Posts Tagged ‘RPG’

Print Planetary Display Logbook is Ready

August 3, 2019

PDLinterior actualThe print version of the Planetary Display Logbook is good to go. We’ve approved printing, so you can check it out and order from at DriveThruRPG. Next step will be testing one of these with different media to see how it bleeds through.  This is a US printing, and there may be differences with production elsewhere, based on the stock it’s printed on (as with any print-on-demand product).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Logbook, it is an inexpensive, blank book formatted for mapping the surface of a sphere as a series of hexagons and pentagons (like a soccer ball).  Unlike many other mappings, this has latitude and longitude that coordinate with the shapes of the individual facets.

If you’re ordering things from DriveThruRPG, you can easily toss one of these in with your order.  The print book is less expensive than the PDF version, since it’s a one-shot use, rather than print all you need with the PDF.  If you want multiple copies of the book, for example to use in a space-faring campaign, we intend to have a multiple copies discount.  How many copies would be an ideal size to order, in your opinion?

Criticisms:
The background grid lines are too light (see photo).  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since they are supposed to be there just to knock down the white space a bit.  They are less present, so will be less usable for organizing added information.  But there’s space there for added info; that’s not a problem.  I’ll work on that when we do revisions.  Also, if it was possible to get a stapled version rather than the perfect bound one, I would prefer that.  But we don’t seem to have that as an option.

Eccentric Dungeon; 2nd state

July 23, 2019

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

There’s a fair chance that I’ll tweak this one further; maybe not immediately, but at some point. This had a little post-processing which took out the grid lines and then dropped in a background poche color for the solid areas.  Then, after printing that one, I added the hatches and textures, but I still have the first version both scanned and the original linework for future experiments.

It had suddenly struck me that there aren’t nearly enough circular dungeons. So this started out with some circles, but not regularly aligned; their centers are offset from one another.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

MOON Planetary Display is live!

June 22, 2019

I mentioned this project a couple weeks ago, and now it’s ready.  The Planetary Display Logbook MOON is now live and available on DriveThruRPG for less than a buck.

A false-color map of the Moon. The six hemisphere images from the USGS maps produced from data collected by the Clementine mission in 2002 are transposed into 32 faces of a truncated icosahedron in the Planetary Display Logbook format.

The colors show comparative elevation information (blue areas are the lowest; red areas are the highest).

Usable as a fantastic planet for science fiction game settings, whether as the Earth’s moon, or as a reference for a far-flung alien world.

This could be used as an alien world, with the blue sections used as water, and the higher areas as land.  Or it could certainly be used in a near-space game where a moon map would be useful. Use it as a base to start from, and add further detail to make it your own planet for your own game.

Next Projects 2019

February 7, 2019

Just about 2 years ago, I posted a “Next Projects” post with some of the things that were in the works.  While I hadn’t planned on a recap, it seems like a good time to review those things, as well as some forward looking for what’s upcoming and in the works.  It’s also an invitation to follow the blog (I’m trying to use my RSS feed reader to follow other folks’ blogs) or to find other ways to stay in touch, especially with the coming end of G+.

Of the things posted before, a few are done; a few others are still in the works to one extent or another; some are available on DriveThruRPG if you want to get a copy for yourself.

Moon Station Zvezda – still on the list, and moved to the top because this summer is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.  So there’s some tie-in interest to be found, potentially.  It’s a fun idea to play with, graphically.

moonbase

The Moonbase map (above) and the Spaceship Dice Drop Table are a couple pieces that show some of the graphic style this may end up having.  The current shorthand description we’re using for it is a Lady Blackbird-style one-shot (though it’s certainly possible to do more in it if you like the setting).  The premise is an alternate-history post-60s space race world with more moon landings and moon presence among the superpowers, and thinking about some of the proposed alternative space programs as having gotten off the drawing boards.

DragonQuest adventures and products.  Gazetteer for the Wilderness of Ordurak, and Small, Untitled DQ Adventure (which became The Sentinel Chapel, and was a featured Deal of the Day earlier this year), are completed and available, as well as the public release of The Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  Expanded Alusia was another idea, but that is more a back-burner thing at the moment.  But the recent unearthing and release of the DQ World Generation draft text has fired up some thoughts about other DQ projects.  Some of the things missing, but listed in the table of contents from DQ World Generation could be an intriguing followup to Poor Brendan’s Almanac.  And I’m pondering a couple of sequel ideas for the adventures I’ve previously written.

Ogunimata Cyberpunk adventure also prompted some map work, but is moving slowly.

Piranesi City Dungeon.  Also back-burnered at the moment.

Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is on the sixth iteration right now, although it has bogged down somewhat with the collapse of G+.  We need to find the best place to continue the discussion, and we’ll probably set up a separate hosting for it somewhere, as well.  Copies of completed previous ones are in the archives of the blog, here.

More maps, in general. This is still more hit-or-miss (and more often a miss) than I would like, but I keep posting the occasional thing from time to time.  With the resurgence of The Fantasy Trip, I think I’m going to try to do a few more hex-based maps.  I’ve had a couple I’ve done in the past that I’ve liked how they turned out, and it’s useful for both DQ and TFT.


Other new things:

Elfgame (placeholder name) – it’s just a germ of a game idea, but I think it has potential.  This would be an RPG where the world is inhabited by both humans and elves, and adventures deal with the intersections between the two.  Elves live (effectively) forever, so they are the constant in the game.  Humans’ lives are comparatively short, so any humans for an adventure are one-shot characters, and the next game session will take place in their grandchildrens’ time, or even further into the future.  Folklore and Shakespearean influences are the flavor this will aim to evoke.

Dark Days – a fantasy game aimed at a more Fafhrd/Grey Mouser kind of feel.  A recent post from Beloch Shrike aka Link Skywalker at Papers & Pencils titled “Magic Words Suck. Here’s Magic in the Moment.” seems like a good starting point for one branch of the magic system with the right kind of literary feel that this game calls for.

Links and resources – especially with the G+ wind-down, there are other scattered communities where people are landing, but having a blog or a site that is a good resource for people is a good way to engage and connect.  I want to start regularly tagging other blogs or sites that I’m trying to follow more often to stay in touch with gaming folks.  Some of it is going to be more linking and encouraging you (if you’ve read this far, you might give some consideration to my recommendation) to go check out some of these sites.  Maybe you’re also a kindred spirit, and you forge a new connection, too.

I also want to start building a directory of dungeon mappers as a general resource.  I can start right off the bat with a couple dozen folks who have participated in the Exquisite Corpse Dungeons.  This idea is inspired by a more general cartographers index someone (I now forget who or where) had put together.  I’ve done other things with the ECDs to bring dungeon mappers together, and so it’s not completely out of line for me to put together something like that.


That’s a comparatively lengthy post from me.  If there are things in here that intrigue you, I’m very interested in your feedback and comments.

Post- Deal of the Day Thoughts

January 3, 2019

Thanks to the folks who picked up a copy of “The Sentinel Chapel” as yesterday’s Deal of the Day at DriveThruRPG. It was good to get a few sales, and now it’s in the hands of a wider range of folks. Hopefully, a couple of them will give some feedback, and then, maybe, we’ll work on putting out a sequel to it (?)

No promises there, but it’s in the back of my mind.

I’m surprised at the uptake from Fantasy Trip (TFT) players, and I only started re-discovering the close connections between DQ and TFT over the break, when I put together the conversion page. But, with the recent new activity for TFT, this might be a useful synergy.

Marley’s Scrooge Case

December 16, 2018

Another local game designer has a Christmas-themed one-shot called “A Christmas One Shot: Marley’s Scrooge Case”  I haven’t played it, yet; hoping to do that in the next week or two.  It’s a $3.00 or PWYW PDF at DriveThru, and I’m trying to drive a bit more traffic his way.

 

 

 

 

Wilderness of Ordurak Players’ Map

November 18, 2018


This should have been included from the outset, really.  Since the adventure in the Wilderness of Ordurak is dealing with an unknown wilderness region, the players should have a map with only limited information on it.

So, this is a map that GMs can give their players that shows them the known lands in the eastern part of the map, and only the limited information about the region of Auskenheim and the road from Calogero.  A few names remain on the map for things that are known to be out there, so there’s a general sense of where they are, but not a clear indication on the map.

It’s also another chance to show off the work that Stephen Peto did on making such an SPI-like map.  Even if you aren’t interested in the DragonQuest adventure, the Map and Gazetteer are a really great setting that could be used with any fantasy campaign.

This map is now included in the bundle from DriveThru.  If you didn’t get notification already, drop us a line and we will get that sent to you right away.

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

MonkeyBlood castle video

July 17, 2017

monkey-F1

Video was not something I ever expected to be posting on this blog, but here we are.

For those that don’t want the backstory, here’s the link:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-7HGJEm8tuCMFkyTFh5NW9Dek0

(Since this is only a basic account, I’m not able to post video here directly.  So it’s on a Google Drive link.)

This whole thing started when Glynn Seal at MonkeyBlood Design posted a work-in-progress map on Google+.  I saw that and immediately thought it looked like something that would be good to turn into a model in SketchUp.

I took a copy of the map and did some preliminary tweaking (since it wasn’t a flat scan) to rotate and bend it so I could use it as a base drawing to work from.  Then I pulled it into SketchUp and started messing around to see if I could turn something decent out of it without having to labor at it for huge amounts of time.  And, for a quick project, I think it’s turned out well enough.

Calling it video is a little much.  It’s just animating going from one scene to the next from a handful of picked scenes.  But it’s not something I’ve done before, so it’s pretty cool to see it flying around on a model I built.

The model itself, it must be said, is very much a Potemkin village.  I would have taken much longer and tried much harder to separate layers and work with pieces and make it more adaptable and usable if I was trying to make something really usable out of this.   As it is, it’s just a tissue of surfaces, with all kinds of brokenness lying right underneath. But for just some experimentation, it’s adequate for the task, and it makes a decent (and even flashy) presentation.

monkey-F5

All of the materials textures are just straight out-of-the-box from SketchUp.  Again, that’s not wanting to put lots of time into it, but just trying to get a reasonably serviceable thing to see how easily it could be built.

monkey-F7

This also posits a second level for Glynn’s original map.  So, even if the players have seen the inspiration map, there’s still lots of opportunity to do other things that they won’t know about.  Anyone making use of that map for an adventure now has another visual aid to show the players to give them a sense of the location and the exterior.

 

 

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.

Next Up: A Cyberpunk Adventure

January 17, 2017

The recent publication of the “Augmented Reality” cyberpunk sourcebook led me to realize that other old game systems are still being played, and there might be interest in adventures for other old games.  So, I’ve gone into my files and pulled out an adventure I wrote in 1990.

Ogunimata is an adventure written for the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG, but the story line is general enough that it should be adaptable for use with other games.  Even though it was written a quarter century ago, there isn’t too much that, at first pass, looks like it needs to be changed significantly.

If I’d had the self publishing tools (like RPGNow/DriveThruRPG) that are around today, this would have been published back then.  As it was, I was 2000 miles away from my old gaming group, and didn’t have any local connections to game with.  The adventure was inspired by some random bits I collected, and I had access to enough desktop publishing equipment that I was able to put it together as a one-off presentation quality piece (complete with info dossier for the players in addition to the GM’s book) and mailed it back to them for them to play.

It went exceptionally well, and it was a big hit with them.  But that was the last of it, and I simply filed it away.  Luckily, I still have the old text, as well as a hardcopy of the booklet, so I can piece it back together.

Because it was not going to go further than my gaming group, there was liberal use of material that cannot be used without violating other people’s intellectual property rights, so parts of it are going to have to be re-done.

The next steps with it aren’t entirely clear yet, but I’ve started discussing this project with a couple other people who we’d like to work with to bring it into production.  Part of what is an unknown right now is how much interest there is in something like this. If you’re interested in seeing this adventure, or in more adventures in general for cyberpunk-style games (Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Mirrorshades, etc.) let us know.

 

 

The Adventurers’ Guild

January 4, 2017

One of the features that was introduced in DragonQuest is the Adventurers’ Guild, which is a relatively high-powered and complex organization. An entire section (rule 79) is entirely devoted to the Adventurers’ Guild, and lays out things that the Guild can do. But almost none of it is a clear benefit to the ordinary adventurer. The characters in my original campaign were never AG members because the players looked at it and came to the conclusion that there was very little benefit received for the 5% of their earnings that the Guild would charge.

There is certainly precedent for the Adventurers’ Guild in history. The Hanseatic League (which arose in the 1400s) was an exploratory and trade organization with outposts throughout the Baltic region, the northern coast of Europe. The Medici Bank (and other banks of the period) were complex business entities with networks and business interests across much of Europe. Guild structures were also well in place among different groups of artisans and craftsmen during the Renaissance period.

This is an old, draft outline that seeks to expand on the general idea and explain some of the benefits of Guild membership. The fee was reduced to 1%, although a real completist might want to run through the expenses and see at what point the Guild is turning a profit. That might also help in determining how prevalent Adventurers’ Guild halls are and how strong their reach is. The following are the draft of services available to adventurers who were in good standing with the Adventurers Guild, in addition to those other benefits outlined in Rule 79:

  • Membership fee is 1% of all earnings and failure to pay results in blackballing.
  • Guaranteed arbitration and enforcement free to members.
  • Guild contracts free to members.
  • Guild lodging available to members at reduced rates:
    • MODERATE:
      • Guildmember 5 sp — 35 sp/week
      • Nonmember 11 sp — 65 sp/week
    • COMFORTABLE:
      • Guildmember 7 sp — 45 sp/week
      • Nonmember 15 sp — 85 sp/week
  • Guild sponsored feasts after successful (profitable) parties return.
  • Guild members are given priority access when hiring is done either by Guild- or non-members.
  • Special Guild vintage wines and ales served and sold to members only.
  • Access to Guild facilities (meeting rooms, halls, etc.) for members only.
  • Guild retained healers (where employed) give priority to Guildmembers (after life-and-death cases {a healer’s first oath is to alleviate human suffering, not to the Guild}).
  • The Guild network provides quick access to most any service, especially to services difficult to reach otherwise (mages, scholars, etc.)
  • Guild mail service (Guildhall to Guildhall) free to Guild members.
  • Drafts for money allowed to members (Guild checking).
  • Two weeks rations supplied to each Guildmember adventurer under Guild contract at the beginning of an adventure.
  • Hiring hall in the entranceway of virtually all Guildhalls.

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.