Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Real Life: Car Emergency

So yesterday our only car crapped out on us. The transmission went out on it but they told us that it wasn't anything we had control over. The car was in great condition but it was just a case of really bad luck. Sadly, to repair this car it is going to cost us between $3,000 to over $5,000.

We are still currently in the, "oh crap, what do we do" phase of this whole situation. My wife has set up a GoFundMe for our situation. We both hate asking for help and even receiving help from others. We hate feeling like a burden to people and we both deal with anxiety/depression and so this has cranked up our anxiety bad.

 Here is the link to the GoFundMe.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Untold Scrolls: An Unofficial Elder Scrolls Hack for Untold Adventures

So I did a thing. Well, in the process of doing a thing.
I LOVE James Spahn's Untold Adventures! (Untold Adventures: Deluxe Edition is Pay What You Want) I love it because it breaks down a RPG into something much lighter than White Box. I love it because I am finally able to do something I have always wanted to do in a RPG: Create an Elder Scrolls campaign setting. I've tried doing this in the past with other systems and I have always given up because it became so overwhelming. But with Untold Adventures I am able to do it without it feeling so overwhelming. What I have done is used the only two classes in Untold Adventures and combined them into one class. I also added Magicka Points so now spellcasting is a point based system. Then I used the races as the "class types" for the game. The core rules of Untold Adventures still apply to this game. But all I have done is replaced the class, races and magic system. What Untold Adventures has done was that it allowed that all classes (Swordsman and Spellcaster) could use all weapons and armor. Though, the Swordsman class was the only class that would gain a to-hit bonus and that if Spellcasters wore armor, whatever armor bonus they receive that is the bonus NPCs receive on their Saving Throw roll against their spells. I kept both of these rules in the game. But what I have done was allowed the races to be trained in weapons and armor types. So if a race is trained in a weapon type they would receive the to-hit bonus when using them but they could also use any weapon type they weren't trained in without the to-hit bonus. I did the same with armor. If a race is trained in an armor type then when they wear that armor type the NPCs would not get a bonus to their Saving Throw roll vs the spells. I then included two special rules that would allow the characters to become an all-out Swordsman type with no Magicka Points or an all-out Spellcaster type with no weapon and armor training.

This is only the start of this project but you can get the rough PDF of the class and races here.

Also, I didn't mention this in the PDF but I will in another update but Magicka Points recover just like Hit Points in Untold Adventures.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Creating Monsters on the Fly with Swords & Wizardry White Box

Swords & Wizardry White Box is probably (actually) my favorite RPG System.
The White Box game that I use is White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game
The PDF is free and it is probably one of the most used White Box systems.

The reason why I love White Box is that I often run games on the fly with little to no prep and it goes smoothly. The major reason for this is how simple it is to create Monsters & NPCs.

This is the stat block for an Orc in White Box
Orc
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: Weapon
Special: None
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 1/15

Short and sweet how GMing on the fly needs to be. But what do you do when your players encounter monsters and NPCs that aren't in the book? What if the Player Characters encounter a two-headed and four-armed monster that stands around 10ft high while one head spits acid and the other can hypnotize (charm) Player Characters. We will call it a Nookum.

First I determine the Hit Dice (HD), which if you haven't played White Box, the HD determines the health (Hit Points), the Attack Bonus and Saving Throw of the monsters. It is also a good estimate of the monster's "level." The more HD the monster or NPC has the longer it will stay alive in combat, the easier it hits the Player Characters and the easier it can resist the Player Characters spells and other special abilities. Hit Dice is rolled by six-sided dice. So I want to give Nookum 3+1 HD. What this means you roll 3d6+1 to determine the Hit Points. This also means when Nookum attacks it gets a +3 to-hit. The attack bonus for Monsters and NPCs equal their HD. And then Nookum's Saving Throw score would be 16 (19-HD).

Nookum
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: +3
Saving Throw: 16

Now that I have that I determine what the Armor Class will be. Now, I use ascending Armor Class so I don't include the descending Armor Class. With Nookum's height it makes the monster easier to hit but also it has four arms which could be useful when parrying attacks. So Nookum's Armor Class will be 14.

Nookum
Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: +3
Saving Throw: 16

Now it is time to determine what kind of Attack and Damage the Monster does. In White Box Monsters and NPCs only get ONE Attack. They do not have multiple attacks like in Swords & Wizardry Complete. Also, damage is based on six-sided dice. There are four different damage types that I personally use: Weak 1d6-1 Average 1d6 Strong 1d6+1 Deadly 2d6. With Nookum's four arms I feel that it would have a flurry of blows that deals 1d6+1 damage.

Nookum
Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: Flurry of Blows +3(1d6+1)
Saving Throw: 16

Movement is the next thing to determine and it is easy. Movement Rate is in increments of 3. 12 is average speed (human). Some monsters might even have two different Movement Rates. One for walking and one for flying/swimming/leaping/etc. Nookum will have an average Movement Rate of 12.

Nookum
Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: Flurry of Blows +3(1d6+1)
Saving Throw: 16
Move: 12

The last thing to determine is any Special abilities the Monster or NPC might have. In this case Nookum has two abilities. Spit Acid and Charm. For special abilities that are spells that Magic-Users or Clerics can cast it is just best to name the Special Abilities and that it works like Spell ______. For Special Abilities such as Spit Acid I determine that the damage equals the Monster's HD-1 and Save for half damage. For Special Abilities that are not spells and are not damaging abilities state what it does if the Player Character fails their Saving Throw.

Nookum
Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attack: Flurry of Blows +3(1d6+1)
Saving Throw: 16
Move: 12
Special: Spit Acid for 2d6 damage or Save for half damage. Can cast Charm Person.

The one thing I do not do is the Hit Dice Equivalent (HDE) and XP in my personal games. A good way to determine Monster XP on the fly is the Monster's Hit Points x 10.

So there we have it. A way to create monsters and NPCs on the fly. I hope this is helpful and understandable for you!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

D6 Storytellers Play Report

Today I played my D6 Storytellers with my daughter.
It was a bit rough. Honestly, because I wasn't prepared for the genre that my daughter wanted to play. I let her pick the genre and character style she would like to be. She chose to play a Zombie Apocalypse game and her character was this Half-Human Half-Zombie character. It was pretty basic character concept. Pistols and a knife to start with. Her first character died pretty quickly. Exploding Dice can be very brutal at times.

So we started over and started her in a different situation. She was lost in the woods running from some wild dogs. The dogs had Tracking 3 (3d6) Skill but giving that she was a half-zombie I determined that the dogs would need an 8 to find her. And they were successful. As they got closer to her she decided to climb a tree. Since she was just starting out she didn't have any Trained Skills. She rolled a 6 on her Anything Skill which means the die exploded and she was able to learn the climbing skill (which she did). Since she was climbing a pretty standard tree all she needed was a 4.
While she was in the tree the dogs were clawing and jumping up at her. She took her pistols out and shot at the dogs. She killed one instantly and the others ran away scared. She JUMPED out of the tree (needing a 4 for a successful landing and missed by 1) so she twisted her ankle and took 1 Minor Damage.
Then the Zombie side took over and she ate the brains of the dog which actually healed her 1 Minor Damage. Unfortunately, the gunfire attracted some zombies and she had to fight off some zombies. Apparently, according to my daughter Zombies are brainless which is why they want to eat brains. So she couldn't feast on the zombies. After realizing gunfire was a terrible idea she hid in a tree and waiting for daylight.

Once day came she continued through the woods and made her way to a town. The houses looked to be in really bad shape and she was nervous to explore the area. Eventually she went into one of the houses and heard some movement upstairs. Scared, she ran out of the house but was shot in the shoulder from the person that was upstairs through a window. She quickly turned around and fired and hit the man in the shoulder causing him to hide back in the house. She took off back into the house and rushed upstairs. After testing the doors and finding one was locked she assumed he was behind that door. She kicked down the door and the man was on the other side of the door with is rifle waiting for something to come through. They both shot at the same time but the man missed but she nailed him right in the chest killing the man.

*This is when it gets dark*

She was briefly relieved when she noticed he was dead and she didn't take a hit. But that was quickly over once two girls (6 and 13) started crying and screaming, "You killed my dad!" My daughter's face was priceless when this happened. The older girl charged her with a knife and she tried to stop her by trying to grab her arms but failed and took a blow from the knife. The girl attacked again but this time she was able to grab her arms. She tried to talk to her and calm the girl down but there was nothing she could say to calm this girl down. Which is understandable giving that this person just killed her dad in front of her and her sister. So the girl, after yelling about how she is just like the people that killed her mother, went at her again with the knife. She took another blow and eventually took out her own knife and trying to stop the girl she killed her (Exploding Dice is brutal). The little girl was going crazy, screaming, crying and holding her head in the corner of the room. She tried to calm her down. The girl wasn't even listening. The girl had a small bag on her and in it she had a gun. The girl pulled the gun out and began to hold it against her head........ugh....My daughter's character was too slow and couldn't stop the girl before she took her own life.

My daughter's reaction, "Wow. Well, I don't know these people. I want to eat their brains." And when she tried to heal from feeding on these people I was so thrilled that every roll, three of them, was a result of a 1. I was like, "Well, you did some terrible stuff so I am glad you got all of those 1's."

The gunshots attracted more zombies and she had to fight her way out of the house and back into the woods. This time she was using her knife. We stopped shortly after this.

What I did wrong?
A lot. I wasn't prepared for a survival/apocalypse genre. There are some serious rule changes that need to be made for this kind of genre. Damage needs to be more lethal. Either I need to change the Storyteller's damage table or have "set damage" for items + Storyteller's skill. Example, a shotgun is 2d6 + Storyteller's shotgun skill. Modifying the damage table would probably be better. Instead of 4 minors, 3 moderates, 2 extreme and 1 death. It might need to be changed to 2 minor, 1 moderate, 1 extreme and 1 death. Exploded Dice is very lethal but it should be for this genre. Also, resources such as ammo, food and water need to be worked into this genre. Maybe something like when resources are being used the Storytellers need to roll a 1d6 to see if there is any left (needing a 4 or more).

I am still looking for people who are willing to test out this game and give me feedback. The link to the blog post about it (with download link) is at the top of this post.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

One-Page Adventure: The Awakening of Fivestones

The Awakening of Fivestones is a new One-Page Adventure for Swords & Wizardry Light. This is a first in what is being called, The Unofficial Akados Region One-Page Adventure.

The reason for the Akados Region OPAs is that there are many people out there that love Swords & Wizardry Light and also have a Legion pack. What is a Legion pack? You can go to this Facebook group and view the pinned message to see how you can join the Swords & Wizardry Legion. The Legion pack comes with a couple of Swords & Wizardry Light rules folios, character class cards and sometimes some extra goodies. But this all comes in a nice Legion folder. And on the back of the folder there is a map of Akados Region. Which when I received my Legion pack a long time ago both me and my daughter were thrilled about that map! We would spend a lot of time looking at that map planning and creating ideas of adventures taking place in Akados Region.

This is why I am creating these Unofficial Akados Region OPAs. To give people, those who only own the Light rules and Legion pack, something more that they can work with. Like all of my OPAs this one doesn't include a map. The adventure takes place in the village of Fivestones. So the GM would have to supply their own village map by either drawing it or finding one they would like to use online. There is also this pretty awesome generator that I recently discovered that can help with that.

This OPA is an idea I've had for Fivestones for a while now. Though, my version that isn't the OPA is a lot different and a much larger campaign style. But I still wanted to use Fivestones and borrow my idea into something small but yet epic for a one shot. Unless, the GM works with it to create a larger campaign from it.

Also, I want to stress that this is indeed UNOFFICIAL. This isn't Lost Lands canon. So what I write for Akados Region isn't official. But I believe the map was printed on the folder for such things. Another thing is I have been given permission to write these from Frog God Games. They understand that these are free and that I am stressing that they are unofficial.

Friday, July 20, 2018

One-Page Adventure: Agent of Evil for Temple of Elemental Evil

Chapter I
Agent of Evil

It is finally here! The first OPA for my series of my take on Temple of Elemental Evil. There are a few things that you, the GM, should have in order to run this adventure as it is written.

The system I am writing this series for is Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.
You will obviously need a copy of either T1 The Village of Hommlet or T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. Though, I am basing my series of Temple of Elemental Evil off of T1 The Village of Hommlet. I do own a physical copy of T1-4 and so there are things I may use from that but it shouldn't be a situation that you would NEED to own a copy of T1-4. Then of course you would need my The People of Hommlet and my Moathouse Monsters. But this OPA doesn't take place in the Moathouse but if you want to continue this adventure without my OPAs it could be a helpful tool.

I will do a quick breakdown of how to use my One-Page Adventures for those who are new to my OPAs.

The Setting
This will state where this OPA will take place. For this OPA it is just Hommlet so you would need to provide your own map. Whether you have a physical copy, purchase a PDF (linked above) or even create your own custom map of Hommlet.
Information
This will state the general idea/premise of the OPA. The what is going on, the why and by who. Essentially, it is a brief summary that the GM expands upon.
Features
This will state things you could find within the OPA. Features are brief and short and often open-ended so the GM can do what they want with it. Features can also be used in situations where the players went in a direction you weren't prepared for.
Adventure Hooks
This will state some ideas that the GM could use to get this players hooked into the OPA.
New and Key NPCs
This will state the key NPCs that are critical to the OPA. And it will also have stat blocks for new monsters/NPCs that are unique. For this OPA you would need a copy of The People of Hommlet (linked above).
Special Item
This will state a new special item/s that is unique to this OPA. Sometimes they will be open-ended for the GM so they can get the new item to fit best for how they run their games.
Notes
Well, this is pretty obvious. A spot for the GM to jot down their notes. Though, this may not be on every OPA. It depends on how much space is left over.

Now, you will probably notice that there isn't a map. And this is because I don't provide maps for my OPAs. I feel that maps can be a bit "absolute." Not every gaming group is the same. Some can play for just 2 hours at a time while others can play for 8 hours at a time. Leaving out maps gives the GM a whole lot of freedom to use my OPAs in a way that best fits their gaming group.

I hope you enjoy Chapter I!
I would love to hear your thoughts on it and if you use it to start your own Temple of Elemental Evil let me know how it goes for you.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Highlight: Jeremy Hart - Artist

I am supporting just a few Patreons that I often forget to take advantage of the perks of being a Patron. One of them being Jeremy Hart Illos.
Jeremy is an artist that has this style that is grimdark and I love it! The black ink artwork is so good. It fits a lot of what I imagine monsters look in my own games. Actually, not only is it what I imagine but I used one of his pieces in my One-Page Adventure, The Forsaken Tree of the Wretched. (There isn't a direct link download but the Patreon download is free to all)

Well, it wasn't until I saw the video of one of his Creature Feature Quarterly that I remembered exactly why I am supporting Jeremy on Patreon.

 

Jeremy also has some crazy affordable stock art bundles!


(Above is a screenshot of the Publisher Preview of Fantasy Stock Art Pack 1)
Jeremy also sells a lot of stock art individually.

I also know that he does commission work and you can find him and contact him on his Facebook Page.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

D6 Storytellers - Character Creation

D6 Storytellers is a game system that I am in the process of creating. You can download the playtest PDF here. I want to explain how Character Creation works with D6 Storytellers.

Character Creation
Unlike most other RPGs this system doesn't have stats. So there is no rolling 3d6 to determine what kind of character you might have. The character is built upon the player's concept and imagination that fits within the Author's (The GM) setting. The game mechanics are also designed in a way that one character shouldn't have an advantage over another character.
The Author should state the setting, genre and other important information that is needed for the players to create their characters. That being said the players should still have some freedom with their character design.

Examples of character design with skills that they have acquired through play:

Fantasy
A minotaur made a deal with Lolth and is now a drider type creature with the upper body of a minotaur. He uses a two-handed axe, casts dark magic and can even spin web.
Skills:
Anything - 1 (1d6)
Two-Handed Axe (Offensive) - 3 (3d6)
Parry (Defensive) - 2 (2d6)
Web - 2 (2d6)
Dark Magic - 2 (2d6)

Supers
In a freak accident a teenage girl, Heather, had her brain switched with her dog. With her brain inside her dog she can actually speak the human language and the canine language.
Skills:
Anything - 1 (1d6)
Bite (Offensive) - 2 (2d6)
Canine Tracking - 3 (3d6)

*Yes, the dog character is really ridiculous

Thursday, July 5, 2018

D6 Storytellers Playtest PDF

While I am working on my TOEE One-Page Adventures I do have a project that I would love to receive some feedback on and playtesters.

The game is a work in progress but at the same time I haven't worked on it any this year. Currently, I am calling the game D6 Storytellers. Though, the PDF has a different name for the game. D6 Storytellers is a system that is based on only six-sided dice and skills. It is designed to be used for any genre and for quick play with little to no prep.

The core mechanic of the game falls on the one skill that every character has:
Anything Skill
At character creation the only skill a character has is the Anything Skill. This allows them to literally do anything (that fits the genre and character concept) within the game. Whether it is trying to bash down a door, using a shrink ray or reading through the pages of the Necronomicon. All characters do everything through the Anything Skill. When a characters rolls a 6 on the Anything Skill (1d6) they have the option to then gain a new skill (the skill they were using through the Anything Skill) at Rank Two (2d6). So if a character rolled their Anything Skill to shoot a shrink ray and got a 6 they then can choose to learn that skill at Rank Two. If that character wanted to take that skill from Rank Two to Rank Three they can only do so by rolling two 6's (2d6).

There is more to the game but the Anything Skill is the foundation that holds it all together.

But I would like to have some people read through the PDF and even do some playtests so I can receive some feedback on the game. The reason I started this project was to have a game I could play with my kids that is simple and quick. Kids have huge imaginations and when I tested this out with my daughter we figured out some things that needed to be fixed, removed and added. She was a Pegasus type character with a Unicorn horn that could do all sorts of things. She was flying around, creating force fields on herself and on enemies to keep them trapped, she was casting fireballs and lightning storms. It went super gonzo quick. But it was easy and fun. And that was the point of it all. To have a system that was quick to, "yes and," without complex mechanics.

The PDF is 5 pages long with a character sheet in the back.
Direct Link Download

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The People of Hommlet PDF

The People of Hommlet PDF is finally complete. It lists the stats and information of 17 NPCs from Hommlet on three pages. When working on this I converted the NPCs over to be used with Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.

Direct link for The People of Hommlet

Now that these two accessories are complete I will start working on the One-Page Adventures for this campaign.

But, I must first discuss something that is pretty important about this project. Mainly, The People of Hommlet. T1 The Village of Hommlet was published in 1979 and then republished in T1-T4 The Temple of Elemental Evil in 1985. While reading through just the T1 section while working on this project I noticed something that was a bit off and upsetting. There is NOT a single named/keyed/statted female character in this book. Not one.
Now, I wrote The People of Hommlet as what was given to me within T1. But I would highly recommend, or even demand really, that you make some of those NPCs female or even trans, non-binary, gender fluid or whatever. Just something that isn't male. None of the allies or foes presented within Hommlet are female. They are all males and they also appear to be all human rather than any of the other races of the realm. I may even go back and change some of these NPCs so they are not all males. But really this is such a simple task any GM can do on the fly. The stats don't change. Just maybe the names.

Well, on to the brainstorming I must go for this Series of One-Page Adventures for The Temple of Elemental Evil.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Untold Adventures and Spell Points

I plan on using James Spahn's Untold Adventures for my TOEE campaign. Also, Untold Adventures is now in print!
There are many, many things that I love about Untold Adventures.

By the way, this isn't a review (yet).

I love how there are only two classes: Swordsman & Spellcaster. The Spellcaster is a combination of both the Cleric and Magic-User. While making Turn Undead into a Level 1 Spell. With it set up in this way the two classes can then be flavored as a "class type." While I've been reading through this a few times preparing on how to use this version of White Box for my own game I believe I came to the conclusion of using Spell Points. The reason why I want to do Spell Points is because of the flavor of the class type. Say a player has an idea for a character that might be closer to a Warlock because their character has made a deal or promise to a demon that grants their character the ability to cast spells. This power would be within them rather than through study and preparation.

How It Works

The Spellcaster starts with three first level spells.
Each level the Spellcaster gains 1d6 Spell Points.
A Spellcaster with an Intelligence score of 15+ grants them one additional Spell Point at level one.
A spell's Spell Point cost equals 1 + spell level (Level 3 spells costs 4 Spell Points). This also means there is a chance a level 1 Spellcaster may not be able to cast spells if they only roll a 1 for Spell Points and receive no Intelligence bonus. But they could still use Scrolls and the such.
Spells Points are recovered the same as Hit Points.
Spellcasters can cast level 2 spells starting at level 3; level 3 spells starting at level 5; level 4 spells starting at level 7; level 5 spells starting at level 9.

Spell Points for Monsters/Foes/Villains

You could use Spell Points for your monster Spellcasters if you want or you could just hand wave it and just assume that they always have enough Spell Points. If you want to know exactly how many Spell Points a monster has you could roll their HD to determine their Spell Points or Multiply their HD by 3.
So an Ogre that is a Spellcaster would have 4d6+1 Spell Points or 13 Spell Points [(3x4)+1]
The level of spells the monsters can cast could either be hand waved or determined by treating their HD as the Spellcaster level.
So that same Spellcaster Ogre can cast level 1 & 2 spells.

Spell Points...Yea or Nay?

Friday, June 29, 2018

TOEE One-Page Adventures Progress

Currently in the hospital with my wife. It is almost baby time! They are inducing her so we are in the room while the medication does it's job. I brought my copy of Temple of Elemental Evil with me so I can do some work on this project.

Like I mentioned in a previous post (or podcast episode) I am pretending as if I only have T1 - The Village of Hommlet to base my project off of. So all the One-Page Adventures will be built upon a custom Temple/Lore that will probably look nothing like T2-T4. Also, the project will be more of a White Box system using Swords & Wizardry Continual Light.

What I currently have is the Monsters & Villains list for The Moathouse.
I've started working on the People of Hommlet list. There will be stats, like the Moathouse list, of the key NPCs. There will be 15+ NPCs on the list.
That is an example of how the stat block will look. The number beside the name is the location number where the NPC can typically be found in Hommlet. Once the list is completed I will work on the first One-Page Adventure. There will be one that involves Hommlet before moving on to the moathouse.

Well, it is getting closer to baby time but I wanted to give an update on this project and let you guys know that it is still being worked on.

Friday, June 22, 2018

One-Page Adventure: Blood Mask & Envy

A brand new One-Page Adventure!
Though, for this one I will be calling it a One-Page Episode.

Blood Mask & Envy is a One-Page Episode designed to be used for Six-Shooters & Wagons. Six-Shooters & Wagons is a Wild West hack for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light by Justin R. Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim.
Six-Shooters & Wagons is Pay What You Want so there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't get it. I have a review of the game that can be found here. I mentioned in a previous blog how I wanted to focus on this game system to support other writers/creators like myself who love the Swords & Wizardry system and love to create for it.

Why One-Page Episode? Well, I feel that for this system it isn't like a typical fantasy adventure that takes the party into new and exotic lands. Most westerns tend to take place in and around the same location. The Wild West was about survival and the hardships that came. Most western TV series, movies and books took place in the same location. And instead of the characters going out and finding danger and excitement, the danger and excitement came to them. So that is why it is called a One-Page Episode. It is just one episode in the entire series. I imagine that the games that are being ran using this system have a lot of character development and community building. PCs are part of the community in someway whether they are key leaders or just residents of the town. They are not adventurers looking for treasure and fame. They are just people trying to survive in the world they live in.

Blood Mask & Envy is an episode that takes place on a train that is going to a town. The town isn't important and is left open for the GM to create the town and the surrounding area for future sessions. And with this episode it could easily be the starter session to get the PCs from the train to the town that the rest of the series will take place. This episode is about a train robbery, an envious man and a bloodthirsty killer.

You can download Blood Mask & Envy HERE (Direct Link).