Sunday, December 30, 2012

d30 Sandbox Update

I know that many of you are wondering what the hell is going on with this. Well, I ran my test print before Christmas, but I've only this past few days had a chance to start my "practical" test. That is, I'm trying to do some world-building with it, and using it the way I intended (flipping back and forth, rolling my d30, etc.)

Honestly, I can't tell you how often I use my d30 DM Companion, but suffice to say, it's ALWAYS at arm's length (or closer). And now that I have the d30 Sandbox Companion test print, I'm already seeing how it works as a "unit" (as opposed to loose pages, or computer files). I'm afraid I'm going to start rubbing the NPC pages raw.

More importantly, I'm seeing where some tables are confusing. It's good to put things away and come back to them, and say... "what the hell?" I'm seeing where tables could be more obvious, and directions should be clearer. Hopefully I can nail some time down with Welbo next week, and he and I can come close to really getting this thing polished up.

Update on the Creature Compendium to come later this week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Repost: New Oe/BX/1E D&D Monster: White Elephant

This is a repost of last year's Christmas Eve post. As part of my mother-in-law's over the top Christmas festivities, we all participate in a white elephant gift exchange. The fact that she gets so adamant about our participation, and the demand to out-do one another, often feels like the burden of the namesake creature. It just had me thinking about this new monster from last year, and how I like the idea of having to role-play around owning one.


MOVE: 12"
% IN LAIR: 30%
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-12/2-12/4-32
ALIGNMENT: Lawful (neutral)
SIZE: L (10' tall)
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

MOVE: 120'
ATTACKS: 2 tusks or 1 trample or special
DAMAGE: 2-12/2-12 or 4-32 or see below
SAVE AS: Fighter: 6

It is said that when the gods and demons churned the seas to produce the nectar of life that would make them immortal, nine jewels surfaced. Among those nine were the elephant, a jewel to be preserved and protected. The most precious variety of that particular jewel is the white elephant, a pachyderm that bears both the boon of sacred powers and the burden of responsibility. Too divine to be worked, anyone owning a white elephant must cater to them as royalty. While some see this as a blessing, others see it as a hardship, considering the white elephant typically lives to be 500 plus years old.

A white elephant is able to use the following spells once a day: detect evil, protection from evil, bless, hold persons, speak with animals, cure disease, prayer, remove curse, and dispel evil. A white elephant may consider using those spells for the benefit of others, but only if the person wishing to engage the services of the elephant has first made some sort of offering, and doesn't "ask" the creature directly for his assistance; instead, the "petitioner" must present his/her situation and speak of the benefits of the elephant's assistance if it were to be offered.

If attacked, or if its owner attempts to draw it into service, a white elephant will become ethereal, susceptible only to others in ethereal form (e.g., through oil of etherealness or armor of etherealness. Furthermore, white elephants are immune to the phase door spell.

At its moment of death, a white elephant is capable of granting one wish to its current owner, assuming 1) the owner has taken good care of the elephant while in his charge, 2) makes the elephant as comfortable and cared for as possible during its dying moments, and 3) does not ask the creature directly for the wish.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My 7 Most GM'd RPGs (Meme Response)

Here they are, visually presented in roughly chronological per my introduction to them ...

When most of my 8th-grade friends where knee-deep in the hardbacks, I was running adventures where all the alignments consisted of one word instead of 9 different 2-word combinations. But it wasn't long before I was really running sort of a house version (before I knew what that meant) combining the two games.

In retrospect, what I was running at first was probably closer to the LBB rules. Eventually, the BX boxes got shelved, and the hardbacks became the go-to's.

I know that to some purists, Car Wars isn't technically an RPG (not the earliest versions of it, anyway), so you can't really GM it. I started with the little black case (one of the favorite items of all time in my game collection), but graduated to the deluxe edition-- mostly because it took all the extra arms and armor from all the ADQs and compiled it into a master edition. Even with character rules, I can't recall EVER using them. This is really more of me "starting" games with it, rather than GM'ing in the purest sense of the term.

I still love the uniquely old-school approach of V&V. You might base your character's normal persona on your own (in real life!), but you roll for everything else. None of this "choose your powers" stuff. No, sir.

We were lucky enough to have a game club in high school, which meant a built-in group of guys to game with. Once a week after school, twice a week during activity period, and occasionally before school in the library for a year or two. We played A LOT of V&V.

I think early on we played so much V&V that by the time Champions 3e came out, we were ready for a different game--one where we BUILT our characters. That, and Champions felt like it had more "power" than V&V (which felt a little constrained).

I'm not sure how we degraded to MSH from Champions and V&V, but I will say this... a really streamlined system like the original MSH made it easy to take the rules and adapt it to other settings (but I guess that's the nature of a comics-based RPG). I ran some non-super-hero sci-fi stuff using MSH for quite a while. It was just so... simple. It really has a nice pulp feel when you play with limited power levels! And it's a no-brainer to run. If I wasn't so focused on my own Starmasters stuff right now, I'd love to start up some new pulp sci-fi gaming with this.

I think I've run this game more than anybody I've ever met in my life. I haven't played it in a while, but I swear back in the day I ran campaigns with this shit! I kid you not. At its core, it's sort of a simplified version of The Fantasy Trip, and could probably be retro-cloned pretty easily into a quick and dirty fantasy RPG. Replace shticks with spells, and... voila!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mail call! CC, d30SC, B&T, HOW

I took advantage of last week's Lulu sale to both do some due diligence on my own projects, as well as pick up copies of a couple of other new RPGs. And by big ol' box was waiting for me on my doorstep when I returned from lunch yesterday.

My Due Diligence: Creature Compendium
As the Creature Compendium starting growing in page count, I began to admit to myself I would probably have to go with perfect binding instead of saddle-stitch. I wanted the "non-laminated" look of the saddle-stitch books because it would match the d30 DM Companion and the d30 Sandbox Companion. But the intended color on the saddle-stitch version was dark and smeary, and the page count (72pp) made the cover buckle (this could have been from shipping/packing, but I want as much quality control as possible), so I'm going with the perfect bound option. And since it's entirely possible some pages will be added, this will be the safest option. I still have a handful of illustrations to finish, the appendices need to be written, and the whole thing needs to be proofread, but I'm close on finishing this one.

My Due Diligence: d30 DM Companion
Unfortunately this project is VERY close to completion, but has been on the back burner. Work demands of my co-conspirator Welbo has severely limited his time and our proofing on this has gotten way behind schedule. The book is essentially done (though we picked up 2 new pages we're trying to decide how to use). The introduction section still needs a little work, but the Companions are VERY proofing heavy. I'm hoping the holiday week gives us a chance to catch up. As for the proofing copy I received, the cover looks great, and the layout is tight. Just a tweak here and there (and maybe an illustration or two) but this is also very close.

B&T & H&OW
Like I said above, I also used the Lulu discount opportunity to pick up a couple of other items I'd been wanting, namely John Stater's Blood & Treasure (Complete Rules paperback), and Chris Brandon's Heroes & Other Worlds. At 380 pages, B&T seems a bit daunting to dig into, so it's like to sit for a couple of weeks before I find the time. HOW, on the other hand, is compact and seems like a quick study. Besides, I've always been a Fantasy Trip fan, so I'm anxious to dig into CB's take on this one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Oe/BX/1E Monster: Striga (Roman-inspired)

After a brief blogging hiatus, William over at Ramblings of a Great Khan has continued his string of themed adventure design contests with a Roman-themed adventure design contest. And 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be receiving a PDF copy of 43 AD, a recently released RPG set in Roman Britain (William helped edit and playtest it).

He's really opened up the restrictions on this one, so I'm hoping it will be easier to tackle than the Mongol contest. I got so sucked into my ideas for that one; what was supposed to be a 2-page wilderness adventure is quickly turning into a 20-page wilderness module/setting.

I'm going to keep my thoughts on the Roman thing to myself for right now, but suffice to say I'm going to try to steer clear combat-driven encounters. So why am I posting a roman-themed Monster of the Week? Because (1) I've been wanting to stat this one up for a while (I have another place I want to use it), and (2) I thought it might help you guys kickstart some ideas.


Strigae (sing.=“striga”) are a type of vampire akin to harpies. They have an owl-like body and a woman’s head, and are particularly fond of stealing small children left unattended, returning to their lair, and feasting on the delicacy. As undead, strigae are immune to the effects of sleep, charm, and hold, and can only be hit by magical weapons (+1 or better).

Strigae attack with their two claws and powerful bite. The bite of a strigae does 1-6 points on its initial hit. Each round thereafter, the strigae will continue to drain the victim’s blood, doing 1-6 points of damage per round until the victim dies, the striga is killed, or the striga abandons its attack.

Strigae speak their own language. They are only capable of understanding common when it is spoken by a lamia, and are incapable of speaking it. Furthermore, lamias are capable of understanding strigae when they speak their own language.
MOVE: 6”/15”
% IN LAIR: 25%
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-4/1-4/1-6
INTELLIGENCE: Average to very
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

MOVE: 60’/150’
ATTACKS: 2 claws/1 bite
DAMAGE: 1-4/1-4/1-6+special
SAVE AS: Fighter:3

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Oe/BX/1E Monster: Giant Molecricket

One of the things I love about the monsters in BX vs. 1e is the "spirit" in which the insects differ. Compare Moldvay's oil and tiger beetles with EGG's bombardier and I think you'll see what I mean. And the Moldvay cave locust... I mean, come on... that's pure red book goodness. That's the spirit I've tried to capture in today's Monster of the Week entry.

From an illustration standpoint, today's image is a direct response to Welbo's prodding about "giving up" the brush pen in favor of the Faber Castell F Pitt artist's pen I've been using of late. I realized why I stopped using the brush pen... most of the ones I have suck, and the points don't last long. The Zebra pen (which holds up well, and has a tip I can actually control well) is running out of ink. I'm in need of a trek to Shop Minoya (a little Japanese store in Plano, TX, miles north of Dallas proper, where I live) for some new ones. I did, however, manage to squeeze today's illustration out of it.

BTW, this would make a nice wandering monster complement to the Foray to Filmarion Wood mini-adventure from back in July of this year.


Giant molecrickets possess shovel-like forelimbs and powerful “shoving” hind legs, making them natural burrowers (second movement rating). Because they are nocturnal and spend most of their lives in elaborate underground tunnels, it is not uncommon for molecrickets to remain relatively unseen, even in areas where their population is considerably high in number. They may be found in almost any climate (except arctic), usually in areas with soft ground and abundant grass or foliage.

In combat, the molecricket attacks by striking opponents with its powerful forelimbs and biting with its razor-sharp teeth. The omniverous molecricket is more of a scavenger than predator, and is not normally aggressive. However, if confined or cornered during a fight, the molecricket will attack with considerable force, gaining a +1 “to hit” bonus and +1 damage bonus to each of its attacks, as well as a +4 bonus to its morale, until it is no longer confined/cornered.

In some dwarven and gnomish communities, fried molecricket is considered a delicacy.
MOVE: 9”//3”
% IN LAIR: 30%
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-12/2-12/2-12
SIZE: L (5’-6’ long)
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

MOVE: 90’//30’
ATTACKS: 2 forelimbs/1 bite
DAMAGE: 2-12/2-12/2-12
SAVE AS: Fighter: 2

Monday, December 10, 2012

Anybody know anything about the SERPENT RPG?

I've read about it in some posts/lists regarding retro-clones, but I have not been able to track down anything nire about it. If anyone could point me to information about the game (that is, more than the word "SERPENT" on a list of other retro-clones), it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Trying Some New Line & Shade Techniques

After a year plus a couple of months of being back into the illustration thing, I feel like I'm really just back into full swing. As of late, I've been trying to focus on different line and shade techniques. I've been mostly working with the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen with the "F" (fine) tip, but am trying different approaches to line and shading. Today, I tried something inspired Tramp's illustration style used for images like the Holmes minotaur and the MM fire giant illustration. I think this turned out okay for a first stab at the style. But I got a ways to go to get mine as tight as DAT's.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Word of the Day: Fabulate

The other day, I saw this word pop up on the screen saver on a computer in one of the classrooms where I teach. It seemed to have the letters "DM" written all over it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Get a Print Copy of the d30 DM Companion for $6.44

Lulu is having a 20% Off Sale through December 14. I've discounted the list price of the d30 DM Companion print copy to $8.05 (from $8.95). Add in the 20% savings for Lulu's sale and that means you get the d30 DM Companion for $6.44 (a $2.51 savings over the standard price.) This is the perfect opportunity for you to buy a handful and hand them out to your gaming group as Christmas presents!

Get the Print Copy at Lulu for $6.44 (w/ Lulu discount) > 
Get the clickable PDF for its everyday low price of $3.00 at RPGNow! >

What else should go in your basket? Here's what's going in mine...
Blood & Treasure (Soft Cover) by John Stater
• The TFT-inspired Heroes & Other Worlds by Fenway5 (aka Chris Brandon)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free Oe/1e/BX Mini-adventure (Characters level 3-6)

Okay, so this was another one of those weeks where I really just wanted to procrastinate on my client work, and started working on an adventure I'm building around the idea I tossed out a couple of months back about a scalable encounter key. Unfortunately, it felt like the encounter key idea was more interesting than the adventure itself, so I turned my attention towards a concept I'd been making notes on here-and-there for the last couple of months.

Most of the adventures that I write tend to be conflict (i.e., "story-based") encounters centered around a simple hook (like Þrymjahellir), it's been a while since I created anything where the adventure was (in many ways) out of the hands of the characters. That's not to imply a railroading approach; in fact, it's the opposite. I mean an adventure where the events are "fixed" (as opposed to the fluidity of Þrymjahellir), and the characters must decide whether the next step or action (as simple or as unimportant as it may seem) will seal their dooms or not. That's the idea behind The Grizzly Graveyard of Grimgortha. (Please forgive the Stan Lee-esque alliteration; it's a holdover from my original A-to-Z idea from April.)

This adventure includes several encounters which requires the players to think rather than to have the PCs fight (though there is some of that). And while there is an actual riddle or two to be solved, the strange occurrences that happen within the graveyard are meant to puzzle the players and fill their characters with apprehension. Hopefully, this adventure will create some paranoia in your players, and it provides the DM with a key option for that, based on knowing his player group (and how they might act in these situations).

The Grizzly Graveyard
of Grimgortha

So much dreadful energy seems to emanate from Grimgortha Graveyard you can truly feel it in your bones—and it does not feel good. Surely something that radiates this kind of evil must be imbued with a darkness so vile it defies all that is good in the universe. It must also be protecting something of great value, though one would hope your concern is ridding the world of its evil.

Click here to download "The Grizzly Graveyard of Grimgortha" from MediaFire.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Anybody ever do a credit trade with Troll and Toad or Noble Knight?

This is more about trade credit than direct sale. I was just wondering if you thought the trade rate was fair, especially given you could turn that credit into something else you might really want in your collection. I have a few collectible items I've picked up recently that aren't really in line with my gaming interest, but were too much of a steal to pass up when I bought them.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gaming Bookshelf Meme (aka RPG Book Porn)

I know I'm a little late to the party for James's Bookshelf Meme, but I'm just not ready to dig into client work for the day yet, so I'm procrastinating by tackling the meme.

My problem is that I don't really have one or two bookshelves I refer to most often. What I tend to do is gather any relevant books that I might be using at the time, and stack them just to the right of my computer (either on top my scanner, or on top my paper shredder which I haven't used in three years, literally). That way, if I want to go to Starbucks to work, I can just grab them on the way out the door and stuff them into my messenger back with my iPad.

Right now, I'm referring to Holmes a lot, as well as BX Red/Blue (for complete different projects), so they're unshelved and next to the computer.

Anyway, here's the basic overview with a few notes on the contents.

1. "Legacy" edition of H.G. Wells's Little Wars, The Complete Wargames Handbook and my digest Traveller books.
2. TSR's Star Probe Metagaming's Starleader Assault! and Trailblazer, as well as some Task Force micro-games.
3. Arneson's Adventures in Fantasy (don't have the box).
4. Dicing With Dragons, some Steve Jackson (UK) books, and my LBBs (again, don't have the box, just the books). BTW, at the far left is the AD&D coloring book.
Oh, and those are my Pantone swatch books on the far right.

5. Sci-fi stuff: SF modules, Judge's Guild Traveller Stuff, and FGU's Starships & Spacemen.
6. Nexus, Space Gamer and Ares magazines.
7. D&D modules.
8. Judges Guild stuff: modules and mags.
9. I.C.E. fantasy "Law" books.

The real problem in my home office is that it's a home office. My shelves are full of graphic design resources (books/mags/the like). And until I get the garage cleaned sufficiently to clear space for the bookshelves I'm planning, a lot of the random RPG stuff ends up on the floor...

1. This is the only stack of note here. It's the closest to my desk chair, and it's one of the most referenced. It includes: JG Ready Ref Sheets, the AD&D Dungeon Master's Design Kit, World Builder's Guidebook, Dungeon Builder's Guidebook, Rogues Gallery and Complete Book of Villains, as well as the D&D Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. It also has a couple of geomorphs references.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scroll Week Day 4: Preparing Quills

Yesterday, I addressed the acquisition of "raw" feathers, as well as the associate costs, etc. Today, I'll address preparing those feathers for use a quill

Cleaning, Curing, and Cutting

Once a feather has been obtained, it must be cured, cut, and trimmed in order to be used for writing.

First, the feather must be soaked (to make it more pliable) in preparation for curing. For the feathers of ordinary and extraordinary creatures, this can be accomplished by soaking the feather for approximately 24 hours in water that has been purified (by a cleric of any level). For the feathers of magical creatures, the water must also be blessed by a cleric of at least 7th level, and the feather must be soaked in that water for a number of days equal to the difference between an AC of 10 and the AC of the creature from which the feather was procured (e.g., a feather from a magical creature of an AC of 7 would need to soak for 3 days in purified and blessed water.)

Once a feather has soaked, it is tempered to give the tube resilience and toughness (making it less brittle). For the feathers of ordinary and extraordinary creatures, this is accomplished by first heating purified sand (through the use of the cleric spell purify food and drink), then removing the sand from the heat source, and third plunging the tip of the feather into the hot sand, allowing it to remain there until the sand cools. For magical creatures immune to the effects of heat, this tempering process is normally impossible to achieve, and will affect the success of trimming and cutting the feather (as outlined below).

Once the feather has been tempered, it is ready to be cleaned, trimmed, and cut. First, the barbs nearest the tip are removed, giving the hand a clean area to grip the quill. Next, the tip is trimmed to create a small opening at the end of the barrel, allowing access to remove membranes from the inside of the barrel. Finally, the tip is shaped (adding both a point, as well as a “slit” to aid ink flow). For the feathers of ordinary and extraordinary creatures, the chance of success for this process is 10% per level of the spellcaster plus 10% for each point of dexterity above 15 (e.g., a 7th level magic-user with a dexterity of 16 would have a 80% chance to successfully clean and cut an ordinary/extraordinary feather for curing.) For the feathers of magical creatures, the chance of success is the same as above minus the difference between an AC of 10 and the AC of the creature from which the feature was procured times 5% (e.g., the same magic user attempting to clean the feather of a magical creature with an AC of 5 would have a 55% chance of success.) Furthermore, if a magical creature is immune to the effects of normal weapons, the tools being used by the scribe preparing the feather must be of a sufficient level to affect the creature (e.g., if a +2 or better weapon is required “to hit” the creature normally, the tools of the scribe must likewise be sufficiently magically endowed.) For the feathers of creatures immune to the effects of heat (and therefore immune to the effects of the heated sand), the chance of success is similar to that of magical creatures (as above) with the AC modifier multiplied by 10% instead of 5% (e.g., the same magic user attempting to prepare the quill of a magical creature immune to the effects of heat would have only a 30% chance of succeeding.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scroll Week Day 3: Feather Availability and Pricing

Today's scroll week entry will take a look at "raw" feather pricing and availability, while tomorrow's entry will address the process for preparing a raw feather for use as a quill.

Suitability of Feathers
The most suitable feathers for writing come from the outer rear edge of the wing of a bird and are denominated by the order in which they are fixed to the wing, with the first of these feathers (the “pinion”) being the most desirable for scribes. The second and third feathers are also generally acceptable, even for the more discerning scribe.

Feather Pricing
Though "raw" feathers (those feathers not yet prepared for use as a quill) of extraordinary and magical creatures are not widely available for sale, some varieties may be found in more esoterically-stocked magic shops. To determine the “fair market” price in g.p. for a raw (unprepared) pinion feather, multiply the experience point value of the creature (including XPs for the creature's average hit points) by the "frequency factor" of the creature as below:

Frequency Freq. Factor
Common .5 (one-half)
Uncommon 2
Rare 5
Very Rare 10

Feather pricing example - griffon (per 1e DMG):
Experience point value = 375 + 10/hp (w/ 28 average hp = +280) = 655 XP
Griffon = uncommon = frequency factor of 2
655 x 2 = 1,310 gp fair market price for a griffon pinion feather

Normally, “second” and “third” position feathers are priced respectively at 95% and 90% the value of pinion/prime feathers.

Prepared Quills
Prepared quills of an extraordinary or magical nature are nearly impossible to come by, but spellcasters/merchants who specialize in the trade (of preparing quills) are not unheard of, often demanding ten times or more the cost of a “raw” feather for a prepared quill of the same type.

The griffin image on this page came from Wikimedia and was donated by educational publisher Pearson Scott Foresman. I will posting soon about their donation from 2007 and the help Wikimedia still needs to finalize those images so they are ALL available the public.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scroll Week Day 2: Attribute Modifiers

I'm not sure why attribute modifiers aren't taken into account in the DMG regarding scroll inscription. Honestly, I can't even take a cap off a fountain pen without getting ink all over my index finger. I can't imagine having to spend days (or weeks if you use the BX time requirements) trying "not to mess up" a scroll. The real question is how much or how little modifier there should be?

On the chart at left, my thinking is this... after a certain point toward the "high end" of the attributes (in this case, around 15), the chance of failure "flattens out" if you're "following directions" to create the scroll. But below that point, I think it would get proportionately easier to screw up. No offense to those magic-users out there with the absolute minimum attributes required for the class, but a magic-user with INT and DEX of 9 each should face a much higher failure rate for successful scroll creation than a magic-user with INT and DEX of 18 each, regardless of the level of the spellcaster or the spell. BTW, modifiers are cumulative, so yes... a spellcaster with a DEX and INT of 9 each would modify their chance of success by -150%!)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scroll Week Day 1: Number of Spells per Scroll

Ever since I wrote the post Scrutinizing the Scroll: Papyrus, Parchment and Vellum back in February of this year, it has continually been the most-viewed page in the history of this blog. With Comprehending the Quill and Investigating Ink, it's formed a trilogy that I hope someday finds life as a stand-alone supplement with a comprehensive approach to scroll creation for OSR editions (generically). After all, no matter which old-school edition you prefer, the rules regarding scroll creation are skimpy at best. So with that in mind, I put forth this week's post to cover some of the bases that I feel are uncovered by the rulebooks, but easily addressed. Today, I'll address the need for rules regarding the number of spells that may be inscribed on a single scroll...

Scroll Space Requirements

More than one spell may be inscribed on a single piece of papyrus, parchment, or vellum. However, the total space required for inscription is dependent upon the level and type of spells being inscribed, as well as the level of the spellcaster inscribing the scroll.

The maximum number of spells that a spellcaster may inscribe on a standard-sized sheet is a sum of spell levels no greater than the level of the spell caster (e.g., a 9th level magic-user may inscribe one 4th level spell and one 5th level spell on the same page, but may not inscribe two 5th level spells on the same page).

The maximum number of spells allowed on a standard-sized sheet (while not accounting for the scribe's spellcasting level) is a sum of spell levels no greater than 20 (e.g., two 9th level spells and one 2nd level spell would fit on the same scroll, but two 9th level spells and one 3rd level spell would not.)

Scrolls requiring more space must utilize a larger sheet, rather than a series of “attached” sheets. Any attempt to glue or bind multiple sheets together will cause impurities and “blemishes” to the scroll’s surface, hindering or possibly even nullifying the intended effects of the scroll.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Another Re-worked Illustration

The effed-up inkjob on this one's been bugging me for a while. I finally had a chance to re-do it the other day while my computer was tied up for a big-azz client upload to YouTube. Oh, and the jacked-up wizard in the original needed re-working too. And I feel like the fighter is now looking at the beast rather than the jacked-up wizard. So... uh... this needed a lot more work than I first let on.

Missed the other re-works?
- See the original post (the re-drawn jenglot and kala)
- See the re-drawn redcap goblins

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Flayer Chimp?

I had some time on the phone yesterday while I was on hold with Bank of America, waiting to rectify a fraudulent charge because some piece of hill giant excrement stole my wife's debit card number. The other charges, card replacement, etc. were taken care of a month or so ago when this happened; there was one charge that we didn't catch in time, and so I was on the phone. Anyway, there was a pad a pen on the table in front of me... so I drew. When I'm bored or goofing off, and don't know what to draw, I have a tendency to start with mouth tentacles and work out from there. It's actually how the giant flayer beetle developed. I'm not going to stat up this "flayer chimp," but feel free to for yourselves... if it's just gnawing away inside you to do so.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Oe/BX/1E Monster: Bloodgill

This past Saturday, I started digging through my posts (from the "back office" side of the blog) to see if there were any old posts that I'd starting prepping and hadn't finished, or I'd completely prepped but not posted. Well lo and behold, there were a few, including what were intended to be Monster of the Week posts. Today's monster is a genetic relative of the bloodbeast, a monster originally intended for Starmasters, but now slated for inclusion (along with the bloodgill) in the Creature Compendium.

Bloodgills are an amphibious creature resembling a large two-legged frog (no forelimbs) with bulging reddish-brown eyes, pale green skin and spotted bellies. They breathe with the assistance of a dually capable set of gills (in water and on land), and while they are adequate swimmers, on land they are more than capable jumpers, able to leap as high as 10'.

Their sharp teeth and gripping jaws allow them to latch on to prey in order to suck its blood. Each melee round after a bloodgill has latched onto its prey (per a successful "to hit" roll) it will continue to suck the blood out of a victim at a rate equal to the number of hit points of damage it score during its initial attack. It will continue to drink until it has had its fill (a number of points equal to three times the bloodgill's hit points) or is killed.
MOVE: 6"//9"
% IN LAIR: Nil
SIZE: S (1' long)
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

HIT DICE: 1/2*
MOVE: 60' (90')
ATTACKS: 1 bite + special
SAVE AS: Fighter: 1

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mongolian Adventure Update: Pre-gen NPCs Download

I'm doing the best I can to stay focused on finishing up my thoughts for William's Mongolian Adventure Design Contest at his Ramblings of a Great Khan blog. I think my thoughts are getting too domain-level for my own good. In trying to help myself focus, I created a page of NPC fighters (levels 1-6) to use as support material. I thought maybe if I gave myself some characters to work from, I could focus story. No such luck yet. I'm going ahead and making it downloadable here for whoever thinks it might help them as well.

Click here to download a free PDF of these Pre-generated NPC Fighters of the Steppe from MediaFire.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Classic Rock Song Titles I'd Like to See as D&D Modules

This is an idea that came to me back in late summer of this year. I was listening to "Man on the Silver Mountain" by Rainbow/Dio, and I starting thinking about how both Metal and Prog Rock are inclined to title (and write) songs with very "epic" subject matter... and how it all reminds me of module titles. So, in the same parodic vein as my Separated at Birth posts, I'd do a post for classic rock song titles that I'd like to see as D&D modules. All of the images on the cover mockups below are by a very cool Russian painter named Nicholas Roerich (October 9, 1874 – December 13, 1947). Very cool stuff!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

d30 Feature of the Week: Magical Instrument Generator

I know that this week's d30 feature is a day later than normal, but it's been a busy week. Between work, personal life, and trying to finalize/finish/proof/etc. the d30 Sandbox Companion, I've slacked on my attention to the blog.

With the d30 Sandbox Companion near completion, I decided I need to figure out where my "focus" would be on upcoming d30 posts. I've decided to put some attention toward magic items. I feel like there's plenty of fertile ground there, especially if you consider what I think some of my d30 charts do best... take actions that normally require a bunch of rolls (like creating a sage) and reducing them to as few rolls as possible (like my d30 Sage Generator). Imagine being able to create a magic sword in just a couple of key rolls.

Anyway, today's d30 chart started as a simple "list" of instruments. I had the extra space on the page, so I went ahead and added magical effect information and--voila! A Magical Instruments Generator.

Click here to download a free PDF of this
d30 Magical Instrument Generator from MediaFire.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another NaGa Demon Update Wherein I Cannot Say Much

I wish I could. I REALLY wish I could.

Just sent majority of entire character section to Welbo for review.
It's about 2/5 of the entire book. So things are going well.

Just wish I could say more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

Just a few things I've picked up recently. The prize of the bunch is Star Probe. It's a helluvalot of game in just a few dozen digest-sized pages. Not in stellar condition (pun intended), but got a great deal on it!!! Thanks to Welbo for the hookup on this one (and the Cthulhu edition of Different Worlds)! His friend was dumping a box of his old RPG stuff in favor of more room, and an interest that's leaned more toward comics than games in the recent years. Palladium W&A book was a 30%-off coupon @ 1/2-price books purchase.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1763 English Indenture

This is something my father-in-law bought a couple of decades ago, and he just doesn't have a place for it. My mother-in-law is an obsessive collector and between the hoards of items lining the shelves and walls of their soon-to-be-smaller home, I doubt there was really ever room for it. It's an English deed from "the Second Year of the Reign of our Sovereign King George the Fourth." It is currently in my hands, but he's looking to part with it. He believes he paid about $200 for it when he bought it (from some vintage document place in Ft. Worth, TX that he thinks is probably not around anymore), and he's trying to get $100 for it now. If anyone is interested. If so, just figure that shipping charges will be on top of the $100 (other offers and interesting trades considered).

Doesn't your fighter deserve an actual deed for the land on which his stronghold sits?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NaGa DeMon Update

Good news is, the character class section is 90% complete, and it pretty much wrote itself. That being said, my co-conspirator Welbo and I have decided two things: 1) we'll let the game keep writing itself while the ideas are erupting and juices are flowing, but 2) we won't force ourselves to finish by the end of the month, for two reasons: 1) we need to finish proofing the content of the d30 Sandbox Companion (which is 98% complete), and 2) I have got to try to finish converting the submissions for the Community Geomorph Project. There isn't a hard-and-fast deadline on the Community Geomorph Project, but I'm a couple of month behind where I wanted to be on the DM Sandbox Companion.