminiscing, you may make one free test to recover from the angry or afraid conditions (provided the circumstances permit it).
  • If you have your wits about you and don’t need to blow off steam, your friend will instead offer you a rumor (roll on the Rumor Events table).
Mentor

Your mentor is a powerful figure who inspired you to live the life of danger. Full of knowledge and experience, your mentor will pass on wisdom when possible, but will never step in and solve your problems for you.

Your mentor is the same class as you, but four levels higher. Once you reach 7th level, your mentor will retire from the life, but perhaps still be available to dispense advice.

  • A magician’s or ranger’s mentor will write a new spell into your spell book when you attain levels 2-5.
  • Mentors for adventurers, burglars, clerics, paladins, thieves and warriors will train you in your specialty or a skill of the GM’s choosing whenever you meet in camp or town.
Enemy and Rival

Your enemy is always ready to thwart your plans, foil your schemes and beat you to the punch. What more could an adventurer ask for?

Enemies can appear at the discretion of the GM at any time during an adventure or in town, but they often crop up in town.

  • Your enemy’s class is determined by the GM.
  • Your enemy or rival is your level +1.
  • Enemy accommodations are: Roll d6: 1-2: Flophouse, 3-4: Inn, 5-6: Hotel.
  • Your enemy will offer substantial loans of at least 2D of coin or help on Resources tests.
  • Your enemy will help with Circles tests when in town.
  • Your enemy will befriend your friends.
  • Your enemy will ingratiate themselves to your parents and mentors.
  • Your enemy will poach your hirelings.
  • Your enemy will compete with you to be first to a dig site, to impress a notable personage or win the favor of a settlement.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weird Revisited: Zyrd

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 08/01/2019 - 11:00
The original version of this post appeared in 2016. I've reused the name Zyrd at least twice since.
Someone fucked up. Wizards blame the gods--who are dead or gone and can't defend themselves. It's official church policy to blame the hubris of man and unofficially to suggest that means wizards. Whoever did it fucked up. Whoever did it opened a rent in the fabric of the universe and chaos poured in and the world was dissolved.

Gods, Wizards, or devils, somebody made a last ditch effort to save something. Gods were sacrificed, either willingly or unwillingly, and a haven was created: a hypercube hewn from the bodies of titans left to drift in amundic chaos. Zyrd.
Buried deep in the center of Zyrd is a cross of land, the Crux. Once civilization was more than the Crux, but over time, things have broken down. Beneath the Crux is the Underworld--any direction from the Crux is the Underworld. It holds out the chaos and traps the monsters spawned by it in its labyrinthine depths. 
But the chaos keeps creeping in. The only way to save Zyrd is to clear it. To reclaim the dungeon depths and the riches of ages lost there.

That's where you come in.

Commentary On Running B3 Palace of the Silver Princess With Adventurer,Conqueror, King As Old School Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 08/01/2019 - 05:47
Not long ago, the valley was green and animals ran free through golden fields of grain. The Princess Argenta ruled over this peaceful land and the people were secure and happy. Then one day, a warrior riding a white dragon appeared in the skies over the castle, and almost overnight the tiny kingdom fell into ruin. Now only ruins and rumors remain, and what legends there are tell of a fabulous Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Road to Ekra - Jousting Tournaments

Two Hour Wargames - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 19:10

Road to Ekra is two complete stand-alone games in one. In it you are a knight that travels the tournament circuit, moving from town to town in search of Fame & Fortune and adventure along the way.
The game has rules for the actual tournament, the joust, as well as rules to use between tournaments. Road to Ekra is set for you to travel from the Edge of the Nation, through the Center and ending at the Heart. Along the way you stop and enter a tournament, each one getting more difficult and rewarding
Between tournaments you go on adventures from carousing in taverns to confronting enemies in combat and everything in between as you move from town to town.
Road to Ekra uses the game mechanics found in Talomir Tales, our Fantasy rules. You can bring your existing Stars in from the other books or take your Star from this book to the others.  

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Caves of the Unknown Adventure Options For B2 Gary Gygax's Keep On The Borderlands

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 17:21
So over on Facebook a post came up on last night's B2 Keep On The Borderlands commentary,'What do you do about the Caves of The Unknown?' Well, I didn't know about B2.5 Caves of the Unknown By By Charley Phipps, Thom Wilson, Mike Badolato from ThrowiGames & NTRPGCon a B/X  module Levels 2-4. Brice over at the Ten Foot Pole blog has a pretty solid review of  the adventure. Glen Halstrom also Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Temple of the Blood Moth

Ten Foot Pole - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:13
By Jacob Butcher Abrasax Press OSR/5e Levels 3-5

A science-fantasy horror dungeon for Old School versions of Dungeons & Dragons. You stare into the face of planetary death. Fight or drown.

What’s that little Timmy? Lassie is trapped in the well? Errr, I mean, people are bitching that a 24 page adventure is $8 without a preview? Well, obviously then, I have no common sense and will buy it.

This 24 page digest-sized adventure details four levels of a cult temple over about six pages, with about 31 rooms total .. and a few extra unnumbered/empty rooms thrown in on the map. Resembling those Psychedelic Fantasy adventures, it is ripe with unique monsters and treasure. Combined with evocative writing, it makes a great OD&D weird-ass adventure … without, I think, going in to gonzo territory. It’s a good adventure.

The writing here is short and bursting with evocative bits. “1: Sun-Lit Chapel. Rows of pews. Tall stained glass windows depict the Sun-God and moths at each stage of their life-cycle. Yarrow Bren the cultist can be found praying to the Blood Moth for power, offering everflowing blood in return.” That is a rock fucking solid description. 1. Sun-Lit Chapel. Not Room 1. Not Room 1 Chapel. It gives the room a name, Chapel, and then also adds a descriptor word to it, Sun-Lit. Thus, immediately, we get the sense of this room. It doesn’t do this consistently, for every  Feeding Pit there are three Courtyards, Shrines, and Stairwells, but when it does it it’s great. Note also the brief flashes of evocative imagery. Rows of pews. Tall stained glass. Combined with the Sun-Lit we get a perfect mental image of the chapel. Sun streaming in through those tall stained glass windows, rows of pews with a solitary figure praying at one end. That is EXACTLY what evocative writing should do. The creature in the room is doing something, praying, with aspects of his personality and additional “action” relayed in his request and offering. This is exactly the sort of writing that I’m looking for. It makes an impact. “Cistern: Unlit torch sconces. Vaulted brick ceilings. Filled to your shins with dark, lukewarm water.” Nice.

And it does it while also being terse. That’s not a requirement, but it IS generally an easier way to make an adventure usable at the table. The longer the writing then the more thought has to go in to editing, layout, and the use of whitespace and organization to make it scannable at the table. Or you can just keep the writing terse. Both work. 

It’s full of creepy imagery, like a stained glass porthole in the floor, heavy leaden glass, almost covered in dirt … and you can see something moving on the other side. Nice. 

Magic treasure is unique. It’s all new and weird … like “pearl snails” that turn blood in to water over an hour. And then there’s more conventional magic treasure also, like arrows and needle knives. But no generic +1 swords, thank Vecna. Imagine that, a designer adding original content to their game. Almost like value .. hmmm.. May be something in that … Anyway, monsters are unique also, which I always like. Keeps the players guessing. I should note that the conversion notes from OSR to 5e are essentially “find a similar monster and stat it that way.” A little loose for many in the 5e crowd, but ok in my book … mostly because I’d just do it on the fly.

Wanderers table has then engaged in some activity and is arranged progressively, with deeper levels getting a d8, d10, d12 wanderer die all on the same table, reusing the lower level entries while adding new entries. I’ve always loved the elegance of that mechanic, when it’s appropriate to use it, like it is here. AT least one of the hooks is ok, with the party sent to find/kill/etc someone in a village … only to find everyone has disappeared. It’s not ground-breaking, but it adds a complication to an otherwise generic quest.

It could be better. Monetary treasure is VERY light for an OSR game. Gold=XP and there ain’t no coin XP to speak of in here, which is a hyperbolic way of saying treasure or the non-magical variety is VERY light indeed. There’s a stinker here and there in the room descriptions. Room 28: Golden Altar is described as “he High Priest performs rituals and sacrifices here in order to progress the eventual coming of the BLOOD MOTH.” Well, ok, that’s a mega-lame description, especially in light of the others present in the adventure. There’s also a place or two where sound or light should have been noted on the map or in other room descriptions. In one area, in particular, a giant larvae bashes itself against the door. That’s something you need to know BEFOE The party reaches the room, to communicate to the party in previous rooms or as they approach. Sometimes its important to know things before people reach an area. That can be done in the text or much more elegantly via the map for sound/light, etc. 

This is a good adventure. Creepy. Evocative. Usable. A great journeyman adventure for whipping out to play. The way EVERY adventure should be.

This is $8 at DriveThru. This appears to be a part of the ZineQuest Kickstarter thing, with the designer having a blog, Flowers for the Titan Corpse. It appears to have some ties to the art side of the RPG world, with a Thank You to the Fall 2018 Simulation Art class. No doubt the designer labours under the impression that people should get paid for their work. Of course, writing is even less appreciated than art, the barrier being far lower. The resulting flooded marketplace makes it challenging to price anything above $0. For self-published work a PWYW structure may be best, reserving payment to work-for-hire. I’d pay $8 for this, knowing what I know now. But a $8 blind buy is a thing indeed, given that at least 99% of everything on DriveThru is crap. I’d guess the price is related to the kickstarter pledges. But, anyway, no preview.


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/282346/The-Temple-of-the-Blood-Moth?1892600

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Wednesday Comics: Bronze Age Book Club

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:00

I started a podcast with fellow Hydra heads Jason Sholtis and Robert Parker, and my friend and fellow blogger, Jim Shelley (though he couldn't make the first episode). Take a listen! We discuss Destructor #1 form Atlas Comics. Check it out:

Listen to "Episode 1: DESTRUCTOR #1" on Spreaker.

Fantasy Medieval Style Law. Part 2

Bat in the Attic - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 10:54
The Arrest
As Sigurt and Thil enter Lado's shop, the one of the two Greene men following them runs to tell Aldus and Marcus where Sigurt is. Unfortunately for Sigurt, the Greene has gathered everybody and ready to move. Several minutes later everybody arrives at Lado's shop.

Lado was successful at covering his discomfort at the arrival of Sigurt and Thil and managed not to tip them off that something was amiss. Their conversation about provision was interrupted by a loud insistent knock at the door. When Lado answered he see Marcus with his posse backed by a City Guard patrol standing nearby.

Marcus presents his writ and then turns to Sigurt and Thil announcing he is here to arrest Sigurt for the murder of his brother. Sigurt puts his hand on his weapon but Thil noticing the posse and the guards stops the Northeron. Thil examine the writ and finds it in good order. Sigurt and Thil get in to a heated argument until Thil pointed out the dozen or so armed individuals outside in the street. Thil will take Sigurt's gear and get back to Corbin to see what can be done. But for now they are out numbered.

To everybody's relief, Sigurt surrenders after giving his gear to Thil. Marcus, the city guard, and his posse take Sigurt to the nearest Jails and has Sigurt locked up. The writ is signed by the Jailor indicating that the arrest has been made.

The Trial
Aldus and Marcus Green return to Alderman Mallory and present him with the signed writ. Aldus requests that Sigurt be tried at the next assizes for the murder of his son. Alderman Mallory agrees and issues a Writ to compel Sigurt to appear before the commission of oyer and terminer when it assembled in 18 days at the monthly assize to answer for his crimes. Aldus pays the Alderman another two shilling for this writ.
Rob's Notes: Eastgate as a freetown is not allow to try capital crimes. The king holds monthly assize in where felonies can be heard and adjudicated. In this fantasy kingdom, the Grand Jury is a group at the assize that issues indictments requiring the named individuals to appear at the next assize. Indictments can be presented to the Sheriff or Aldermans to secure a writ to arrest the named individual to force them to appear.

The Commission of Oyer and Terminer, actually hears the case and renders a verdict. To have the commission hear a case the plantiff has to secure a writ in order to be put on the schedule or docket.

It is quite possible that the indictment step is skipped as in the case of Sigurt. In which case, if a suitable authority, like an Alderman or a Sheriff, issues a writ to put the case on the docket.
In the 18 days that follows these things happen.

Both the Greenes, and the Adventuring Party gather witnesses who would swear an account of the events that led to the death of Micheal. The Adventuring Party has a hard time of it due to the Greenes better connections. However they manage to find a merchant who was present during the incident who happened to be a rival to the Greenes.

Sigurt sits in jail and one of the adventuring party makes sure that he has food, water, and clothing each day. Medieval Jails provide minimal food and water. The expectation is that the family will keep the prisoner supplied. Luckily none of the jailers wants to mess with the Adventuring Party after the first visit so Sigurt is able to get everything that the party delivers until the assize.

When the day of the assizes arrives, Sigurt and the other prisoners to be tried are escorted by the city guard to the commons where the tents and the commission's benches are set up. It is cloudy day with rain drizzling off and on so everybody is in a foul mood and ready to get this over with.

At first the trial goes badly for Sigurt as the Greene line up an array of witnesses swearing that Sigurt instigated the fight with no provocation. And other testifying to Micheal's good character. However prior to the trial Thil managed to find out that one of the commissioners was a knight whose son got in trouble because of Micheal's rowdy ways. Thil's investigation and persuasion abilities (along with a few quiet Charm Persons) allows him to highlight Micheal's rowdiness.

At the conclusion of the trails, the commission finds Sigurt guilty of manslaughter not murder and fines him double weregild (400 shilling or 4,800 sp) for Micheal's death. The Greene family wanted death is not happy with the verdict. The party pays Sigurt's fine and quickly leaves Eastgate on their long delayed expedition to the Barradine Ruins. It unlikely the Greenes will be able to exact any type of vengeance unless the party returns to Eastgate.

Wrapping it up
I deliberately made the resolution more peaceful than would likely be the case. Odds are that Thil and Sigurt would have made a scene at Lado's shop. Either fleeing through the back of Lado's shop or attempting to take on the posse and the guard. Each with their own negative consequences.

But the scenario path I opted for allowed me to illustrate each part of how medieval style justice would work in a fantasy RPG campaign. The key to Sigurt paying a fine and not hanging from a noose is Thil clever work in discovering that others were negatively by Micheal. Thus painting the incident as one where a crime has been committed, manslaughter, but caused by Micheal's history of drunkenness. However because the Adventuring Party had no local ties it was a uphill battle at every step.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

B2 Keep On The Borderland Adventure Module Commentary On The Internal Adventure Structure & Framework For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 04:59
Many old school gamers cut their teeth on B2 The Keep On The Borderland adventure. This is one of the most iconic and interesting introduction adventures that came down the pike from the old school period starting with the Holmes 1979 version of it. Let's look at some of the bits and pieces that make B2 so iconic and interesting. Ever since I was a kid, I've been obsessed with B2 Keep on The Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Quick Review and Commentary On 'The Pay What You Like ' Issue of Brave the Labyrinth - Issue #2 (PDF) From Small Niche Games

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 17:52
This is a pay what you want download HERE! I'm always looking for new and interesting OSR source material to use with science fantasy and space based games. The fill in what you like attitude of the folks over at small niche games is just right for my DYI gaming needs. The latest pay what you want issue #2 of Brave The Labyrinth continues with this creed and expands on it with some Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A Bit Of OSR Campaign Commentary On Gary Gygax's G1-3 Against the Giants & A0-A4: Against the Slave Lords Compilation Book By David "Zeb" Cook, Allen Hammack, Harold Johnson, & Tom Moldvay

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 16:32
"Giants have been raiding the lands of men in large bands, with giants of different sorts in these marauding groups. Death and destruction have been laid heavily upon every place these monsters have visited. A party of the bravest and most powerful adventurers has been assembled and given the charge to punish the miscreant giants. "Here's the back history on G1-3 according to the Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

On More Buildings

Hack & Slash - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 15:36
As promised, two more buildings in the series.
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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fantasy Medieval Style Law. Part 1

Bat in the Attic - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 15:25
Recently I created an example of how fantasy medieval legal system would work. I talked about this in a series of posts about building a feudal setting called Of Overlords, Kings, and  Barons. Of course there is a Harn Article on the subject called simply Law.

The Incident
The PCs are sitting in the Rusty Keg tavern in the City of Eastgate enjoying a meal and a drink after concluding a deal for a map that will lead them to the Barradine Ruins, their current focus. From two tables over, Michael Greene and his friends start mocking one of the party's member, Sigurt the Bold a Northeron. He is a member of the Greene family a local merchant family who works the northern trade routes. Northeron raider are one of the more serious threats that the family has to prepare on their trading voyages. As a result there is little love for Northerons from Micheal or his family.

Michael is drunk and starts making loud comments about SIgurt. His friends join in as well. Finally Sigurt had enough and walks over and just clocks Micheal after deciding that he can take on the whole lot if need be. Micheal jumps on top of Sigurt and the fight is on. Micheal's friend are about to jump but stops when the whole adventuring party stands up. The fight is between Micheal and Sigurt.

A few blows are traded by Sigurt has the upper hand being a veteran warrior. Unfortunately a few rounds in, Sigurt's player rolls a critical hit. Not only Sigurts puts Micheal down but also kills him.

The Aftermath
The tavern goes silent. Corbin, the leader of the party, decides that it is best not to stick around. He gives the barkeep 50 gp for the trouble caused. Then the party leaves and returns to the Wyvern Inn where they have rooms.

The barkeep, who also the owner of the Rusty Keg, goes over to Micheal Greene's friends and tell them to pick up Micheal's body and bring him to a back room. Then the barkeep start questioning Micheal's friend who are they and who is Micheal. Eastgate is large enough that not everybody is recognized on sight. However the Barkeep has heard of the Greene family and is well aware of their status as a merchant family. So the barkeep grabs his son and tell one of Micheal's friends to take his son to the Greene house.

A 1/2 hour later, Aldus Green and his eldest son and heir Marcus Greene arrive at the Rusty Keg. Sad and angered at the death of his younger son, Aldus tells Marcus to start questioning people as to what happened. While a lot of the patrons have left a few remained who saw everything. Between them and Micheal's friends, Aldus and Marcus gets a general description of the party, and along with the name of the person who they met, Lado Thorne a chandler local to the ward.

The Investigation
Aldus and Marcus secure a cart from the Barkeep and transport Micheal's body back to their house. It is almost midnight when this is done. Because it is night time Marcus gather a guard wakes up a handful that work for the family. Picking those who have brawled or can fight. They march through the street towards Lado's shop.

Along the way, a City Guard patrol stops them and asks their business., Marcus explains that his brother was killed and they were on their way to Lado's shop to question him about the identity of the killers. That they intend no violence. The guard corporal in charge of the patrol knows from experience that tempers are high. So he tells Marcus that he may go but only if one of the guard accompany to act as a witness.

Marcus agrees knowing that his family hasn't done anything formal yet. So the guards are well within their authority to order Micheal and his posse to turn back. But the guard corporal knows about the Green family and their status. Since the purpose of the posse is to question Lado it fine as long as it doesn't get out of hand. After Marcus leaves with his posse and the assigned guard.. The corporal sends a runner back to the ward's barrack to let the Sergeant and Lieutenant know that a murder took place and that the Greene family has sent out a posse.

Marcus, the guard, and the posse arrived at Lado's house. After pounding on the door for a few minutes, Lado open a window and ask their business. He becomes a little frightened at the posse below, he calms down a little when he see a guardsman with them. He lets Micheal and the guardsman into his shop and they begin to talk.

As a rule most proprietors including Lado keep quiet about their customer's business. However when Lado learned that Micheal Green was killed in a bar fight after he left. He quickly identifies the adventuring party to Micheal and to the guardsman as a witness. He also happen to know through the dinner conversation with the party that they are staying at the Wyvern Inn.

He doesn't tell Marcus what his business with the group was about. Telling Marcus that his father can talk to Tomas, the guildmaster of the Chandlers if the Greenes want to know. However that discretion doesn't extend to protecting his customer from a murder investigation.

The Writ
It been a long night so far with no end in sight, Marcus leaves Lado's shop. He tells the city guardmen that the Greens are going to keep watch on the Wyvern. The guardsmen acknowledges and asks for an escort back to the barrack. Marcus does this as well as send his own guard and one of other employee to watch on the Inn for the remainder of the night. Afterwards Micheal returns home and spends the remainder of the night comforting his mother.

Rob's Note: Aldus doesn't authorize Marcus or any of those who work for them to go into the Inn and grab the party as the Inn is the property of a innkeeper who in good standing with the innkeeper's guild. Innkeeper are expected to protect their guests and safeguard their property as one of their responsibilities. With a writ from a Alderman, the Greenes have no recourse to wait until they secure one. However if Sigurt or the party steps out of the Inn then they are fair game.

In the morning the party wakes up and has breakfast and plans the day's shopping in order to prepare to leave for the Barradine Ruins the following day.

At the earliest possible hour, Aldus Greene and his son Marcus head over to Alderman Angus Mallory's house. The Mallory family have long been friends of the Greens. The Mallorys own one of the largest weaving establishments in Eastgate and the Greenes often ship their linen and wool to distant ports.

Aldus reports the murder and has his son Marcus swear to the particulars. Alderman Mallory is more than willing to accept their sworn oaths and issues a writ authorizing the Greene to seize Sigurt's person and transport him to the nearest jail to await a hearing. The writ further allows the Greene to call on the CIty Guard as the accused is reputed to be a member of an adventuring party. Aldus pays the Alderman two shillings (24 sp) for the writ.

While the party is eating breakfast and planning their day. Aldus and his son Marcus are gathering every guard and employee they have along with sending a runner to the ward barracks to ask for a patrol to be on hand.

This takes time so the party conclude breakfast and break up to go shopping and prepare for the expedition. The two men that the Greene station see this and start to follow Sigurt. Sigurt is in the company of Thil the Cowled, a mage, and their job is purchase rations and other consumables for the expedition. Ironically they head over to Lado's shop.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Two D&D Feats Everyone Loves (For Someone Else’s Character)

DM David - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 11:15

In February, the folks at D&D Beyond shared the most popular feats among their users. The favorites included entries I would expect. The top three all appeal to risk-averse players building a wide range of characters.

Hate losing spells to failed concentration saves? Take War Caster. Hate damage? Take Tough and make damage hurt less. Hate flubbing rolls? Take Lucky.

Ranking 4th, Sharpshooter suits fewer character types, but it proves so powerful that it rates as the worst thing in D&D.

Well past the broadly useful and the overpowered, the list includes Sentinel and Polearm Master. These potent feats suit narrow character types—often characters built with the feats in mind.

For me, the surprise comes from two powerful feats that failed to rate.

Inspiring Leader lets your group finish every rest with temporary hit points equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. It grants something close to Toughness to everyone in the party.

Healer lets you spend one use of a healer’s kit to restore 1d6 + 4 hit points, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of Hit Dice. A creature can only regain hit points this way once between each rest, but this still counts as the cheapest healing in the game.

Why do so few players choose these outstanding feats? Perhaps because the character taking the feat only gets a small benefit for themselves. These feats’ strength comes from lifting the whole party.

Related: 10 Ways to Build a Character That Will Earn the Love of Your Party

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some Thoughts On Adventurer, Conqueror, King, Rpg's Lairs & Encounters Book

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 06:45
"Lairs & Encounters™ is the ultimate supplement for fantasy RPG sandbox campaigns. Designed for use with the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS™), it is readily compatible with other fantasy role-playing games built on the same core rules."If there is one other book besides the Adventurer, Conqueror, King rpg rule book that I love its the Lairs & Encounters book. I've used it more timesNeedleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Random Supers Thoughts

The Splintered Realm - Mon, 07/29/2019 - 20:40
1. I am mulling over what to do with The Stalwart Age #3. The draft of it is done, but I ran into a problem with it in terms of alignment with the core rules; I have something happening about 10-15 years earlier than it is suggested in the core rules; I suppose it could take a decade for the effects of an event to reach the masses, but I don't know... I don't want to give anything away, but I'm not sure if I want to go ahead as it is, make some major edits, or just rework the story completely. I'm at a bit of a crossroads with it.

2. Someone left a 3-star review on Echo City Sentinel #1... since it is free, and one page, and doesn't promise to be more than it is, I'm not sure why it gets a 3-star rating; but it's all good. I do wonder about 3-star ratings sometimes; many of the 3-star ratings have been with no review. I would welcome the feedback to know why people thought a product was lacking. Oh well.

3. I've been toying with some alternate character generation rules, and I really like where they are going. In thinking about how battlesuits work, I was thinking of a modified set of rules for character templates; if you want to roll up a character who is a bruiser, I could easily create a simple set of rules that makes sure you will get a bruiser, but also leaves the opportunity open for random things as well. It would allocate dice in different ways, and change the odds of getting certain abilities. For example, here's the brick archetype I'm thinking of:

Brick:

Origin: Roll normally. You could theoretically be a prodigy with a biomech suit that makes you a brick...

Traits: You have 1d6 random traits. Roll 1d10 below for your traits. You automatically receive either invulnerability or imperviousness, in addition to the 1d6 other traits.

1. Body Armor
2. Weapon, Melee
3. Pummel
4. Shockwave
5. Large
6. Alter Ego
7. Leaping
8. Tolerance
9. Energy Body
10. Roll randomly using the tables in the core rules

Attributes: When rolling for attributes, roll the following dice (either re-roll 1s or roll 1 additional die and keep the best dice allocated):

STR - 4d6
INT - 2d6
PWR - 3d6
DEX - 3d6
CON - 4d6
CHA - 2d6

So you want to roll up a character 'like' the Thing? Good news: use this quick guide and you'll get something like what you want... with probably a surprise or two you didn't expect.

So, to play test this:

I roll for origin and get 3. My character is a construct. I'm already thinking golem... and those +1d6 hit points are going to be useful.
Roll 1d6 for imperv (1-3) or invuln (4-6), and get 3; imperviousness it is. I roll and get 5; 1d8 imperviousness is going to be nice.
I roll 1d6 for total traits and get 6! Wow. That's a lot of traits; I roll and get:
4 shockwave
5 large
6 alter ego
8 tolerance
9 energy body
10 random trait (11 channel, 5 matter conversion)

He's a brick... and so much more. This is a lot to process, but it's still pretty unified feeling. As for traits:

STR - 4d6 and get 20 (!)
INT - 2d6 and get 7
PWR - 3d6 and get 13
DEX - 3d6 and get 13
CON - 4d6 and get 13
CHA - 2d6 and get 8

Dang. This boy is going to be pretty tough. No pummel, so he's going to be using found weapons. I'm going to min/max the CHA 8 to 6 to bump CON up to 14.

Okay, I've got my theme; he's basically an ice elemental. His matter conversion allows him to turn anything inorganic he touches into ice. This allows him to create a lot of found weapons, and to use these in combat (since his pummel is lame at the default 1d4).

He has tolerance to cold; it's not complete immunity, but it's close with his imperviousness stacked on top.
He is a big boy, roll d8 for hit points.
His energy body is going to be an ice body. His shockwave is actually a roar.

Ymir's Fist, Hero 2
AC 15; HD 4d8+1d6+8 (hp 35); Feat +8; Melee attack (+9/1d4+7)
STR 20 (+7); INT 7 (-); PWR 13 (+3)
DEX 13 (+3); CON 14 (+4); CHA 6 (-)
Traits: Alter Ego; Energy Body (deals 3 cold damage vs. melee); Large; Matter Conversion (inorganic to ice); Shockwave (1d6+7 to 30'; Feat for half); Tolerance (cold)
Talents: Focused (+10% xp); Second Wind (recover 1d6+2 hp once per turn, 2x per day) 
Drawback: Fear of fire (complex)

He's a magical creation generated by an ancient Norse ritual that bound a northern spirit into the body of a random dude who was part of an archaeological expedition, trying to get undergrad credit. He got a little more than he bargained for... the spirit comes out when it wants to, against the will of the student.

So, I get to play a character kind of like the Thing... but in a lot of ways, not really :)


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