Friday, March 8, 2019

Major Announcement: The Lone Bards

As you know, I am part of a Kickstarter that has funded and ended today.

Cade's Big Book o' Booze

The writer of the Zine is Justin Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim. Justin and I have had plenty of back and forth when it came to our own personal projects. Whether it was just some advice/feedback on stats for a game mechanic or suggestions on what to do next. Then I started to get into doing more artwork than what I usually do and he asked me if I would want to be a part of this Kickstarter. I quickly said yes, because what's the worst that could happen? The Kickstarter not get funded? Well, that didn't happen and we are very grateful for the support and the backers.

Which leads me to the major announcement.

JB Publishing will no longer be a thing.

Instead, I approached Justin about joining forces permanently and he quickly said yes.

So I give you....

The Lone Bards

And yes, it is inspired by the movie, Airheads.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Creating with Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells

I finally received my hardcover copy of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells by Diogo Nogueira of Old Skull Publishing. I've been reading through the PDF like crazy already until I got the physical book.  This isn't a review post but more of a, "What I've been able to do with this book so far" post. With the PDF I have taken the time to create up some characters to get a feel of how character creation works. Mainly, using the Concept, Complication and Race/Species creation. I've also played around with creating the universe using the many tables to roll on to generate the random universe. And of course rolled a lot on the monster creation tables.

Just this morning I rolled up a character and wanted to share what he is.

Jarlath Silver
The Nimble reserved space vamp spy for the Dark Leech

Complication: Hunted by The Helsing Order
Level: 1         Adventures Until Next Level: 3 (+1 for being a Space Vamp)
Archetype Abilities: You Can't Hit Me; That's an Easy Target; Luck is on My Side; I Know How to Do This

Abilities & Powers: When taking a short rest, Space Vamps automatically recover an amount of Vitality equal to half (rounded down) their Recovery Roll result. While consuming blood and making a successful physique test the Space Vamp doubles their Recovery Roll result.

Physique: 11     Vitality: 12     Recovery Roll: 1d6+1
*Agility: 16        Luck: 3
*Intellect: 16     Sanity: 16
Willpower: 5     Credits: 2

Armor: Light (1 Damage Reduction)

: Repeater Hand Crossbow - 1d6-1 Damage - Short Range
Weapon: Spear - 1d6+1 Damage - Negative Die when trying to hide weapon

I also did some artwork for some monsters I rolled up using the tables in the book:

Agonizing Aberration
I created this monster by rolling up Aberration --> Amorphous Form --> Faces of several different beings in agonizing expressions cover the creature's body --> To learn and collect information


I created this monster by rolling up Beast --> Body of an animal and extra arms of another --> Body animal: Mule --> Arms animal: Starfish

I have created stats for the Starmule and a humanoid species (I have not drawn this creature).


HD: 2
Starmules can be used as mounts. Though, their explosion ability can harm the rider. Ride with caution.
Special Abilities: Magical Immunity. Explosion - 2d6 damage in a close range. A successful Agility test reduces the damage by half.

HD: 1-3
The Mak'Loy is a two-headed humanoid species without gender. One head appears to be male but with no eyes. The other head appears to be female but with no mouth. They reproduce asexually.
Special Abilities: Turn to Stone - Victims that look into the eyes of the Mak'Loy must make a Physique test or be turned into stone.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Kickstarter: Cade's Big Book o' Booze

Cade's Big Book o' Booze is an alcohol related zine for use with Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Justin Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim is the head writer for this project. It is part of Kickstarter's Zine Quest that is happening through the month of February. I will be supplying some artwork and some writing here and there. Also, working on this project is David Coppolletti. You can find some of his artwork in Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells (review coming soon) and the DCC Zine, Gongfarmer's Almanac.

As I write this blog we are just over halfway to being funded. Currently at $510 and the goal is $1,000. And we still have 24 days to go so it looks like this project might actually be funded. And we are super excited about that! If this is funded it will more than likely push us to do more projects together.

I've also recorded an episode on this project over at my Podcast, JB Publishing.

I've checked Kickstarter's site and it appears that there are about 50 or so Zine Quest project. But only one of those has my artwork in it. So if you want to support my artwork and writing then I suggest you go on over and make a pledge. If you can't make a pledge you can still share the Kickstarter to your friends, family, enemies, lovers, coworkers and all people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Barael's Blade - The Sword Campaign (Untold Adventures)

I've been thinking for a long while that the music of The Sword would make a great campaign setting. Just, I didn't know what system would be best used for the setting. But I've been listening to them more lately and I realized that Untold Adventures would be perfect for it. The reason for it is the optional rules in the system. Untold Adventures allows for easy creation of custom races and classes to be used.

I've created a magical weapon to be used with Untold Adventures.

Barael's Blade - Medium Weapon
Behold! The bastard's blade. Bane of the demon lord. Slayer of the spider priest. Spiller of the silver blood.
- A warrior's hand and a wizard's mind to wield (Can only be used by a Blade Dancer)
- +2 bonus to-hit & +1d6 damage against demons and the Lor (Silver Blood)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Stock Art - Tentacles and Old Ones

I've recently started to release some stock art on DriveThruRPG.
I've done some drawing in the past and a few years ago I received a Wacom tablet. Shortly after I got my Wacom my PC that I used it on crapped out on me. So I wasn't able to draw for a couple of years. Finally, we got a desktop that allows me to use the Wacom and run GIMP on it. I've been playing with GIMP and trying to get used to it. I still don't know all the tricks and techniques to it. But as I am drawing I am learning more and I've been watching other artists and learning things with GIMP and artistic techniques.
Unlike my One-Page Adventures my Stock Art is not Pay What You Want (Free). And there is a Terms of Use and License attached with each one. Also, each artwork should have a color version and a black & white version.
I'm currently working on a stock art series - Tentacles and Old Ones
It should have roughly ten images in the series. I currently have three completed and available for sell on DriveThruRPG.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review: Offworlders

Offworlders by Chris. P Wolf with Illustrations and Layout by Olivia Gulin. It is an RPG that is built upon John Harper's World of Dungeons (a personal favorite).

"Offworlders is a science fiction roleplaying game about adventurers, outlaws and guns for hire making their fortune on the rough end of the galaxy. It is designed to be straightforward enough to pick up and be ready to play in just a few minutes as a one-off game, but with enough meat to play a short campaign as well."

If you're familiar with Dungeon World and other Powered by the Apocalypse games then Offworlders is a great addition. Offworlders builds upon the three-page World of Dungeons. It takes the basic mechanics of WoD such as attributes, skills and special abilities and expands upon it much like other PbtA games. It even has the same Class structure as WoD including the simple make your own class rules. The Character Advancement is much like DW. Receiving XP for rolls of 6- and end of session questions.

It has rules on creating the ship the characters are on. The rules are very much like the Character Creation rules. The ship starts with basic stats and modifications and at creation the players, collectively, select two modifications for their ship. Such as, Shuttle Hangar: Comes with a small shuttle which can fly independently, but cannot travel between stars on its own. Ship combat works with the characters taking roles on the ship much like the bridge on Star Trek series. The players make the rolls for the roles they have taken on the ship as if it was combat against character and NPC. There are also Traveling rules and Maintenance rules for your ship.

There are four different classes in Offworlder. Warrior, Outlaw, Geek and Psychic.  Each class has five abilities that are unique to them. Examples are - Brute: You deal +2 damage with melee weapons; Jump: Once per scene, you may teleport instantly to a nearby location that you can see. There is also an optional rule of Customizing Class that allows the players to select any two abilities from any of the classes. I prefer this option because it allows the players to get more creative and more precise with their character concept.

I've created a character using the Customizing Classes:

Dr. Ekard
Mutated enhanced four-armed human
Abilities: Heavy Lifting, Chemist
Skills: Athletics, Science
Strength +2
Agility 0
Intelligence +1
Willpower -1
Health 14
Gear 3
Credits 10
Equipment: Energy Ring (Light, melee/range)
The energy ring is a device that Dr. Ekard created that allows him to manipulate kinetic energy into a force he can fire out of his ring either as a ranged blast or a forceful melee attack.

The GM section of the book has a lot of the same rules/concept found in most PbtA games. It also has The Die of Fate rule that is found in WoD. There are rules on creating Jobs. Jobs are essentially Fronts found in DW but a lot more clearer on how it works. One of my favorite things found in the GM section are the tiny paragraphs on NPCs and Non-Player Starships. A lot of minimalist PbtA games don't have a simple skeleton on what the NPCs should look like in terms of game stats. I'm glad that this is here because it helps with on the fly play. The last part in the GM section is on creating star maps, factions and tables. There are five different tables each with thirty-six possible results. The tables: World Types, Themes, Objects In Space, Cargo and Names. These tables are great for on the fly play.


4 out of 5 stars. There are some typos here and there but nothing serious. Though, the Character Sheet and Ship Sheet in the back of the book I'm not a fan of. It is typed out on a dotted graph paper and I feel that all of those dots are just a distraction to the eyes. And if you start writing on it I'm sure it would be rather difficult to see what is written given that it is already difficult reading what is already typed. If you are looking for a Sci-Fi game that is PbtA then this is it. It doesn't bog you down with rules and it leaves a lot open for the GM to add on or remove from the system. Honestly, Offworlders is probably going to become my go to Sci-Fi game. Lastly, as I posted this review Offworlders is free. So go get it! Also, I hope there is a softcover coming out because I need it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

OSRober - Science Fiction/Double Feature

Sabrina Spellman for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Sabrina Spellman
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 2+1
Attacks: Ritual Knife (1d6)
Move: 12
Sabrina may appear to be just a teenage girl but she is actually a half-witch. She can cast two spells a day (refer to Swords & Wizardry Continual Light).
Cure Wounds I, Detect Evil, Spiritual Protection, Bless, Armor, Charm Person, Detect Magic, Light and Sleep.

Dr. Frank N. Furter for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Dr. Frank N. Furter
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 4+1
Attacks: Surgical Knife (1d6) or Ice Pick (1d6-1)
Move: 12
Dr. Frank N. Furter is actually an alien from another planet. He has been on earth hiding in plain site while studying humans. He often hosts large parties that are....out of this world. He has been making a man, with blonde hair and a tan. The perfect man. He will do ANTHING to make sure his creation is completed. Though, his vice is sex with humans.

Monday, October 29, 2018

OSRober 29th

Jason Voorhees for Untold Adventures

Jason Voorhees
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 8+1
Attacks: Pickaxe (2d6) or Improvised Weapon/Unarmed (1d6+1)
Special: See below
Move: Standard
HDE: 11
Jason Voorhees is undead and is considered 12 HD for Turn Undead. Jason regenerates 3 hit points per round and can only be damaged by magic and magical weapons of +1 or greater. If Jason is reduced to zero hit points there is a 1-4 chance in a 1d6 that he comes back to life with 3d6 hit points. Jason can surprise his victims with a 1-5 chance in a 1d6. Jason is also immune to Sleep and Charm spells.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

OSRober 28th

Two-Face for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 2+1
Attacks: Pistol (1d6)
Move: 12
Harvey Dent, once a U.S. Marshal, is wanted for multiple charges of murder. While Dent was a U.S. Marshal a couple of outlaws got the jump on him. They nearly beat him to death. While beating him they held his face down on a hot anvil which completely burned off the flesh of the left side of his face. They left him for dead but Dent miraculously survived the ordeal. The attack drove him mad. He wasted away days and weeks hunting down the outlaws. He eventually found them but left their lives in the hands of chance; a coin toss. Heads - dead, Tails - live. Fortunately, chance was in Dent's favor. The wound on his face began to rot and poison his mind. He became another person while Harvey held on to humanity. Two-Face Harvey. Kind, generous, hero. Then cruel, greedy, villain. Which side Two-Face was was left to chance.
There is a 1-3 chance in a 1d6 (roll of 1, 2 or 3) that Harvey, tossing tails, will not harm or try to harm the PC. There is a 1-3 chance in a 1d6 (roll of 4, 5, or 6) that Two-Face, tossing heads, will attack the PC with a +1 bonus to damage and to-hit.

Review: Undying Orbs Omnibus

The Undying Orbs Omnibus is a module designed for Swords & Wizardry by Ian McGarty of Silver Bulette. It is designed to take a party of four to six characters from level one to level five.

"For centuries, the environs of Redstone have a hidden secret. Under the people's noses, a key to releasing an ancient evil rests. An evil cultist has begun the wheels in motion to unlock the evil. Can a neophite group of adventurers stop the evil from emerging again into their world?"

First Thoughts

Like a physical book I like to examine the cover, the back and flip through the interior to get a feel of what's inside before reading. This is where a little problem comes into play. It isn't anything serious but the PDF is split into three different files. The Cover Interior, Cover Exterior and Interior of the book. There isn't a PDF of all of these combined so I am not able to see the full book as one thing.
The front exterior cover is artwork of what appears to be a few orbs which would fit the title and suggest that orbs are the focus of the adventure. On the back cover behind the text is a an image of a creature that looks a lot like an iron golem.
The interior cover is a beautiful map of the city Redstone by Alyssa Faden.
Flipping through the Interior of the PDF I notice that there is a map of the surrounding region of Redstone. There are also five numbered "dungeon maps." Throughout there is a lot of artwork and the good thing about the artwork is that most of it is new to my eyes. A lot of OSR independent publishers tend to use a lot of the same stock art in their products. So it was refreshing to see some artwork I haven't seen before.

Full Details

This section gives a brief description of Redstone and its four areas; Upper District, Merchant's District, Lower District and the Fields. Also, the Silvery Moon Tavern is mentioned in this section. (My Review of Silvery Moon Tavern)

Groups of Interest
Mentioned here are four different factions; Black Gloves, Church of Muir, Cult of Krocyrian and Red Tooth Goblins. Each has some information that lead into adventure hooks and some background information for the adventure in the book. The Black Gloves is the Thieves Guild of Redstone and the Cult of Krocyrian are mutating cultists that worship a great evil that is trying to break free.

This page has a nice timeline of things that should happen once the adventurers complete the Temple of Undying Darkness adventure (starting on page 11). The timeline serves as both what happens before and what happens after the adventures in the book. The in-between stuff isn't mentioned in the adventure sections. So this timeline is very helpful for when the adventurers return to Redstone in-between adventures. It is brief on a single page so it leaves a lot of room for the GM to fill in the rest. I do like the timeline section and I wish more published adventures/modules had them. It helps with understanding the flow of things. Though, some would say it could railroad the game but who cares? It is an adventure that is meant to be played so obviously there is going to be railroading.

Random Encounters
The next six-pages are dedicated to Random Encounter Tables. There is one for Forests, Nighttime Forests, Rivers, Nighttime Rivers and Unique Encounters. Most of the unique encounters can be used in both forests and rivers.

The Adventure Begins
This is just a short one-page hook to get the adventurers into the main story-line of the book. This also introduces the adventurers to the Black Gloves.

The Four Temples - Undying Darkness, Undying Light, Undying Discord and Undying Law
The four temples are the four adventures for obtaining the Undying Orbs. None of the four temples have an exact location listed in the adventure or the maps. There are some details like forests, cliffs and peaks so I assume it is left up to the GM where these temples are located. Which this is a good and bad thing. A good thing because this gives a lot more freedom and control over this story and a bad thing for those that like to have everything laid out for them. The adventures don't really do much with the befores and afters of the adventures within Redstone. This is all left for the GM to workout but the Timeline would help with that. The first temple is your standard goblins and undead adventure. Though, the map is numbered to sixteen locations it is missing locations fifteen and sixteen in the details. The second temple is located on a peak and filled with winged creatures and dangers that aren't from monsters. The third temple is more of a challenge with difficult encounters and puzzles. It also takes a little more to gain access to the temple. The final temple is filled with puzzles and deadly encounters. The temple's map is numbered to seven but the detailed information for location seven is left out. Each of these temples are small enough that they could be completed in their own session. And with all the stuff that happens between the temples it could take more than four sessions to complete the four temples.

Plane of the Orbs
This is the final adventure in the installment. There is a race and a battle through a maze with the adventurers and three of the factions; Black Gloves, Church of Muir and Cult of Krocyrian. The rooms in this final installment are full of puzzles. This adventure takes place within the city of Redstone....well sort of. This is the only adventure in the book that shows the exact location where this adventure can be found.

This takes up 5 pages of the book. It has the information for the named/key NPCs, faction minions, the orbs, new monsters and magic items. It also has information on the tomes and texts that are mentioned throughout the book. And with it are the five player handouts that you can print and cut out. The orbs are really interesting and cool items. They are definitely items that the adventurers may actually want to keep for themselves. But it is a good thing there are four different factions hunting them down so if the adventurers do decide to keep them they would probably have some serious a good way.


4 out of 5 stars

This is worth the $5.00. Though, there are some minor typos here and there but nothing so horrible that it makes it unreadable. Now, I wish there was just a little bit more. Like, maybe the region map marked with the locations of the temples. And maybe a little bit more of a "push" when it comes to the in-between stuff that I mentioned above. Also, I wish there was another PDF file with the whole book as it would be if it were printed. But I believe, if I remembered correctly, that the physical copies that they had for cons had fold-out covers for the map of Redstone. So maybe that's why there isn't a PDF of all of it together. A big plus for me is that the temple locations are small enough that they could be done in a single session and that you can print them out and have them on a GM screen and not need anything else. With this product and Silvery Moon Tavern you could do a lot more than just the Undying Orbs within Silver Bulette's world.

OSRober 27th

Frank Castle for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Frank Castle
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: Weapon
Move: 15
After the war Frank returned home to his family. His wife was more beautiful than he remembered and his son grew a foot taller. Frank and his family moved out west to get away from his past that was haunting him. After the move life was back to normal and it was great. Until one day Frank came back from the market to find that his pregnant wife and son were hanging from the apple tree beside their house. On the tree where his family hung there was a carving of a jigsaw puzzle piece...
During the war Frank was given a nickname by his fellow soldiers; The Punisher. He was given the name for his ruthless tactics and the fact that he never showed mercy. Frank Castle can use any and all weapons with a +1 bonus to-hit for all weapons. Frank also has a 1-4 chance in a 1d6 of success when tracking foes, hearing noises, climbing walls/cliff without tools, hide in shadows and move silently. When using melee weapons Frank has a +1 bonus to damage and his unarmed attacks deal 1d6+1 damage (bonus damage included).

Friday, October 26, 2018

OSRober 26th

Joker for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Armor Class: 8 [12]
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: Knives (1d6-1)
Move: 12
A drifter wanted for multiple accounts of murder in multiple towns. His motives are unknown but each of his victims are left with their mouths sliced open in the shape of a smile. There have been some survivors that claim their attacker's face was painted like a clown and that he wouldn't stop laughing as he brutally killed the others. The papers have given this murderer the name, Joker.
Joker carries many, many knives on his body and rarely uses a gun. Though, he is a fan of dynamite for the flare.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

OSRober 25th

Rocketeer for Six-Shooters & Wagons

Armor Class: 6 [13]
HD: 3+1
Attacks: Pistol (1d6, range 60')
Move: 12/18 (Flying)
The Rocketeer wears a rare device on his back like a pack that propels him into the air. The device is German made and rumored that Karl Benz was the original inventor. When the Rocketeer, or one that wears the rocketpack, takes damage there is a 1 in 6 chance in 1d6 that the rocketpack would be damaged and explode dealing 3d6 damage in a 20ft radius.