Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inspiration is an Art Piece Away

Sometimes you need some inspiration.  Sometimes the inspiration finds you.  Most of the time you just sit there, looking at the computer screen.

I've found my inspiration for those times that I want to write but I'm having difficulty getting past the first gate - Clip art.

Yep, looking at the piece of art to my left, I have at least one post where I could draw upon it for inspiration (not counting this one here).  A picture can say a thousand words, or inspire you to write just as many.

This piece is from Outland Arts Fantasy Clip Inks: Spot Art Set 3.  Yeah, long title, but your 12 bucks gets you quality pieces like the one you see here.

Sure, if I was a publisher, I could be using the art in my latest publication, but I'm not, so I can't.  I'm a mere blogger and an occasional writer, and I can use this here art on my blog (the dice hanging out on top of the left column of this blog are from the same set - attribution is on the bottom of this page).

I'm looking forward to checking the other sets out, but the 30 pieces I have to start with should last me for a good amount of inspiration ;)

Old School Hack Now Available at RPGNow

I know it's been out for a while, but many independent games can get overlooked from the wider RPG community when they aren't available at the usual places one finds their gaming PDFs.

Old School Hack should suffer that no longer, it's now available at RPGNow, DriveThruRPG and OneBookShelf's affiliates.

I'd like to congratulate Kirin Robinson for getting their game into wider distribution, as well as keeping the price at a very attractive FREE!

From the blurb:

A table-top roleplaying system that's a hack of a hack of the original Red Box version of a certain popular hack-and-slash fantasy game.

That's a lot of hacking.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Night at the Movies - Thor

Alright, so I'm a bit late to watching this one.  The thing is, I grabbed it as a twofer at Walmart earlier this week packaged with Captain America (still need to watch that one).

I was surprised how much I remembered from my comic book reading years - I was a DC kid, and Thor was never a Marvel favorite of mine.

It was a very entertaining movie.  It had enough references for me to catch that tied it to the rest of the Marvel Universe and yet kept things interesting so that my wife enjoyed it.  She was, or course, laughing at things I wasn't, but as a social worker who spent time in a hospital environment, she really enjoyed the hospital scene near the beginning - go figure.

Is it a must see?  No, but if you are waiting for The Avengers movie that is in the pipe, this has some pieces to the later puzzle.  It is still fun in it's own right, but watching Anthony Hopkins play Odin was just a wee bit much for me ;)

Mini Review - Trouble at Karam's Claim (Labyrinth Lord Adventure)

DwD Studios has putout another 1-Sheet Adventure.  Hmmm, maybe this should have been labeled a "Micro" review instead due to the size of the product ;)

Like Maidens of Moordoth (which I gave away in my last contest - if any are still owed a copy, email me at erikATtrubluniteDOTnet), Trouble at Karam's Claim is made to be printed one 2 sides of one sheet of paper, thus it being called a 1-Sheet Adventure.  It also costs a mere 50 cents (although if you aren't using store credit, they will add a 35 cent surcharge to all orders under a buck - so buy them both for a buck and save ;)

It's a low level LL adventure with 2 maps.  Heck, the product preview at it's RPGNow page shows you exactly what to expect.  Damn good deal at half a buck.

From the blurb:

When the miners at Karam's Claim depleted the hills, they set their sights on deeper wares.  They dug too deep, and uncovered an unusual orc clan lead by an exiled ogre lord.  The characters are in the right place at the right time, and must rescue the miners from the clutches of evil.

Trouble at Karam's Claim is a 1-sheet adventure designed for a party of four to six low-level Labyrinth LordTM characters, though it can be easily adapted to any old-school fantasy role-playing game. This adventure is combat-heavy. If the players lack sufficient front-line fighters, consider having miners they rescue take up swords from fallen orcs and fall in line with them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking a Peek at Crypts & Things

It's all the rage these days.  Well. maybe not all the rage, but it's been making it's appearance on a bunch of blogs these days.  So what is Crypts & Things?

On it's simplest level, it's a reworking of the Swords & Wizardry Core rules to be more Swords & Sorcery in nature.

On a publishing level, it's the latest game from D101 Games, the fine folks that brought us OpenQuest, the open version of the MRQ rules.

One a purely gamiest level, it gives us the first true Swords & Sorcery set of rules to the OSR that I can think of.  There have been a couple of S&S rulesets for Savage Worlds recently, the latest being Beasts & Barbarians: Golden Edition.   It's becoming popular in the gaming circles, so the timing is right.

I jumped on the $40 level of the preorder / fundraiser earlier this week and have just started looking thru my PDF copy.  I like what I see so far, but that's no surprise, and Swords & Wizardry has become my go to OSR ruleset these days.

I'm going to quote from the PDF as to what makes Crypts & Things different from the rest.

How is Crypts & Things
different from Swords &
Wizardry Core?


The Fighter has optional fighting styles, to add more
options and fun and to differentiate between fighter

Adds the Barbarian character class based off the version
of the class originally published in White Dwarf 2 in

Adds the Thief class. This is a more martially-inclined
version of the Thief, inspired by the Grey Mouser from
Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories.

Adds the Magician class, which combines the spell lists
of the Magic-User and Cleric, and then separates them
into White/Grey and Black magic spell lists.

Higher Abilitiy bonuses (+1 to +3) to highlight
exceptional characters.

Removes the Cleric and Magic-user Class

No Elves, Dwarfs or Halflings..

No Turning the Undead either as a class ability or spell.
Life events. This takes the form of a simple table where
characters roll a single D20 three times for starting
characters to learn some of the events that occurred
before they started adventuring and the benefits that
they caused.

Rules systems

A simple skill system based off the Saving Throw
number. Used for class skills (such as the Thieves’
skills and Barbarian’s abilities) and other skills that the
character may have picked up along the way.

Sanity rules. Wisdom is used as a measure of mental
stability. This system is used for both taking mental
damage for witnessing horror and for magicians casting
Black Magic.

Altered damage rules. Hit points become a measure
of exhaustion and fatigue – and are lost as a Magician
casts spells. Constitution is used as a measure of
physical health, and is lost once Hit points have been

Back ground and Setting

Crypts & Things is based more upon the Sword and
Sorcery works of Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber
and Robert E Howard, than the more traditional
Tolkiensque fantasy.

First Day Back to Work and My Ass is Dragon!

Yeah, bad pun in the title to this blog post, but a fun play on words none the less.

Back to work after a week off and I returned to a new office. Well, new as in "you are no longer a glorified secretary with a gun... you may now command your own unit... oh, and you can keep many of your old responsibilities while you are at it." heh

New marriage, new work responsibilities... it can only mean one thing... new gaming opportunities right around the corner! Good things come in threes, right? ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TTopRPG 2.0 - A Free Virtual Table Top

I was browsing the ENWorld forums early tonight, and I came upon a thread that mentioned TTop RPG 2.0, a free Virtual Table Top for use mainly with OGL derived games.  The designer himself uses it for Pathfinder mostly.

It for Windows PCs, or OSX with the proper emulator software.

For a free VTT it looks pretty good, and with less learning needed then MapTools, the leading Free VTT these days.

I'm going to have to give this a proper checking out over the next few days.

It's been added to the Free Resources List on the left side bar.

From the website:

What is TTopRPG?
TTopRPG is a free virtual tabletop that can be used to play various RPG's online using a PC with XP or Vista (or a Mac running a Windows emulator - 2 button mouse HIGHLY recommended). I recently heard it also runs well on Windows 7.

I designed it around the minimal utilities I considered necessary to run an RPG game. It isn't yet in an officially released form, as I continue to tweak, rearrange and add new functions as I find them necessary. I primarily use it to run DnD 3.5 games. It can also run 4e games and supports most nWoD die rolls (although other aspects of the nWoD system are not supported).

Feltothraxis Takes on Vornheim, The Complete City Kit

It's like a constant tease.  Feltothraxis says he's going to look at The Secret Fire and yet another thing distracts him.  This time it was Vornheim.

Almost couldn't find the damn camera after getting back to NYC...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Felt Thoughts and Other Rumblings

So, earlier today I finally got around to filming a Feltothraxis (link to last month's video) video - it's been weeks since I have done so, and I brought him, my camera and my tripod with me on the short getway to do just such.  So, of course, the gremlins struck and the video only played back in ultra-fast motion (sound played back at normal speed - go figure).  So I filmed a new one tonight.  Totally off script.

Feltie does not do reviews.  He does thoughts about RPGs and RPG products, and his thoughts being driven by the thought pattern of dragons often means they are flighty thoughts.  I think that's why I enjoy him so much.  He is very much like a character that writes himself.

Vornheim was in my bag from a previous weekend getaway packing.  Feltie's thoughts on it should be posted tomorrow for viewing.

We still have renovations to be completed at the house (contractor starts next Monday), I got transferred to a new (more responsible) position (same location) at my job over the weekend (my new crew texted me to let me know) and we still need to move my wife out of her old apartment.  Wife.  I really need to get used to saying that ;)

Hopefully by the end of the year things will have settle down and I get get some gaming in on a regular basis.

Brady-Moon Suffers From Bad Brakes

Last nite while heading out to dinner, the car suddenly sounded like we were dragging something.  We weren't.  The passenger side front brake decided it was the right time to crap up.  We aborted dinner, headed home and dropped the car at a local shop at 0830 this morning.  My son is walking back to town to pick it up now.  Both front pads and rotors had to be replaced.

Guess it was better then having repairs needed while heading home tomorrow, with the pets in the car and some major distance to cover.

The brewpub tour we had planned for today will wait for another time.

Did a Feltothraxis video earlier this afternoon, but the video crapped up while recording.  I'll have to try another later tonight.

Mini Review - Winter's Herald (LL Adventure)

Knightvision Game is pretty much known for it's inexpensive adventures for the Labyrinth Lord RPG and Winter's Herald certainly is inexpensive at $1.99.  The question then becomes: "Is it good?"  The answer isn't so easy to find.

My main problem with the adventure is that it is set in an extremely cold climate.  So, it might work well with LotFP's Weird New World setting, but then the adventure includes magic and monsters that Weird New World won't comfortably support.

The hooks to get the party up north would generally have to be planted a session or two earlier, as it will probably be a trek from their normal stomping grounds.

For me, it is worth it for stealing some of the encounters for my own use, 7 new creatures for your OSR style game, rules for dealing with the extreme cold and a handful of new magic items.  YMMV.

from the blurb:

Icemoor is a land beset by winter at the top of the world. For years at a time snow blankets the tundra, ice grips the trees, and storms batter the coast. A pale sun shines weakly on the peoples battling for survival against their foes and the very elements. An ancient menace has reared its ugly head once more and threatens the entire world with its icy grip. Can the heroes survive in a frozen landscape where villains and monsters use the extreme cold as their weapons?

Labyrinth Lord/AEC adventure for 4-6 5th level adventurers set in a arctic-like environment.
24 pages (including front and back cover)

Several new monsters: Freeze Wyrm, SnowCap and the Ikra (Cold Spawn of Icemoor)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Free - d6 Magazine Issue #1 (Open d6)

I do love giving away stuff, especially gaming goodies to my fellow gamers.  That is why I always have something for my old gaming group when we get together a few times a year.  It's why I run the contests that I do.  It's also why I love finding free stuff on RPGNow that I can share with my fellow gamers.

d6 Magazine is a free magazine devoted to the Open d6 gaming system.  The system that finds it origins in the original Star Wars RPG is now an open system, much like D&D 3.5e.  Free magazine for a free RPG.  Amazing how things work.

Inside you get a very insightful interview with one the core writers for the old WEG company,  I love my gaming history articles, and this is a good one.

The article on the Wild Die is a good one, especially as I don't remember using a wild die in the few sessions I ran of Star Wars - must have been first edition.

Oh, can't forget the sample campaign for a d6 sci-fi campaign.

The price is right and it's well written and presented. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Winners of the Free Wedding Favors Are...

Everyone that entered!

Well, 24 fine folks will be getting copies of Maidens Of Moordoth , 5 others are getting individual prizes, as my count shows 29 total entries.  So, if you entered and you aren't named for one of the 5 prizes below, you are getting the prize above.

I broke out my trusty d6 and d10 (because even though I have every weird ass die used in DCC in my bag, I lack a d30) - ignoring any 30s that come up, I rolled 19, 21, 1, 20 and 12

Knockspell #6 (my first and only published article lies within) - JDJarvis

Oubliette #6 (cause it rocks) - NEMO235

6-Pack Adventures: Kiss of the Frog God - (you need something weird, and this is a LotFP WF compatible module) - Loquacious

Elder Tunnels:  Fall 2011 (i have to include something for Tunnels & Trolls on the list) - Tim Shorts

Resolute: The Splintered Realm (neat little system rolled into 20 pages) - Sir Timothy of Kent

I need you all to email me at erikATtrubluniteDOTnet.  I need to know your blogger name (so I know the prize) and the email address you use at RPGNow/DriveThruRPG/OneBookshelf.  These won't be coming as coupon codes - I'll actually be buying it for your account.  This may take me a few days to get them all out, but I'll do them in the order received.

edit:  post a commned to this post too if you could - that way i know that the person claiming the prize is who they are or should be or something along those lines... heh

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

It's a Brady Bunch Mini-Moon

Yep, the misses, the kid, the dachshund, my kitty and myself are away in the country for a few days to enjoy the new marriage / family / everything else.

The wedding ceremony / mass was perfect, the weather was amazing and the reception was a blast. Win-win-win! Thanks to all for their well wishes. I couldn't have asked for a better wedding day.

The contest can now be considered closed. I believe Andugus was the last post. I'll announce the prize winners later tonight or in the morning. Time to settle in and go out for dinner. My son is treating to Pizza Hut :)
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