Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dragonbone Dice Roller App (Dungeonbone)

Lately, I've become obsessed (albeit slightly so) with obtaining a Dragonbone Electronic Dice Roller. This truly retro piece of technology is something I've been wanting since it originally came out back in the day, but only recently decided it was becoming a "now or never" time to buy, since they seem to be harder and harder to come by. This is why I've put my mother-in-law, the "Queen of Ebay", on the case; if anybody can get one at a reasonable price, it's her (but I may have to wait until Christmas for the payoff on this).

Recently, I bounced an idea off Welbo to see what he thought about getting a Kickstarter going to produce something similar and completely analog, only to get a mild lecture about the failure of electronic randomizers (digital or analog) to be truly random (which I already knew from being a dedicated Numb3rs watcher); not to mention, we both came to the conclusion that the front-end work required on something like this before we could put realistic numbers and expectations against a Kickstarter would take more time than either of us has. And the last thing I want to do is end up "pulling a Nystul."

For lack of a better option at the moment, I turned my attention to the Apple App Store and found... wait for it... the Dungeonbone app! Made by Moontech Studios, this app pays homage to the Dragonbone, and comes in both a phone and pad version. The phone version shows a "cropped" version of the wand, while the pad version shows the "full stick." Unfortunately, the iPad app requires the newer iPad OS, and my iPad is still running the old OS because the iPad is older and the new OS does not support the two-finger zoom feature (which I cannot live without); I should be getting my new iPad soon, and this will be the first app I purchase. But I did buy the phone version. The selector "clicks" when you slide it, and the device "clicks" (more of a "plunk" really) when you punch the button to "roll" (a feature which you can disable if you're trying to keep rolls hidden/silent from players; but it's too cool not too leave on). The app settings also let you change the color from bone to red to black (I leave my on black). I LOVE IT!!! It was two bucks VERY well spent!

The only downfall of this app, as with the original Dragonbone and most dice roller apps in general... there's no d30.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Oe/1e/BX Monster: Ratatoskr

Ratatoskr are vicious rodents with a single horn protruding from the forehead. They’re stealthy, surprising on a 1-3 (on 1d6). Furthermore, when attacking from a perched position (usually in trees), they are able to leap up to 20', and strike by plunging their horn into a victim (for 1-4 pts.) On any natural “to hit” roll of 20 while using this leap attack, the horn hits a major artery and does 1-8 pts. damage the first round and continues to do 1-4 pts. every round thereafter. In non-leaping attacks, they bite for 1-2 pts. damage.

MOVE: 18"
HIT DICE: 1-2 pts.
% IN LAIR: 10%
SIZE: S (6-8" long)
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

HIT DICE: 1-2 pts.
MOVE: 180'
ATTACKS: 1 bite or 1 horn
DAMAGE: 1-2 pts. or special
SAVE AS: Normal man

Monday, July 22, 2013

d30 Sandbox Companion Pagination

I know I recently reported that I'm on the final leg of the work on the d30 Sandbox Companion. More importantly, now that I know what everything in the book will be, and WHERE it will be, I have a final pagination ready! There's a bit of intro writing, a bit of table refining, and a good amount of proofing to be done, but we're close.

So without further ado, I present the final list of pages & content for the d30 Sandbox Companion.

1. Title Page
2. Table of Contents
3-5. Using this Book
6. Wilderness Mapping Key
7. Hex Crawl Worksheet
8. Settlement Worksheet
9. NPC Record Sheet
10. Adventure Generator Tables I
11. Adventure Generator Tables II
12. Hex Terrain Generator
13. Natural Features & Phenomena by Terrain Typ3
14. Prevailing Weather Conditions by Season, Climate & Terrain
15. Weather Events by Precipitation Class
16. Off-course Determination
17. Foraging & Hunting by Terrain & Season
18. Inhabitation Determination by Terrain Type & Population Density
19. Ruins Generator
20. Temple Generator
21. Cult Generator
22. Magical Places Generator
23. Pilgrims Generator
24-25. Road Encounters
26. Castle/Stronghold Generator I: Resident/Owner and Patrol Size/Makeup
27. Castle/Keep/Stronghold Generator II: Stronghold Construction, Type, and Size
28. Heraldry Generator
29. Expanded Heraldry Charges/Sigils
30. Settlement Background
31. Miscellaneous Settlement Encounters
32. City Guards, City Watch, Border Patrols
33. Methods of Torture & Execution
34. Settlement Suppliers by Size of Settlement
35. Settlement Shop Stocker
36. Tavern Name Generator
37. Tavern Accommodations, Features, Reputation, and Food
38. Classed NPCs: Class, Race, Sex, & Level Determination
39. Classed NPCs: Quick Attribute Generation
40. Classed NPCs: Quick Character Inventory
41. Classed NPCs: Quick Magic Item Determination
42. Freeman NPC Occupations
43. Nobles and Noble Household Personnel
44-45. Sage Generator
46. NPC Physical Traits
47. NPC Persona & Behavior
48. NPC Background, Eccentricities, and Talents
49. Language Determination and Languages Spoken Crib Sheet
50-51. Henchmen/Hirelings Recruitment
52. Index & Open Game License

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Catching Up + Thanks!

For the last week or so, I've been laying pretty low on the blog. This is strange for me as my normal schedule has me making a minimum of 3-4 posts every week. But the last couple of months have been a bit busy, and I needed the break.

First, thanks for such a great response to The Dragon Horde #1, my first foray into zine world. It's been in the Top 10 at RPG Now for almost 10 days. And at one very brief moment last week, was selling better the recently released D&D Rules Cyclopedia PDF. That felt pretty damn cool. I have no doubt that this is due in no small part to the folks that blogged about it, including the coverage at Tenkar's Tavern and Frothsof 4e. If I missed any other coverage, I thank you all. (BTW, I'll be making a small announcement later this week regarding issue #2 and the possibility of hard copy availability.)

Next, thanks for the great reception to the print editions of The Ogress of Anubis and Valley of the Five Fires at! They've both been in the Top 50 there for about a week.

Finally, a welcome to my new dragon clan members! I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy doing it. If you've been disappointed there hasn't been much new here since you joined, no worries; I'll be back in the swing again soon, and there will be some fresh content coming.

So what's coming? Well... in the next few weeks, look for some new monsters, a new monster index, updates on the d30 Sandbox Companion, progress reports on the Community Geomorph Project, and details about The Dragon Horde #2.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Now Available: Valley of the Five Fires in Print & PDF
+ Video Walkthrough & Twitter Winners!
+ Ogress of Anubis now in print!

First off, congrats to the winners of my Valley of the Five Fires Twitter Giveaway: Art Braun (Print+PDF copies); Tim Knight (PDF copy); Dave Millar (PDF Copy). Winners, please send your email address to (and, Art, please include your snail mailing address and phone number), and I'll get you guys taken care of.

I've already done some Valley of the Five Fires pagination previews of the 56-page interior on this one, but I thought it also deserved a video walkthrough (at bottom of post).

Valley of the Five Fires PDF: $4.95 from RPGNow >>
Valley of the Five Fires Print: $11.95 from Lulu >>

Plus, if you enjoyed the free PDF of The Ogress of Anubis that's available at RPGNow,
and you really want a print copy, now you can get the 16-page
The Ogress of Anubis in print at only 25 cents above cost! ($5.95) from Lulu >>

And now for my fancy video walkthrough...

Also, thanks for everyone's response to my first foray into the zine and pay-what-you-want worlds, The Dragon Horde (available in PDF from RPGNow). For a brief period or two during the weekend, you helped me outrank the D&D Rules Cyclopedia PDF in the top 5 of RPGNow's Hot 100! I cannot tell you how absolutely cool that felt!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Art Braun, Dave Millar, and Tim Knight!!!

Congrats to the winners of my Valley of the Five Fires Twitter Giveaway!

I realized that I'd let this slip, and with the Valley of the Five Fires being released tomorrow, I needed to roll for the winners of my twitter follower giveaway.

Art Braun is the big winner of the Print+PDF, with Dave Millar of Dave's Mapper and Tim Knight of Heropress both winning PDF copies!

If you guys will all email your emails to me at, I'll get the PDFs sent out to you tomorrow a.m. Art, please include your mailing address and a phone number (Lulu deliveries require that), and I'll get the print copy ordered for you.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thanks for the zine love!!!

I really undertook my Dragon Horde zine as a private passion project, and was happy to see it be so well received. Mostly, I want to thank those who contributed a few copper pieces toward the cause, which helped the PDF reach as high as #3 yesterday on RPGNow's Top 100 items. (see pic below)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dipping My Foot Into the Zine Pool!

I've been laying low this week because I've been secretly working on my first foray into the world of old school zines. And so I introduce The Dragon Horde, 20 pages + "cover" available as a "Pay What You Want" from RPGNow.

Inside this inaugural issue:

• The Monster Roster: the leech-man and the beguine, with Oe/BX/1e stats

• d30 feature: Where Does the Weapon Hit?

• Familiars Found: Guidelines for Spellcaster Familiars in my Universal RPG The System

• A Map of Yal Caramon and an overview of Lerdyn Chrisawn's Chronicle

• New NPC Class: Chroniclist

• The Undertemple of Arkon: An Adventure for Characters Levels 1-3

• Seven New Magical Weapons

• Who Speaks What: A Languages Spoken Crib Sheet

• Who's in the Tavern: Tables to Fill the Tables at the Local Tavern

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

d30 Sandbox Companion Update

I know what you're thinking... "Between cranking out The Ogress of Anubis, putting the finishing touches on Valley of the Five Fires, and getting back on top of the Community Geomorph Project, there's no way this jackleg is working on the d30 Sandbox Companion."

NOT SO! In fact, I just finished the final "new" piece of content for the book (pictured below)—a chart to determine habitations by population density (I also used population density for the road encounters). The only things left to do are: 1) finish the Master Hex Mapping Key (the wilderness equivalent of the Master Dungeon Mapping Key), 2) refine a few of the tables to "enhance" usability (like the henchmen/hireling recruitment pages, and the weather generator pages), and 3) finish the "how to use this book" section.

You'd think the "how to use this book" section would be as easy as, "Roll 1d30 and index the result." But what Welbo and I are trying to do with it, is to (in a de facto way) show how the tables are ordered/used to coincide with the use of things like the Hex Crawl Worksheet, Settlement Worksheet, and NPC Record Sheet.

Right now, the target release date is mid-to-late August. Given we are where we are, that Valley of the Five Fires should be ready within days, and all Welbo and I should need are about 3-4 working sessions on the intro, I think that should be do-able.

I thank you all for your patience over the last year-and-a-half. But I think that you'll find the extra time and attention we've given this tome has been truly worth it. This 52-page beauty will not have a wasted page in it!

By the way, I think I know what the next d30 volume will be—but you'll have to wait until the d30 Sandbox Companion is out before I'll commit to it in writing.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ogress of Anubis: Free PDF Now Available!

After Welbo and I did a run-through of the adventure Friday night, I realized it had a few holes to be filled. That meant going from 12 pages to 16. So what are you getting now? Information for adapting to different OSR rules editions; adventure background; regional overview (small map + info on villages and wandering monsters); information on the temple compound and its vicinity (including wandering monsters); a detailed map of the temple compound; a 4-page detailed encounter key for the temple compound; new monster (animal mummy w/ 7 variants, statted for Oe/BX/1e); "generic" stats for all monsters and NPCs mentioned in the adventure; 12 pre-generated NPCs w/ details; 10 adventure seeds (for continuing adventures in the area); and 8 additional unkeyed maps (7 tombs, 2 caves, 1 sunken city) for use with the adventure seeds.

And it's abso-freaking-lutely free!
Available at this link from >>

New preview image below.