Posts Tagged ‘DQ’

Open DQ Sections and Contents

March 4, 2018

This is the draft organization index and preliminary table of contents from the old Open DQ project.

Rules Categories

0    - License and Credits
1    - Introduction, How to Play the Game, Game Terms
2    - Characters and Character Generation
3    - Combat
4    - Magic
5    - Skills
6    - Monsters
7    - World and Adventure

Parenthetical numbers in the Table of Contents indicate the corresponding rule number in the SPI Second Edition version of the rules; AW = rules from Arcane Wisdom; PBA = rules from Poor Brendan’s Almanac. Note that the new numbering provided here is a draft version and is subject to further change and renumbering.

Subsection 100 of each rule section should be set aside for introduction, terminology, description, etc. x-100 should be section contents. x-120 should be term definitions.

Subsection 200 of each rule section should be the primary rules for the section.

Subsection 500 of each rule section should be specialty rules for the section (specific skills, magic colleges, etc).

Subsection 800 of each rule section should be secondary or optional rules for the section.

This is a preliminary draft and subject to almost certain revision.

Table of Contents

0    - License and Credits
0-100 License
1    - Introduction, How to Play the Game, Game Terms
1-100 
1-110 Introduction
1-120 Game Terms
1-200 How to Play the Game
1-220 General Course of Events (1)
1-250 Requirements for Play (2)
2    - Characters and Character Generation
2-120 Description of Characteristics (3)
2-200 Effects of Characteristics (4)
2-300 Characteristic Generation (5)
2-400 Character Background
2-420 Birthrights (6)
2-450 Aspects (7)
2-470 Heritage (8)
2-500 Creating Experienced Characters
2-550 NPCs
2-600 Character Maintenance
2-620 Recuperation and Upkeep (85)
2-650 Fatigue Loss and Recovery (82)
2-700 Experience 
2-710 How Experience Is Gained (86)
2-750 How Experience Is Used (87)
3    - Combat
3-120 Combat Terminology (9)
3-130 Combat Equipment (10)
3-150 Preparation for Combat (11)
3-200 Combat Sequence (12)
3-220 Actions of Engaged Figures (13)
3-250 Actions of Non Engaged Figures (14)
3-280 Action Choice Restrictions (15)
3-300 Attacking (16)
3-330 Resolving Attempted Attacks (17)
3-350 Damage (18)
3-360 The Effects of Damage (19)
3-370 Fire
3-380 Infection (24)
3-400 Unarmed Combat (21)
3-430 Natural Weapons
3-450 Martial Arts
3-500 Weapons List (20)
3-600 Multi-Hex Creatures (22)
3-700 Special Combat
3-710 Mounted Combat (23)
4    - Magic
4-120 Definition of Magical Terms (25)
4-130 How Magic Works (26)
4-150 The Colleges of Magic (34)
4-180 Magic Conventions (35)
4-200 How to Cast Spells (27)
4-205 Quickcasting (PBA-106
4-220 Restrictions on Magic (29)
4-250 Counterspells and Resisting Spells (31)
4-300 Incorporating Magic into Combat (33)
4-330 The Effects of Spells (28)
4-370 Backfire from Spells and Rituals (30)
4-400 Universal Magical Abilities
4-420 Special Magical Preparations (32)
4-430 Ritual of Planar Travel (PBA-109
4-440 Consequences (84)
4-480 Cantrips (PBA-108
4-500 Thaumaturgies
4-510 The College of Ensorcelments and Enchantments (36)
4-520 The College of Sorceries of the Mind (37)
4-530 The College of Illusions (38)
4-540 The College of Naming Incantations (39)
4-550 The College of Shaping Magics (AW-91
4-600 Elementals
4-610 The College of Air Magics (40)
4-620 The College of Water Magics (41)
4-630 The College of Fire Magics (42)
4-640 The College of Earth Magics (43)
4-650 The College of Celestial Magics (44)
4-660 College of Time Magics (PBA-110
4-700 Entities
4-710 The College of Necromantic Conjurations (45)
4-720 The College of Black Magics (46)
4-730 The College of Greater Summonings (47)
4-740 The College of Lesser Summonings (AW-89
4-750 The College of Rune Magics (AW-90
4-760 College of Witchcraft (PBA-109
5    - Skills
5-250 Acquiring and Using Skills (48)
5-300 Languages (49)
5-400 Adventure Abilities
5-420 Horesemanship
5-460 Swimming
5-470 Stealth
5-500 Alchemist (50)
5-510 Assassin (51)
5-520 Astrologer (52)
5-530 Beast Master (53)
5-540 Courtesan (54)
5-545 Diplomat (PBA-112
5-550 Healer (55)
5-555 Herbalist (PBA-113
5-557 Hunter (PBA-114
5-560 Mechanician (56)
5-570 Merchant (57)
5-580 Military Scientist (58)
5-590 Navigator (59)
5-600 Ranger (60)
5-610 Spy and 
5-620 Thief (61)
5-630 Troubadour (62)
5-800 Minor Skills (PBA-111
6    - Monsters
7    - World and Adventure
7-180 Game Conventions (78)
7-200 The Adventure Sequence (80)
7-220 Preparation for Adventure (77)
7-230 Organizing a Party (79)
7-300 Adventure Actions (83)
7-400 Monetary Matters (81)
7-420 Extended Merchant Tables (PBA-122
7-430 Horse Trading (PBA-121
7-440 Alchemical and Herbal Shopkeeping (PBA-116
7-470 Building Costs (PBA-118
7-480 Peasants and Labor (PBA-119
7-485 Farming (PBA-120
7-600 Guide to Magical Rocks, Stones and Gems (AW-93
7-650 Guide to Herbal Lore (AW-94
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The Open DQ That Is Already Done

March 3, 2018

There’s a significant followup to my recent thoughts about an open source DragonQuest that needs to be pointed out.

The Seagate Adventurer’s Guild is the largest group of DragonQuest players, with a long-running, interlocked campaign with multiple GMs.  And they’ve been playing for over 30 years.  I had known that they had a draft set of rules incorporating their house rules, but it’s been a few years since I checked in on their site.  I had known about this version several years ago, but they had asked to have it pulled from the Yahoo DQ group files.  Than, Mike Davey reminded me about them in response to my last post, so I went and checked out their version of the DragonQuest rules.

In a word, wow!

Frankly, they’ve already done much of the work I was talking about.  It’s a complete document; almost 150 pages.  The Seagate rules are “copylefted under the GNU Public License, version 2.0,” so this is already an open-source version of the DQ rules.

These rules aren’t a straight one-to-one corresponding set.  There are some sections that are not included, like any creatures, or the lists of Greater Summoning demons.  And there are also many new additions, including several new Skills and new Colleges of Magic.  Elements are reorganized, though there’s a generally similar order of character creation, combat, magic, and skills.  All in all, I think a DQ player or GM could pick it up and start using it fairly readily.

This really changes the scope of next steps.  What I had originally planned, once there was a base draft in place, was a reorganization of the rules to allow for revisions and substitutions.  The numbering system of the DQ rules doesn’t work well if you want to add a new Skill or a new College; there are no open spaces.  But if the rule numbering was more like a library card-catalog system, then it would be easy to keep all the related stuff organized together in the same section.  All the character-related stuff could be section 100, combat section 200, and so on and so forth.

Link: Seagate DQ Rules Edition 2.0.1

 

 

 

Notes on DragonQuest Titles

May 28, 2017

Feedback on The Wilderness of Ordurak has been pretty positive.  The most recent comment, from today: “At a first glance, the module looks fantastic, a very “authentic” feeling I think.”  Trying to match the SPI look was always a part of the intent, and it’s gratifying that backers of the project appreciate that about the adventure and the map.

A couple playtesters have looked at The Sentinel Chapel and given some initial feedback.  I’ve got a few more things to do for it, based on that feedback.  It was originally aimed at being a “capsule adventure,” like some other DQ titles; something maybe a little less fleshed out.  It was originally aimed at being 4 pages, but then I played with some SketchUp modeling, and I wanted to include that, and the descriptions grew, and now it’s pushing past the 8 page mark, and I have some further information to fill in.

The story grew and fleshed itself out as I was writing, and it really does need another pass to bring it together.  Some of the comments pointed out to me that it was much more of a first draft than I liked.

And, as much of a map maker as I am, even though I’m using someone else’s map for the adventure proper, it really could use a regional map, so I’m going to do that for it, as well.

Those still reviewing and playtesting I haven’t heard from yet, I’d really like to get your comments, too.

 

 

Seeking Playtesters for Antherwyck House

April 24, 2017

There are a couple projects underway for Antherwyck House right now, and we’d like to find a few playtesters for these things.

If you follow Thor Hansen on G+, you have already seen a bit of the art he’s gotten from Ed Heil for a game he is leading titled The Spires.  It’s still in its rough, early phases, and it may be a while before we’re ready to have others take a look at it, but gathering some people who are interested in the concept and are willing to give good feedback will help with developing this.

My next project is another DragonQuest adventure, one much smaller than “The Wilderness of Ordurak.”  (You also might’ve seen this post a few weeks ago.)  It’s coming in at around 8 pages right now; a capsule adventure along the lines of “The House of Kurin” or “The Treasure of Socranti.”  I’d like to find at least two different groups to playtest it: one a group of DragonQuest players who can evaluate it as a DQ adventure; the other a group playing something else (an OSR clone, D&D of one flavor or another, etc.) to see how readily it can adapt to another ruleset.  I think it’s mostly map and setting, and choosing some other stats for the encounters from your own favorite flavor should help make this more widely usable.  (And if I need to provide stats that adapt to other games, I’ll know I need to do that.)

If you’re interested in either of these, drop one of us a line (presuming you’re one of the folks who already knows how and where to get in touch on G+) or leave a note in the comments here.

Project Completion – Wilderness of Ordurak adventure

February 24, 2017

wildThe Wilderness of Ordurak proof is completed, and copies of the set will be going out to the backers very soon.  57 pages, plus the ledger size map.

Our next step will be to clean up The Water Works and Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  Once those are revised, they will be available.  The terms set up for the Wilderness give the people who backed it exclusive access to it for a while.  If you’re interested in getting a copy of this, stay tuned later this year.

The other thing that’s in the works is a Gazetteer for the regional map.  That might be a separate thing on its own, with the map and an accompanying booklet of information about the features in the region, very much like Frontiers of Alusia.

DragonQuest – U-Con 2016 Recap

November 23, 2016

DragonQuest isn’t all dead. Recently, I ran two sessions of DQ at U-Con, and, in the end, both of them were full tables. I had seen that pre-registrations were surprisingly high, with 5 people for Friday and 3 for Saturday, which was pretty surprising in and of itself. But then, both nights, people were coming by to see if that relic from the ancient past was, in fact, what was going on at that table. (“You mean that old SPI game, DragonQuest? Really? That’s awesome!”)

The Friday night group was a couple grognards (my age or older) who knew the game, a couple guys who registered because they’d heard of the game but never played it, and a guy who saw we had an open seat at the table and was curious about the game. On Saturday, three of the 6 players from the first night were back: two guys who had pre-registered, plus one guy who had joined in who had his own event cancelled, so he came back and joined for a second night. The three new players were my pre-teen son, and two other players who had events that didn’t run and joined in. They were both experienced gamers, but had never played DQ before, so again, it was a mixed group.

Both sessions provided good opportunities to show off some of DQ’s special features. There were Grievous Injuries (in both directions), and other demonstrations of DQ as a system, and that was all good. One of the new players had a triumphant moment where his character landed a specific grievous injury against one of the attackers which was effectively a one-hit kill, and that really turned the tide for the group at that point.

If it was the early 80s, I probably would’ve sold a few people on the game. But, especially for the people dropping in, it was only a one-off experience for them. But that’s okay. And it still shows that DQ can stand its own (and maybe is worth a reboot or some OSR spinoff of its own).

I was hoping to try out a bit of the Wilderness adventure (at least a couple of the plot points) with the one group, but the setup and the group getting somewhat entangled in doing some stuff in the coastal town, and then a combat encounter took the remainder of the time.

Even though each was just a four hour session, in both cases I felt like they were turning into a group I would’ve gladly continued a campaign with. I suppose that’s the downside of a game at a Con; you don’t have the ongoing campaign. There was also a fair amount of off-topic table banter, which seemed like a good thing, to me, and I didn’t worry about that too much. It helped bring these people together and have a bit of a common bond, and in the end, everyone seemed to have had a good time. And that, to my mind, is the best part of it all.

Thoughts about new DragonQuest

July 22, 2016

I’ve written up a few thoughts about the nature of DragonQuest and what makes it unique and compelling as a game system and setting.  In short, I see DQ as a Renaissance game versus D&D as a Medieval game.  If there’s going to be a new version of DQ, understanding its strengths and direction is important.

The whole article is posted at Dragonquestrules, but since there’s comparatively much more traffic here (as well as links out to other sites), I’m also putting out a notice about it here.  I hope you’ll take a minute to check it out.

 

DragonQuest combat rules retro-clone resource

April 22, 2016

There is now a very basic outline version of the DragonQuest combat rules posted at DQRules.  I’m providing extra notice here for those of you who are following Antherwyck House for DQ-related stuff since there are more followers here than there are on DQRules itself.  There are PDF and .DOC versions, as well as a pretty bare plain text, so hopefully at least one of those will provide a useful version.

This is just the bare bones of the DQ combat rules, but is probably enough to run combats if you already have some familiarity with the game.  More importantly, it is the basic skeleton on which the system is built, so a retro-clone would start with this framework and expand out to flesh things out once more.

The other series of questions to be considered are regarding whether any of these core rules should be modified or revised as part of the new version of DQ.  A total retro-clone would stick to this with very little deviation, but a new edition of DQ should consider improvements and modifications.

Before things get too in-depth, this needs to be the next set of considerations.  There are some ideas already being kicked around, but additional feedback would be especially useful for this project.

What Should the DragonQuest Retro-Clone Be Called?

April 12, 2016

DQcoverI’ve opened up the idea of assembling a retro-clone of DragonQuest, but one question to be answered is: What should it be called?

For a long time, I was interested in using the original name for DQ: DragonSlayer (before a now long-forgotten movie of the same name came along, and SPI shifted the name of their FRPG in order to use that title for an equally long-forgotten tie-in game).  DragonSlayer would be a good name with a historical connection to the game, but things have become more complicated.

In the same realm of retro-clones and throwback games and the like, there is now a title called “Crimson Dragon Slayer” by Venger Satanis.  And given the potential for confusion between the two names (as well as the fact that he also publishes through OneBookShelf, as does Antherwyck House Games), that option is now much more problematic.

Also, even among the grognards and the long-time fans of DragonQuest, not a lot of them know the early alternate name, and no one looking for things related to DragonQuest is likely to be looking for things under another name, so it would have very little benefit to have a different name in order for people looking for DQ-related materials to find it.

There is also the Nintendo videogame series called “DragonQuest” that is often a point of confusion.  A new name might help distinguish between the RPG and the videogame, particularly since the latter is still actively being produced and promoted.

There is also the project organized through the Yahoo Groups called DragonQuest Open Source or Open DQ.  But OpenDQ is also a name for a data quality software project.

Retro-clones of other games need to avoid using the name of the original source, because those companies are still in business, and their trademarks for the original title are still active.  That is not the case with DQ.  So a name with “DQ” or “DragonQuest” in the title shouldn’t be challenged on that front.  The videogame might be more of a point of conflict.

So, it seems to be open season for a new name for the game.

This seems completely open for new ideas and discussion, so I hope you will add your suggestions to the mix.

DragonQuest Rules Clone

April 1, 2016

tarot-fool[1]It’s time for a retroclone of the DragonQuest RPG.  It’s past time, really, so there’s no point in delaying further.

Yes, that’s correct, it is April 1st.  But when better to undertake such a fool’s errand?

I have been thinking about getting a clone version of DragonQuest for a long time.  That’s ostensibly what the Yahoo DQ-RULES group was for.  There is also the mostly dormant DragonQuest Rules blog that has been a collecting point for some of the revised rules (along with some tangential stuff).  And recently, I’ve been thinking about making my Patreon about creating re-written rules for DQ with an eye toward developing a set of clone DQ rules.

Last month, Jarrod Shaw of Mythoard (a recent convert to DragonQuest compared to some of us grognards) was asking about a clone version of the DQ rules (in the spirit of the many other OSR games out there).  And that got me thinking, once again, about moving forward on a full retroclone of DQ.

Over the past year, I’ve seen a lot of OSR material and found a widespread community producing materials and engaged with these games.  There are many throwback RPGs, and each has its following.  Not only are there versions of every stripe of old D&D, but even games like RuneQuest now have retro-clone versions (OpenQuest).  DQ may never have had the fan base that some other games had, but it’s definitely a game with its merits and that ought to be brought up to date.

The original idea for Antherwyck House Games was to produce DragonQuest materials, and that is part of what we are doing.  While  I’m definitely intersted in continuing that,  there hasn’t seemed to be much support or interest, so we’ve been working in some other directions.  But let’s see how much interest this discussion generates now.

So is a retread of DQ a sacrilege?

The game many of us regard as canon was written in 1981. D&D is on its 5th edition (or more, depending on how you count things).  Third Edition DQ is less a new edition than  tinkering with a few rules and excising some of the “frightening material.”  But really, nothing has changed since the 80’s.  That was last millennium, folks!

What about copyright and trademark and so forth?

From what I know of copyright and the law in this area (and IANAL, but I’ve looked at this question more than a little bit), it is the specific expression of the rules (the particular language used to describe the rules) that is covered by copyright.  The ideas of the rules themselves (such as having six characteristics for a character in a range from 3-18) can’t be copyrighted.

But every rule needs to be uniquely re-written in a new way.  This is what’s behind many of the OSR clones, as I understand it.  The general ideas are the same, and are compatible and interoperable with the games they descended from.  But they are fresh and new (and often introduce some new angles to the system to avoid being a cut-and-paste of what had come before.

As far as trademark goes, the DragonQuest mark has been abandoned by TSR/Wizards/Hasbro, so it would presumably be available (although there is also the Japanese video game of the same name, which is always confusing), but a new name might be better.

What would a new DQ be like?

In all, there’s going to be a lot more discussion about what should and should not be a part of any such thing, so treat all of this as starting points for discussion, rather than anything that has been completely settled.

DQ has always been a modular system, and the designers’ intent seemed to be to have a system that allowed for extension and adaptation.  New Colleges of magic were built into the system almost from the outset, and Arcane Wisdom almost made it to production.

The DQ-rules group on Yahoo was originally started to create a consensus version of new DragonQuest rules.  I think a more open-ended numbering system, to allow for new rules to be added in a more orderly fashion, would be important.  Being able to add or delete certain elements without breaking the whole system would be important.

Should DQ become a D20 based system?

That’s something that Chris Klug was looking at a while ago.  A DQ/D20 system would make it much more accessible to the much larger audience of gamers, and might increase the number of players.  I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to go with it.  D20 is very familiar, though, and there could be some merit to adapting things to be more cross-compatible with That Other Game.  On the other hand, there are a lot of other options already out there that offer that compatibility, and I don’t think that’s what DQ is best at.

What are the key elements of DQ that need to remain in order for things to stay compatible with existing DQ materials?

  • Stats and stat ranges (or an easy conversion system if things are changed)
  • World with multiple Colleges of Magic (but to remain exclusive?)
  • Skills
  • Non-super-heroic system/Human-scale (a game where even an advanced hero might be cut down by a simple peasant with a knife, and where dragons remain a terrifying opponent no matter how good you’ve gotten)

But there are also some elements where I wonder if they are as important to retain in their current form:

  • Extensive ability breakdowns (individual spells, weapons, etc.)
  • Fine granularity in rules
  • Experience and progression

So now what?

If you’ve read this far, then you’re definitely in the interest group and your feedback about this idea.  What would you like to see in a new DQ?  What are the things most in need of revision?  What are the parts that represent the essence of DQ that need to remain as they are?
 

 

DQ – Thinning Down the Counterspells

March 31, 2016

I’ve been thinking about revisions and re-treads of the DragonQuest rules for a long time.  I’ll spell out some further thoughts on the topic as a whole in an upcoming post.  But for now, here’s a proposal to reduce the number of counterspells in DQ and revise the rules for counterspells.


There are a lot of counterspells to learn in the DQ world.  Probably too many.  It’s possible to speculate on how that came about, and there may have been good reasons for it, but in practice, it seems cumbersome and difficult, particularly in that there are two counterspells for each College.  Are the flows of mana somehow different between General and Special knowledge spells?  Why does the esoteric organization of a College’s magic determine which of two counterspells will affect a particular spell?

Instead, why not take a cue from Naming Magics, with the Generic and Individual True Names for things, and have counterspells at the level of Branch and College, rather than General and Special Knowledge?

In practice, this would give 3 generic counterspells (one each for Thaumaturgies, Elementals, and Entities), plus a specific counterspell for each particular College. The Branch counterspells would be less effective than the specific counterspell for each College, but would be useful against any magic of that particular Branch.  Instead of having at least 24 counterspells (General/Special for each of the original 12 Colleges, plus 2 more for each additional College introduced into a particular campaign, there would be 15, plus one for each additional College.  This would work much more fluidly in a campaign where some Colleges may not exist, at the outset, or where additional Colleges are included in the game.

As a matter of play balance, it seems more correct to me that, when faced with magic from a previously unknown College, a caster should have at least some small chance of being able to dispel the magical effect.  Counterspells are presumably based on the workings of mana, rather than being reverse-engineerings of spells.  So something that will disrupt the flow and effects of mana to one kind of spell should have a good chance to be able to disrupt a similar, though perhaps slightly different, one.

 

Works in Progress

February 19, 2016

Here are updates on several different things for the past couple weeks, including a work-in-progress map, the Exquisite Corpse CITY project, and a couple of DragonQuest-related items.


The map is a progress shot of another “military perspective” map.  This was trying out a shading (using a gel ballpoint pen; not how the finished version will be done. This was just testing on a photocopy of the map).  The colored shading seems to help with reading it more clearly (and shadows on the ground may help, as well).  I’m thinking about also making a simple, standard overhead view map of this same complex, to make it easier for a GM to make notes and keep track of where the characters and the opposition are.

progress2 draft

Would this be good as a future Un-Furnished Dungeon? Or, the second map could be a Patreon supporter premium, if I got that up and running.  (Some other thoughts on Patreon below.)


The Exquisite Corpse City project is still under way, and we seem to be making a little progress.  I’ve handed off sections to a couple more people this weekend, and the number of available slots will keep increasing as more pieces are done and the city grows, and there are more edges to add on to.  I’ve posted a glimpse of the 3/4 completed city center, to give a sense of the variety of styles that are going to be in this from the outset.  For those of you who aren’t following the Exquisite Corpse CITY Google Group, here this is:

EC-city-prev

I really like the very different styles that are in this already.

The start was slow, because there are only 4 sides to the initial starting square.  With 3 of those sides now extended, there are now 5 openings, and another 3 will come open when that 4th side is done.  And as some of those get finished, even more openings become available.

This Exquisite Corpse is a little more difficult to manage, since part of the process is to have each artist go back and add in some buildings in their style to the section that they built from, so the seams in the city should be a bit less straight line.  That requires everyone to work on top of everyone else’s drawings, so that is causing more complication, but I think it’ll turn out well in the end.


The DragonQuest adventure (Wilderness of Ordurak) was subject of some recent discussion on the DragonQuest RPG group.  We are really hoping that it is going to be done in the next couple months, along with the revised version of The Water Works adventure and the Poor Brendan’s Almanac supplement.

If Patreon had been around a few years ago, that would’ve been a much better model to work from.  And, I’ve been thinking about starting a Patreon for the maps I’ve been making, although there are many other gaming map makers out there, and I’m not sure if there would be interest in supporting my work.  (If you would seriously be interested, though, let me know.  If there are at least a few potential supporters, I’d be more tempted to start something like that up.)

The other thing that would make a lot of sense as a Patreon project would be a re-write of the DragonQuest rules (aka Open DQ).  This is an idea that’s been kicking around, though without much interest behind it, for quite a while.  Like other OSR retro-clones, it would be a compatible re-write of the rules to duplicate the functionality of the original SPI game, but with new (and in some cases updated) re-writing so that it was not just a transcription of the existing rules.  Each new rule section completed could be an individual goal in the Patreon system, and delivering one or two a month might be reasonable, and no one would be paying anything until something was delivered each time.

Finishing the Wilderness… is the first task.  But after that, is there more support for a DQ-oriented Patreon, or for a mapping-oriented one?

 

 

Penmorfa Longhouse

October 5, 2015

This is a page from the Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  With the picture and map and the general descriptions, it probably works fairly well as a standalone encounter location, even if some of the specifics are incomplete.

Penmorfa-page

This is what came of the Wilderness sketch from a few months back.  This is written for a larger DragonQuest adventure, but other than changing a couple of money references, I think it could readily be used for just about any game system.  And you could also take the picture and the map and re-purpose it for a completely different kind of encounter.

This is being shared for personal use, and I am happy to have the link shared if you want to point someone else at this, but please don’t distribute copies of this.  I know it’s going to happen, regardless, but I’d rather it wasn’t you that does it. Thanks!

And, if you do use this in your game and have some notes about how it went (or just if you read through it and have some feedback), I’d be glad to hear about it.

DQ: Poor Brendan’s on sale!

July 23, 2015

The OBS companies (RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, etc.) have a “Christmas in July” sale going on right now through the end of July, and Antherwyck House Games is taking part.  Digital products are 25% off and printed copies are 15% off.

Poor Brendan’s Almanac is now $1.46 for the PDF or $7.60 for the printed copy during this sale.

PBA-cover

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/150354/Poor-Brendans-Almanac

And don’t forget, if you buy the print version, you can also get the PDF for free!

A ‘Wilderness’ sketch

July 15, 2015

penmorfa1-SK

I was doodling this on lined paper, so this’ll take some work, or some rework to do anything with it.  But, I think it shows the general idea for this location (a rough longhouse structure in the Wilderness built of stone and timber, backed up against a low cliff and roofed with felled trees).

This wasn’t meant as finished art, and it probably won’t end up in the adventure; it’s the kind of thing I might do in a game I was running for my own players, but it’s not finished art.  There will likely be a plan of this place, and maybe also a section through it to show what it’s like (or just a good descriptive paragraph).

Added some quick pencil shading for a little more (hopefully) clarity and readability afterwards; here’s the original:

penmorfa-SK
(10 minute sketch during a meeting)

Blog name change

March 18, 2012

This blog has a new name: Antherwyck House Games. It’s the same blog, fundamentally; all the old posts are still here, and it will continue to be largely about DragonQuest and about indie games. But it is now going to be linked from the new website (coming soon), and is going to become an official part of Antherwyck House. Announcements and discussions of new projects will be posted here.

We’re never going to be a high volume publisher; this is a side-line for us. But, after the fundraiser for the Wilderness adventure, it became clear that there was still an audience for DragonQuest materials, even though it’s been nearly a quarter century since anything was last published. We’re looking to become the source for that small audience.

We’re plotting a release schedule for our first year. The present plan is to have one new title per quarter, and we’ll see how that works out.

We may also get more heavily involved in the development of a retro-clone for DragonQuest. Retro-clones are re-written rules that are compatible with an existing game. The core concepts of the game remain, but they are written in new language, so that they do not fall afoul of copyright law. A lot of old-school games are getting this treatment. Having a free retro-clone of DragonQuest would make it easier for new players to discover the game and try it out.

The Wilderness in Microscope

December 23, 2011

I’m thinking about running an online Microscope game to set some of the backstory and history for the “Wilderness of A—”

I’ve been interested in Microscope since Thor pointed it out to me a few months ago. I bought a copy of it, but I haven’t had a chance to try playing it yet.

It struck me, a couple days ago, that I might be able to do an online Microscope game with specific focus on the backstory for the adventure I’m working on. So, I’m going to invite all the current contributors to participate in a world-building game.

I’m not sure if this will work well, or not, but in any case, I think it will help generate some ideas, even if I end up changing and revising things significantly from the game as it plays out. And it will be a chance to play a game of Microscope, as well. I’ll email the contributors about this shortly. If you’d like to get in on this, sign up as a contributor to the “Wilderness” fundraiser.

My previous posts on: Microscope|More Microscope

Microscope site

Bonus for Holidays

December 20, 2011

The fundraiser for the DQ adventure has already gone more than halfway towards it initial goal, with 51 days remaining. The ‘hot start’ target to get the entire base goal by the 15th wasn’t reached, but that was a long shot anyhow

I mentioned on the dq-rules list that I hoped to still have a holiday piece for those who have contributed.

What I’m thinking of doing is gathering together and formalizing the Rank Point system I have used a few times to start off new campaigns or one-shots for conventions where I didn’t want to be stuck with beginning characters. Since “The Wilderness of A—” is going to be designed for mid-level characters, and people may not have existing campaigns, I think it would be good to have a framework for quickly giving players a way to assemble characters with more experience than beginning characters would have.

You could certainly do something like this by just dumping 8000 XP (or whatever amount you’d like) on everyone and letting them go to town. But this would be a quicker, shorthand version. Of course, it would be possible to abuse the system, but in more instances, I think it could be used to quickly get a new character, or group of characters pulled together.

My thinking is that there may be some gaming groups getting together over the holidays, and this could be tested out by a few different groups. The refined version will then be included in the final version of “The Wilderness of A—”

If you want to take a look at a preliminary version of this, before I clean it up, I’ve included it below the cut…
(more…)

Three DQ Adventure Kickstarter Ideas

November 4, 2011

So… I started talking about the idea in August, and now, all of a sudden, it’s November.  I haven’t been able to spend time on this the way I would like, which is the whole point of the Kickstarter (or IndieGoGo, or whatever) venture; to be able to make some financial space in order to be able to spend some time on the idea.

There wasn’t a whole lot of immediate and overwhelming support clamoring for the thing, either.  Frankly, that’s understandable.  Some guy mouthing about an adventure he’s gonna write for a long-forgotten RPG isn’t going to ring off the charts.  I like to think I’ve contributed a few things to the DragonQuest community, but that’s no big thing; I’m not an established game writer/designer.

I’ve been struggling to come up with some nice capsule descriptions of the adventure ideas I’ve been thinking about for this project, but to get a nice, tight, SPI-style intro in just a couple lines is hard.  And these are still pretty open-ended ideas.  So instead, what I’m going to do is give you the unfiltered ramble.  After all, these aren’t completed ideas, yet.  I have some pieces in mind that I’m interested in incorporating, and it’s better to put those ideas out there and see if they resonate with anyone else to move toward a project that can muster some support and interest.


The Earth Works

During the wars around the Return of Mador, nearly half a century ago, forces allied with Mador set up magical production and research facilities to provide enchanted materials for use by their forces. Sometimes, these were places that had been homes to scholars of magic. Clues found in the treasures collected from The Water Works point to the existence of another Works, this one dedicated to Earth Magics.

This would obviously be a sequel to the Water Works, but could certainly function as a free standing adventure on its own equally well. Probably this adventure would serve to introduce a few new Earth Magics spells or items of interest.

If this would be successful, this would also likely set up a following adventure or two, the Gas Works and the Fire Works (and perhaps even, the Clock Works)


The Wilderness of A—–

An old adventurer was rewarded by the local king for heroic services with the title of Baron and a grant of land off in the wilderness beyond the borders of the Kingdom. Some years later, he felt his adventuring career was at a close, and he settled in his lands and invited settlers to come and join him. The land has prospered to some extent, but it suffers from being too distant and unconnected to the Kingdom. A couple years ago, the Baron decided to construct a road through the Wilderness of A—– to connect to the Kingdom more directly.

But now, problems have arisen. Workers are disappearing and other unsettling events are keeping the road from being completed. The Baron’s people have sought to hire adventurers to travel with the surveying parties and work gangs to protect them from whatever is causing the problems and to help settle the wilderness so that the road can be completed.

This would include a map of some of the region. Not as extensive as the Frontiers of Alusia, obviously, but perhaps twice the area of the Overland Map from the Camp of Alla-Akabar and considerably more detailed. This could possibly be an adventure that would feature a new college of magic: the College of Sun Magics.

Obviously names need to be filled in here, but there are several potential naming rights opportunities for Kickstarter contributors. I see this one as perhaps something like The Enchanted Wood, with an overall arc to the adventure, and a series of capsule adventures and encounters that the GM can use for a mini-campaign of several adventures. There are also potential hooks in the new Barony that might be useful leads for further adventures.


The Coven of X—–

The general premise for this would be a power struggle going on in a coven of witches (College of Witchcraft) which the characters become caught up in. There would be an opportunity to use this with a PC witch, but probably more likely as a group of hired help serving one faction or another.

Just what is going on as a backdrop to this needs to be determined. One idea I have is that the Coven is centered in a city, and an opposing army is gathering nearby. Some of the witches are connected to the current power structure of the city, but others might have competing loyalties (though probably not overtly).

Obviously this would be an opportunity to spend some more time wit the College of Witchcraft. This would likely be far more of a character intrigue than any sort of dungeon crawl, but there would need to be locations and things going on with this, as well. Getting the PCs into the story might be a bit more difficult, but there are interesting possibilities in this.


I am, of course, very interested in any feedback about any of these ideas. I’m happy to discuss these further, and I will continue to refine these for the kickstarter kickoff (whenever that turns out to be). If there seems to be particular acclaim for one or another, rather than a divided interest among all three, that’s probably helpful in moving things along.

I’ll post about this on the DQ boards in a while, as well, so hopefully there can be some further discussion about the ideas. Even if you don’t think you’d contribute, but you have some ideas about the adventure concepts, I’m glad to hear what you think, even if it’s just to vote on which of these you think is most interesting.

More Q&A for DQ Kickstarter Adventure

August 25, 2011

I’ve gotten a few other questions about this project, so I have some more answers about this idea.

One of the questions was whether setting the goal at the end of September would allow enough time to pull together enough support. My thinking was that I would reach most of the likely supporters just in the DQ groups, and that, in that case, it wouldn’t take much time to see whether or not there was enough support for the project. But it’s a fair question; do others of you also think that’s too short a timeline? Would it make sense to open it up through to December, and make it a 2012 project?

It was also suggested that it should be possible to contribute a smaller amount than the lowest premium level. That was my intent, as well, but I guess I didn’t state that explicitly. As with Kickstarter projects, you can contribute any amount. The premiums I outlined are a list of proposed rewards or opportunities at various levels of contribution, but if you only want to contribute $1 just to get your name in the credits, that would be fine. But only contributors at the premium levels would get advance copies; a $5 contribution would help fund the project, but wouldn’t get a copy of it until it was released for general distribution.

A couple people asked about proposed page count. I would expect it to be at least twice the size of “The Water Works,” which is 10 pages (plus the title page) without any internal artwork other than the map on the last page. So, roughly 24 pages for the adventure. If there are new rules introduced in the adventure (new college of magic, new skills, etc.) that would be in addition to that base page count.

Those figures are also for page count without art. For “Poor Brendan’s Almanac,” I used all clip art and freely usable material for the illustrations. I could certainly do that again with this project. Art is also expensive to commission, so I don’t have expectations to have a lot of custom art in the adventure. But I think there was usually not much in the way of additional art in the various SPI adventures, so this would probably be along those lines, as well. There would, of course, also be maps and diagrams as part of the adventure. I already have a volunteer to help with cartography.

Thanks for the feedback, and keep asking questions.