Archive for the ‘ RPG ’ Category

Dinner & Gaming & Playtesting

I decided to start hosting Dinner & Gaming nights again, doing so once a month. I like to game. I like to cook. (I even considered going to a culinary arts school until I figured out I have anosmia.) So, I fixed taco salad, got a couple bottles of sangria, and broke out the Swords & Wizardry, In Search of the Unknown, and a couple copies of my WIP Optional Skill Resolution Rules.

With only two players in attendance, I was flexible with class and race combinations. Alex made up Brother Zaphod, an Elf Cleric/Magic-User who had been raised by weasels in the woods. I imagine them to have been giant weasels. Christopher made up Weeble Kneecracker, a Halfling Fighter/Thief who is also a skilled chef and a pariah from polite Halfling society. This stalwart pair of rookie heroes hired two men-at-arms and a torchbearer: Maximilio, Baldrick, and Leofrick.

The party traveled north into the hilly woodlands between the frontier village and the realm of the hated barbarians. After some traveling and searching, they found the entrance to Quasqueton. Weeble picked the lock on the door, and the group moved into the hallway beyond. They were startled by magical mouths that pronounced a grim warning.

Weeble crept forward, searching for traps. He determined there were none, but his intense concentration led to him being surprised by a pair of ghouls. Weeble was clawed and paralyzed.

The hirelings and Brother Zaphod battled the ghouls, killing them. Brother Zaphod suffered a moderate injury in the process.

Skill checks using my OSR2 system were made to convince the hirelings to work for free in exchange for spiritual betterment, to open the locked door, to search for traps, and to determine the weaknesses of ghouls. Based on this brief session of actual gaming, I think the system works pretty well, although I did leave out one detail regarding the characters’ starting skills, which I’ll have to amend next time we play S&W.

July 24th, 2014  in Product Development, RPG No Comments »

The Six-Sword Box

If you’ve not supported Matt Jackson’s Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser, please do so. As previously posted, sales from my OSR PDFs go to support this worthwhile project. Item descriptions and discounts for those PDFs are in this PDF. Wheels within wheels!

If you’ve not watched Steven Chow’s Journey to the West, you should. It’s a hoot. Certainly right up there with Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. Journey currently streams on Netflix.

Today’s magic item was entirely inspired by Show Luo’s performance as Prince Important in Journey.

Six-Sword Box

The fabled Six-Sword Box appears to be a finely crafted, lovingly lacquered box of the sort often used by ladies to hold jewelry. Instead of such baubles, the box holds six miniature swords, each carved from hardwood. With a flick of the wrist and a sung command, the box’s holder can set the miniature swords to flying, at which time they transform into full-sized weapons forged from the finest steel. The swords race through the air, turning and flying as directed by the box’s holder, who must maintain line of sight on the swords for them to continue functioning. When a sword draws blood, it returns to the box and reverts to its original wooden form. The Six-Sword Box functions once per day.

Barbarians of Lemuria

Each round, the box’s holder directs the swords and makes 1d6 attacks against visible targets. These attacks are modified by the holder’s Mind. A flying sword does 1d6+2 points of damage with a successful attack. Once the box’s holder has made six successful attacks, the Six-Sword Box ceases to function until the next day.

Dungeon World

Whenever unleash the Six-Sword Box’s swords, roll+WIS. *On a 10+, you succeed with 1d6 attacks against visible targets with each attack inflicting 1d8 points of damage. *On a 7-9, you succeed with one successful attack against a visible target, inflicting 1d8 points of damage. The Six-Sword Box can make six successful attacks in a single day.

Swords & Wizardry

Each round, the box’s holder directs the swords and makes 1d6 attacks against visible targets. The swords fly with a speed of 36, and they attack as monsters with 6 Hit Dice, inflicting 1d8 points of damage with a successful attack roll. When a sword succeeds with an attack, it flies back to the box, reverting to its original wooden form.

July 21st, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

The Wounded Warrior Project

As I’ve blogged about a couple of times, Matt Jackson, career enlisted man and gamer and mapper extraordinaire, has been raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. His efforts under the title Maps for Heroes reflect both the best of both military tradition and of our disparate, often cantankerous community of gamers.

I served eight years in the U.S. Army. But for the grace of God, I could’ve ended up a wounded warrior, especially if I’d decided to make the military a career, which was a serious consideration until I decided on taking my honorable discharge and getting into teaching. However much I do to help others, I can always do more.

So, here’s some more. From now until the time Matt reaches his $1000 goal, 100% of the sales from these four OSR PDFs goes to Maps for Heroes: The Quid Novi? Collection, That’s a Goblin!?, Rantz’s Fair Multitude, and Rewarding Roleplaying. At this link is a PDF with more information about these titles as well as links to discounts for each of them. The codes never expire. Use them. Share them with your friends.


July 19th, 2014  in RPG 1 Comment »

Friday Fun with Matt Jackson

Over on G+ today, Matt Jackson posted a pic of a little map with these words: “Let’s have some fun today. I made a map, let’s stock it! Write a short adventure for whatever system you prefer.”

I figured, Why not?

While you check out my small contribution to the fun, consider making a contribution of your own to Matt Jackson’s Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser. Speaking as both a gamer and a veteran, Matt’s fundraiser is double good.

Huah!, and welcome to Ean Illiam’s Cavern Stores!

Ean Illiam, ancient but spry merchant, set up shop more than a decade ago in a group of caves about a day’s ride outside the village. Rumor says Ean served the former king as a soldier. Or as an assassin, or maybe a warpriest. Such is the way of rumors. Ean himself denies these rumors with a wink and a toothless grin.

Whatever the truth, Ean offers quality goods for a reasonable price. He regularly receives shipments of common weapons, armor, and dungeon gear. Shoppers can almost always find whatever they need from these categories. If a trusted customer knows how to ask, Ean also supplies poisons. Services offered by Ean and his staff are more limited. Herman Aleš, a talented blacksmith, works for Ean, as does Mojca Marica, a chirugeon. A hot meal and ale can almost always be had, although Ean isn’t running a tavern, so don’t expect anything too fancy. Surely, stories about Ean arranging murders for hire cannot be true. Can they?

1. Entrance: Carved stairs lead up into the stony hillside. Ean almost always has a few guards on duty in or around this area. These guards often have well-trained mastiffs on hand to help emphasize the importance of behaving. Lanterns hung from hooks twisted into the ceiling provide light throughout Ean’s caves. Those who look before heading in may notice smoke billowing out from natural chimneys higher up the hillside.

2. Front Stores: Ean greets customers here. Shelves built along the walls display Ean’s more common goods. Clerks assist with the sales, and one doesn’t need to be alert to spot a guard or two keeping keen eyes on visitors. Sturdy tables and chairs are set up down the center of the cave, and a hollowed out section of wall serves as a cooking pit. A simple stew is almost always kept bubbling above the fire.

Ean Illiam
Devious, Hoarder, Intelligent, Organized, Solitary
Cudgel (b[2d8] damage)
12 HP
0 Armor
Instinct: To strike a deal

* Call for help
* Deal like a devil
* Move with remarkable speed

3. Rear Stores: Lesson common and more expensive goods occupy the shelves. A heavy curtain is drawn across the exits to the north up the stairs and to the south into the private stores. There might be guards behind those curtains.

4. Stairs Up: If asked, Ean or his staff say that the stairs up lead to private rooms off-limits to visitors.

5. Private Stores: Ean’s most exotic and expensive goods are kept in this cave, and access is granted to only his most valued customers. Mojca has a small clinic area set up in this cave.

Mojca Marica
Intelligent, Magical, Organized, Solitary, Stealthy
Scalpel (w[2d8] damage)
12 HP
0 Armor
Instinct: To heal

* Alert the guards
* Apply the healing arts
* Deceive the senses

6. The Forge: The heat and noise from this area spread through Ean’s caves. Herman Aleš labors here with hammer and tongs, assisted by surly apprentices.

Herman Aleš
Intelligent, Solitary
Hammer (1d10+2 damage)
12 HP
2 Armor
Close, Forceful
Instinct: To forge

* Grip like steel
* Look for imperfections
* Work metal

7. Rippling Waters: Is this is a spring? To where do the cool, clear waters flow?

July 18th, 2014  in RPG 1 Comment »

Kisima’s Tomb

Heavy loads stone slung over shoulders, workers climb up the logs leading to the low-ceilinged cave leading to Kisima’s tomb. It’s not an easy climb, but the only other point of ingress, a stone shaft rising more than 70 feet to the surface, doesn’t leave a better option.

At the shaft’s bottom, supervisors from the Imperial Cartographical Society loiter around the shallow pond at the bottom of the stone shaft. Other workers carry jugs of water from the lower caves, emptying the containers into the pond, which drains away in trickles and traces some distance away from the wooden ladder.

In the lower caves, workers labor with picks, shovels, and ropes to break up and haul away stones. Much of the work has already been done, and the ornate carvings stand out boldly in the flickering torchlight. Serpents intertwine intricately. High up on the wall, a lizardman king stares down, his stance imperious. He holds a human skull in his left hand and a spear in his right. The stones that remain block a descending flight of stairs.

The Imperial Cartographical Society believes those stairs lead to the tomb of Kisima, the last of the kings who ruled in Salmagunderland before lizardman civilization fell into its current state of barbarity. It’s only a matter of time before a sufficient quantity of stone is shifted out of the way and the stairs stand unblocked.

At least that’s what the foremen hope. The workers murmur about curses, and yesterday’s accident, several large rocks that fell, crushing three men, hasn’t helped the mood. The tension and fear are palpable, made worse by the drums echoing through the jungle each night.


The Imperial Cartographical Society (Cabal)
Impulse: To expand frontiers

Grim Portents
* The ICS oversees the excavation of the tomb.
* The stairs are cleared and the lower chambers revealed.
* The lower chambers are explored and the sealed door found.
* The seal is broken.
Impending Doom: Pestilence

Lizardman Tribe (Horde)
Impulse: To drive out intruders

Grim Portents
* The drums’ noise draws nearer.
* Venomous serpents become more common.
* Lizardmen skirmishers attack the camp.
Impending Doom: Destruction

Description & Cast
Kisima’s tomb rests undisturbed, sealed centuries ago. Kisima died of a terrible plague that has not died off since the lizardman king’s corpse was interred. Rather, the pestilence has grown, becoming a virulent biomass. The local lizardman tribe learned that intruders were violating taboo territory, and they are gearing up to massacre the foreign trespassers if they do not take heed of the warning drums.
* Renata Cottee, Ranking ICS Official
* Sessih Besmil, Lizardman Scale-Talker
* Dridsa, Influential Laborer

Custom Move
When exposed the wasting pestilence in Kisima’s tomb, roll+CON. *On a 10+, choose 3. *On a 7-9, choose 1.

* You do not suffer the weak debility.
* You do not suffer the sick debility.
* You do not suffer the shaky debility.
* You do not become highly contagious.

Can the pestilence be cured? If so, how?

July 3rd, 2014  in RPG No Comments »