Monday, March 19, 2018

Kinda done with arguing.

I'm kinda done with the arguing that goes on, on the internet in regards to rpgs (and honestly everything in general).  Whether its edition wars, or people who want to call at an old schooler because they are old school, or vice versa.  Having a healthy debate about something is one thing.  Constructive criticize is also a good thing (sometimes).  What is really grinding my gears is outright hate, and social justice warriors.  Why? Why do these people feel the need to comment? It makes no sense.

It's the internet!  If someone is pissing you off, delete them, block them and move on.  It's sorta like that dog adage "if you can't eat it or fuck it, piss on it and walk away".

I suppose I could chalk it up to "Some people just want to watch the world burn".  Then I think, these people don't want to watch the world burn, what they want to do is argue because they have absolutely nothing else going on in their lives.

I hate to quote all of our mothers, but honestly "if you don't have something nice to say.... Don't say anything!".  ie think before you type.

Things to do other than argue with people on the internet - roll a d20
1.  Go for a walk, leave your phone at home
2.  Grab a bite to eat, leave your phone at home
3.  Call a relative
4.  Watch a sporting event.
5.  Read a book, re-read a favourite book.
6.  Do something creative! draw a map, write something, pick up a instrument
7.  Listen to an album.
8.  Do your socks match? Should they? Go find the match.  Should they not, but they currently match? go find a different sock.
9.  Have you watered any of your plants today?
10.  What time is it? is it time for a beer? cup of Tea? large glass of water?
11.  Have you decided which dice you are going to use next gaming session? figure that out.
12.  Go put sticky notes in your players handbook for important pages.  Better yet, retype it and print it off with your character sheet.
13.  Pile of laundry? do that.
14.  Chop some onions, you might need that at some point this week.
15.  Prep the coffee pot for tomorrow morning.
16.  It's never to early to start Christmas/holiday shopping.
17.  Plans for the weekend? make some!
18.  Work on a grocery list for next week.
19.  Do you live where it's cold? you probably have to shovel some snow.  Warm? is the front sidewalk dusty? leaves need cleaning up? are their weeds in the garden?  Bird watching!
20.  Netflix and Chill?


Sorry about that, I had to rant.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Frostbitten & Mutilated is out

The title makes me giggle, I feel like that's me in January!  I almost feel bad for other indie publishers when lotfp releases something.  It's like opening weekend of a Marvel movie, and a poor rom com also opens that day.  Yeah I know I just compared lotfp to Marvel. 

So here's what you need to know about Frostbitten & Mutilated.

Sometimes the snow will not stop. Under its particled screen like layers of veil that would make of the world a bride to an unknown, vast and unseen groom all civilization is wondering from its hearths and stone corners: What is to be done about the women? They spit and rage, they drown the taxmen, they hack the bellies of snakes and eat what they find, they abort babies and squeeze their milk into the bellies of troll-cats, they dwell apart among the wide white peaks, raiding, scheming, speaking to animals, willful and without trade or diplomatic discourse—the witch-women and amazons. They dominate and divide the Devoured Land. Who can see this ending well?
From the multi-award winning artist/writer behind Vornheim: The Complete City Kit, Red & Pleasant Land, and Maze of the Blue Medusa, this book details the bleak white wild created on the spot where the first goddess took the first bite out of the Earth, which maintains the balances and arrangements that held sway in the first days. It contains wolfpacks, cannibal giants, trolls, demons of the apocalypse as well as a wilderness kit with enough tables, generators and tools to keep your players busy until hell freezes over.

Frostbitten & Mutilated is a setting book for use with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and other traditional role-playing games.

Here's where you can get it.  What is quite convenient is that you get the pdf and the book, since the book is travelling overseas this is quite handy! 

I'm wondering what mashups are going to happen with "Vaginas are magic" considering the book is about amazons! Can't wait to read the play notes. 

You can view the preview here

Zak is currently running a contest called #TerribleTakeContest

Basically you need to make fun of the new book, and whoever wins gets a piece of art created by Zak.  This is super cool!

At some point I'd like to interview Zak, I really should work on a few questions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I took a u turn last night

Normal rules don't always apply when writing about alternate planes of existence.  Things like gravity, life (or lack thereof), resources.  Unfortunately I can't always chalk something up to "well it's fantasy, so get over it".  Rooting concepts in real world mechanics continues to crop up in my brain when I'm writing.  Example "The world is covered in fire, and the land is scarred".  Alright that literally sounds like hell.  But how will the PCs manage to find water? I mean if the world is literally covered in fire, there can't be any water right? They of course need it to survive? Well simple, give them some kind of magical item that provides that.  That is a bit of a cop out though.  These are the types of things that derail me.

The thing I was working on, it took a U turn.  And I already did a rewrite.  What I've noticed is the following statements are so very true.

Write drunk, edit sober.

Write what you know. 

Write drunk, edit sober.  Obviously you don't have to be fall down drunk when writing.  What you need to do is switch your analytical side of your brain off for awhile, give it a rest.  Just be creative.  Edit later, and figure out how these things are going to work.  I'm taking my own advice on that.  Last night I stayed up late writing, and writing.  When I finally did go to bed, that's when the editing started happening.  I didn't sleep well. 

Write what you know.  This is fucking obvious isn't it.  Let's say your a huge fan of comic books and superheros.  You don't have a real clue about Ancient Japan, other than a cursory knowledge.  Trying to write a epic RPG based around Ancient Japan isn't going to be easy.  Unless of course you do research.  If you want to write the Ancient Japan thing, get a few ideas peculating and then do research! 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Dark Fantasy Basic - A Review

+Eric Diaz sent me a copy of his ruleset "Dark Basic Fantasy".  You can check out his blog here: pretty cool stuff!

Publisher blurb:
Dark Fantasy Basic is an old school roleplaying game (or adventure game) that pays homage to a beloved 80's game - which is stilll, for many fans, one of the most concise, clear and well-written RPGs ever published.

This book uses the same system as the world’s most popular RPGs – six abilities, classes, levels, etc. – and it is meant to be compatible with games from that era. Or any OSR game, really. It also has some modern influences, including all of the OSR and the most recent version of this game.

This is a complete game (from the player's side), with five classes (fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user and hopeless), skills, feats, weapons, etc. There are no races - all PCs are human or similar - but there are notes on how to create races for your games. There are 20 different spells but each one is flexible, meaning you can choose the spell level and some of the effects as you cast them.

The book ends with conversion notes for other OSR games. No matter what your favorite system is, we hope you find something useful for your games here!

My thoughts: 
Dark Fantasy Basic is a solid OSR ruleset.  From what I gather it grew out of playing OSR games, and is a compilation of house rules that worked well for Eric.  There are bits and pieces from new games & mechanics, shout outs to lotfp & DCC, some swinginess of b/x, all very cool and thought out.  There is a lot of flexibility in these rules.  

I should note that this is the player rules.  I'm guessing eventually there will be a monster book/GM guide and HOPEFULLY a few adventures to go with the rules.  Obviously though, because it's an OSR game, you can pretty much use any adventure/setting/monster without a lot of conversion. 

The first thing I thoroughly enjoyed was that the game is built around the premise of starting characters being at 3rd level (something I tend to do, well I start at 2nd), for the simple sake that lowly first level peons die.  A lot.  This is a smart idea, and something that can probably be easily modified if you wanted to start at 1st level.  

The usual 6 attributes make an appearance in the game, and like b/x it has the swinging abilities bonus where 18 is a +5, etc.  Which I dig.  There is a cool skill system with DC checks, everything based on the 6 main attributes.  The game isn't minimalist, just straight forward.  You can run it how you want.  

Included are character backgrounds, which I always like.  It places you in the world, gives you something to base your roleplay/character on.  

Yes there are feats, but they are similar to the fifth ed feats, so they don't really break the game.  For me its a "nah", but for another GM I'm sure they'd be cool with it.  The feats don't break the game and they are not overly complex mechanically.  One neat thing, if you are a character class other than a typical magic user/cleric you can still cast spells! But you must use a feat to do so.  Interesting. 

The spells system is pretty cool, casting spells requires a spell casting check.  All spell effects are based on spell level, not caster level.  For example, some spells cause “1d6 damage/level”. This
means a fifth level spell would cause 5d6 damage.  My guess is that you can technically case a fireball as a higher level spell if you want, provided you can make the spell check.  This has a sort of dcc/lotfp/5e kinda vibe to it.  Another thing I dig about the magic system, is that all the spells are useful, there's not a metric butt ton of them which is good (myself personally I kinda like a trimmed down list).  There are a few changes from the normal spells you find in most games.  Example "black tentacles (basic terrain hazard), purge (basically fix rotten/poisoned food), Resit elements (gain resistance to the effects of fire etc).  

I must say reading this, I really enjoy the humour, whether it's dark, or just a good giggle.  There's no point always being the glum author, where everything is dark.  Writing like that makes me want to move onto something else.  

Note on money, silver is the standard. 

The stock art that is used in this game is fantastic! and it totally sets the tone for it.  Great job finding all this stuff and cleaning it up.  

One thing that I really dig about this rule system is that it's 43 pages, and far more expansive than similar games where you only get the first couple of levels.  It's easy as heck to create monsters and adventures for this.  You could run fifth ed modules without much issue, as well as all OSR type modules.  

Will I play it? Honestly I'm not sure.  I started working on my own hack, and I've got a variety of rule systems that I'd like to try as well.  I think this game will fit right in with anyone who has had a taste of fifth ed and osr games, and wants something a bit more straight forward and less bloated than fifth.  I'd play this any day over playing fifth.  It crosses the bridge from old school to fifth (and other newer games).  The game includes adv/disadvantage and other familiar concepts.  There are enough spells to keep any magic user type happy!  The skill system is smart and doesn't really get in the way (same goes for the magic system).  If you are looking for an OSR type game, with some newer mechanics this is a great pick. 

I should also note that Eric has seven comics called "the displaced" up on OBS, they all look pretty cool.  Here are the links.

Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #5
Issue #6
Issue #7

Thursday, March 8, 2018

There is no reason not to be prepared. Actually! You don't even need to prepare!

After catching Black Panther last night with some of our old school group we went out and had a ice bucket of Corono's.  We started talking about "getting together" again and playing some D&D.  Specifically Star Wars d6 (which we had previously discussed last time).  My first thought was "oh shit! I'm going to need some time, I haven't got anything prepared and don't really have a grasp on the rules yet".

First off, the rules are fairly simple.  And I really only need about an hour to get everything figured out and then I'd be good to go.

That being said, I kinda want to make the first star wars game fucking epic. 

The list of things I want to do are as follows:

  1. Prep sound effects from SW, including the opening theme for the beginning of the adventure! 
  2. Go and grab either some actual minis, or SW action figures. 
  3. Take all the pre gens from the first book, print them out and put them in envelopes.  Everyone picks an envelope. (while I love the idea of having the players create characters, I think I'd wind up with 6 jedi). 

The thing that crossed my mind this afternoon was "There is no reason not to be prepared.  Actually! You don't even need to prepare!"

I don't need to read and learn the rules.  I don't need to run the first adventure in the d6 book.  I can probably make up an adventure on the spot.  I could use Whitestar or Mini6 no problem! I don't need to do any world building, cuz star wars!

I have to stop being hesitant about things.  An opportunity comes up to play, play! I mean if it was a fantasy game, I could grab something and run an adventure in about 5 mins of prep. So why not a star wars sci fi game?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Beneath The Fallen Tower (SWCL) Review

Premise: Fifty years ago, a magician known as Melchior the Despoiler, rumored to be consorting with dark forces near the town of Southfork was investigated by a troop of militia and a priest... all of who returned from his tower as undead attempting to slay their own families. They were defeated, and after a petition for aid, the Duke lent the village his trebuchet and his men leveled the mage's tower. Shortly before this assault was mounted, Melchior’s apprentice Xander escaped with a few books, a wand and a magical blade.

Now that Xander has died. His apprentice, Aurelia, together with her henchmen, have returned to find the master's library. Unknown to them, goblins have been living in the ruins for 30 years...

Beneath the fallen tower is written for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light, but is easily converted to any OSR type system.  The adventure is written fairly open ended, as a GM you could place it in your own home brew world without too much extra work.  The town where everything starts is called Southfork, and that could be just off the map, an explored section.  As well the adventure has a medieval feel, so keep that in mind when planning.  The premise of this adventure is pretty solid, you can easily create a bunch of rumours in the town of Southfork circulating about the wizard, and the line of apprentices.  The hero's are tasked with finding the son of a merchant.  The hope of course is that they stumble upon a bunch more bad guys, the tower, etc.  This adventure could easily be a few session thing.  Especially if the GM took some time to add in a few more things to do (according to the map).  Depending on which way the heroes end up going.  

The background for the adventure (the towns & world) is well thought out.  I would however have placed the section regarding the wizards tower earlier in the text, as it states "this is where the adventure takes place".  But all good.  The tavern is interesting, where the adventure starts.  There is a list of rumours and a table for how many true or false rumours you may receive.  This of course is a fairly typical but smart way of starting an adventure.  One thing I noticed is that the tavern is "fairly rat free" as far as the basement goes.  There's adventure right there! The actual town could have a bit more description as far as other stores.  Where do we buy weapons and armour? who can we sell our loot to? Once again easily figured out by a GM. 

Onward.  The hand drawn map detailing the surrounding area is cool, my only issue is that the text is a bit hard to read, although that is easily over come.  I would try and blow it up and bit, and throw a hex layer underneath for the sake of argument.  

I should note that this entire module is filled with great art, all of which are drawn by Denis Mcarthy (also the writer).  It's nice to see a product that is completely DIY, the writing, drawing, etc.  This is something I'd love to take a stab at, but my drawing is not really on point. 

Once the players find the son (and or lack thereof, I'm not ruining anything here) they will also notice that the ruins of the tower are fairly close to the sons position.  

The map of the ruins is pretty cool, hand drawn.  The actual dungeon is fairly straight forward, lots of monsters and some treasure.  A smart party will enter and re-enter the dungeon as many times as it takes to kill off monsters, and find any treasure.  And a smart GM will reload some of the monsters upon their return!  The dungeon has a few traps, and could be deadly for a party of 1st level adventurers.  As in most cases, if I was to run this I'd tweak the amount of monsters depending on the party.  Not that big of a deal. 

Overall this is a pretty cool adventure, straight forward.  As far as constructive criticism is concerned a layout job would make this adventure have a bit more eye candy.  (Which by the way I'd be totally up for!).  I read another review of this, in which the reviewer tore the whole thing apart, not linking to it though.  The text and descriptions of the dungeon could be expanded a bit, a few more sentences of description.  As well creating a gap between the player information and the GM information.  Obviously though an GM worth his or her salt can get this adventure going without an problem. 

This adventure is worth checking out, especially if you are looking for something to run for SWCL.  It could easily become a sandbox with a few other little adventures going on here and there.  As an example my Lizardmen of Illzathatch could be placed within the overland map no problem.  

And you can check out Denis's blog here:

Denis has playtested this adventure, and you can read about it here:  (which btw is friggin smart! We should all playtest our adventures!) 

I'd like to thank +Denis McCarthy for sending me a copy of this adventure!  If I ever get a old school group going again, this is something that I could incorporate.  And that's the thing about the OSR, you can grab little bits and pieces and just have a wonderful time. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

d10 treasure from upcoming module

I've been slowly working on an adventure setting. This is the first 10 treasures from a d100 table that will be added to the book.

  1. Golden Fleece: the fleece has the ability to resurrect one person from the dead.  
  2. A Ceremonial Bronze Bowl: engraved with furies fighting sea creatures.
  3. A Horn Of Plenty:  This horn will feed 4 -6 individuals once per day.  It has 7 charges.
  4. A Golden Statue Of Hades
  5. A Skull With Two Silver Pieces stitched into the eye sockets.
  6. A Silver Spider Figurine: When the abdomen is pressed, strong silken rope (100’) springs from the figurine.  
  7. Brass Torch:  This torch will burn as long as you need it to.  A simple switch on the side shuts it off.
  8. Rusted Shield: his shield has a depiction of a multi headed serpent engraved on it.  It acts as a continual “protection from evil” spell.
  9. A pair of worn sandals: when worn the sandals allow a person to move silently.
  10. Silver mirror: this mirror has an intricate handle with carved vines intwined together.