Posts Tagged ‘ Dyson Logos ’


The inestimable Dyson Logos has announced a contest involving a map. Of course. Check this out. The short version is that I take one of Dyson’s unfinished maps, finish it in an undoubtedly inferior style, and e-mail the finished map to Dyson himself.

Dyson writes, “I’ll post every entry I get here on the blog (with full credit to the artists involved), and if I get a dozen or more entries that get past the curating process (see below) I’ll give away one of the last remaining copies of the Deluxe Edition of Dyson’s Delves and will include at LEAST one hand-written original and never before published adventure inside it (as well as the adventure that only appears in the Deluxe Edition that has never appeared on the blog).

“Anyone can win – winner of the book will not be chosen by style, ability or product, but by random lottery (although only ‘serious’ entries will make it into the random lottery – so just drawing six lines in crayon will NOT get you a prize – this is the curating process described above). Any other prizes I decide to give away (like some original maps and stuff) will be based on curated and judged contest entries, but the main prize (the book) will be won by a random entrant from the curated list.”

Excellent contest. I must enter. I’ve already won one Dyson Logos map. How can I not covet more?

Speaking of contests, Erik Tenkar’s got one going as well. Do you want to be an OSR superstar? Of course you do, and this contest is a chance to make all of those dreams come true.

Erik’s contest runs in three rounds. Each round focuses on a different facet of OSR superstardom among a dwindling pool of competitors. Think of round one as a sort of OSR superstardom contest dungeon funnel. Prizes for OSR superstardom include virtual cash for use at RPGNow, cash via PayPal, and one OD&D Reprint Box.

The gauntlet has been cast! Roll initiative!

February 9th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

The Amphitheater of the Continuum

If you’ve still not checked out Dyson Logos’s excellent maps, you owe it to yourself to do so. For example, check this one out.

Doesn’t that just scream awesome? Doesn’t it make you want to use it for a game? The answer to both questions is, “Yes. Yes, it does.”

In keeping with the second affirmative, I cobbled together a short, one-page Swords & Wizardry adventure based on Dyson’s Smith chart map. You can download it as a PDF by clicking on the picture that accompanies these words. Perhaps “adventure” is too big a word for what I’ve done, but it could at least be a part of a larger adventure.

By the way, if you dig Dyson’s work, check out his goodies over at Lulu and RPGNow.

November 25th, 2013  in RPG No Comments »

Metro Gnomes

Ever had one those game days where not enough people show up to play? Heck, sometimes even missing one player is missing enough to make continuing your current campaign difficult. Other days, maybe people are just kind of tired of the same game with the same characters, or perhaps you just kept putting off session prep until it’s too late.

Enter Metro Gnomes! It’s different, and it’s great for a one-shot, beer-and-pretzels sort of experience. All you need to play is this adventure, a copy of the free Geodesic Gnomes roleplaying game by Dyson Logos, and an assortment of d8s. Toss in a couple of pencils, some beverages, and some munchies, and you’re good to go for some gaming glory.

But what is Metro Gnomes? Read on:

You are a filthy, disease-ridden gnome trying to eke out the most meager of existences in the polluted crawlspaces of the city. You are all members of the same clan, living off the grid in St. Louis, one of the dome-covered cities that was constructed after the ecological collapse of the biosphere in the 23rd century. This adventure tells one of your family’s stories. Maybe the last of your family’s stories. It all starts after after a pleasant cook-out is interrupted by rude neighbors and a nuclear disaster.

Get your copy today for a mere $0.75 with this special discount code.

November 23rd, 2013  in Spes Magna News 1 Comment »

Why Dyson Logos Is Nifty

So, I was plussing with my Google, and I saw a link for this blogpost by Dyson Logos. I read it. I thought, “Win a Dyson Logos map, and all I gotta do is write about how awesome Dyson is. Nifty!”

Why Dyson Logos is Nifty: Reason the First

The maps. Duh.

I’ve talked about Dyson Logos’s excellent maps here before. Examples. I’ve used several of Dyson’s maps for games, sometimes impromptu-ly. You know how it is. The players’ characters go into an unmapped part of the adventure, and you’re faced with a choice: tell them they can’t go that way, make up a map as you go long, or use one of Dyson’s maps.

Heck, some of Dyson’s maps come with complete adventures. You could, for instance, accept the Challenge of the Frog Idol.

Why Dyson Logos is Nifty: Reason the Second

This is kind of a subdivision of Reason the First. A Dyson Logos map is one of the few things that makes me look better. Don’t think that’s possible? Check out that picture to the right. Cover up the map with your thumb or whatever. I look good. Uncover the map. I look better. Amazing!

Why Dyson Logos is Nifty: Reason the Third

Random tables. Lots of them, for use with “for D&D-style fantasy games” (to quote Dyson Logos). They’re some goodies here. I’m particularly fond of Dragon Breath and More Dragon Breaths. There are also a few random tables for use with non-D&D-style games.

Why Dyson Logos is Nifty: Reason the Fourth

Books! Available via Lulu and RPGNow, you can get your hands on both Dyson’s Delves (full of excellent maps) and Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts (full of OSR spellcasting goodness).

Why Dyson Logos is Nifty: Reason the Fifth

Geodesic Gnomes. No, seriously. This game rocks. Not only is the title a delicious pun, it’s also a wonderful example of rules-lite free RPGs. Download it today. Run it this weekend.

If you’ve never checked out Dyson Logos, you now have five reasons to. Click those links and be astonished.

July 8th, 2013  in RPG No Comments »

J Is for Jumping into Action

Today I talk about initiative. Yeah, I know. It should be I for Initiative, but I did I for Ichi, and today is J.

Anyhoo, I have a love-hate relationship with initiative checks. Too often, I’ve experienced initiative something like this:

GM: Roll for initiative!

Players: Yeah! Combat! Woo! Excitement!

GM: Okay, here we go! Twenty? Anyone? Anyone? Nineteen? Anyone? Anyone? Eighteen? Bueller? Bueller?

Then, to add to the excitement, I get to further experience players who want to delay and/or specify conditions for when their PCs take their actions. And let’s not forget the monsters. They get to go too. What should be an exciting combat ends up being an intiative roll call where most of the time most of the players sit around watching another person do stuff.

Of course, there are many techniques for speeding up initiative. I know about them (well, probably not all of them). I’ve used several of them. They help. For example, I “chunk” initiative in my current campaign. I roll for the monsters. The players roll for the characters. Any characters who beat the monsters get to act in whatever order the players want. Then the monsters go. Then the rest of the players go. I usually default to letting the players win intiative ties. This speeds things up quite a bit.

Still, most of the time initiative checks up end being almost unnecessary. I mean, unless my monster kills a PC, it usually doesn’t matter if the monster hits the PC before the PC hits the monster. Back in 1E days gaming while stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, we only rolled initiative when a PC or foe was killed or otherwise incapicitated, and then only to determine if the victim would get in a one final whack. From what I remember, it worked like a charm.

One of the neatest initiative check systems I’ve seen is in Dyson Logos’s Geodesic Gnomes. Here’s how it works:

“Then the Game Master announces initiative numbers starting at 4 [N.B. The lowest possible score] and counting upwards. If the initiative count for your character is called and you haven’t acted yet, you must declare your action now. On any initiative count anyone with a higher initiative count than the number called may declare their action. In addition, once an action is declared, anyone with a higher initiative count than that person may declare an action to interrupt them.”

This system has the “I want to interrupt him because I’m faster than he is” option built into it. I’ve not had a chance to test this out at length yet, but I going to run a Geodesic Gnomes session next month for Friday Game Night.

Perhaps most intriguing of all is Dungeon World, which doesn’t have initiative checks. Refresh your memory by looking at me fiddling with the rules. Notice that Dungeon World‘s attack mechanic doesn’t require initiative checks to resolve who goes first between the monsters and the PCs.

Well, that’s it for this one. I’ve got to get back to work on my Villains & Vigilantes adventure for tomorrow evening.

April 11th, 2013  in RPG No Comments »