Saturday, November 17, 2012

Free Game of the Week - Powers & Perils

So, with my acquisition of Lords of Creation, I did some further internet searching and stumbles upon another Avalon Hill game of the era - Power & Perils. I had never even peeked at this back int he day, and there it was staring at me on Ebay.

Thankfully, I found the Powers & Perils site online, a fan site devoted to, what else? Powers & Perils.

Here you can find original scans and corrected (or uncorrected) redone PDFs. If it was published for P&P, you can find it here.

The site has been up in one form or another since 1998 - 14 years. It took me until now to find it and I'm going to gorge on some Powers & Perils over the next week or so.

Old games never die - not so long as someone shows them love.

(BTW - Just found a copy of the P&P boxed set on Amazon for $14.90. There might be more)

Looking at Lords of Creation from Avalon Hill

Yes, thanks to Christian over at Destination Unknown, I picked up Lords of Creation AND three of it's modules on Ebay this past week. What can I say, sometimes you have to take the leap of faith.

I do not read rulebooks from the first page to the last, I tend to jump around. Even when doing a quick skim of the rules I like to poke around, and in this case, I wanted to peek at the GM section first.

I find it very interesting that the rulebook refers to The Horn of Roland as an included adventure in the boxed set, but it isn't. It's the first of the adventures released for Lords of Creation.

I'll be digging through all of these later, but I thought I'd share my finds with you. (BTW, the last two adventures include a GM Screen in one a player sheets in the another).

Turning Spell Saving Throws into Attack Rolls - Putting More Dice Power into the Hands of the Players

I've come to the conclusion that the next campaign I run, regardless of system (though who am I kidding, it will be an OSR / Earlier D&D system) I'll be putting more power into the hands of the players. Note - not the PCs themselves. I just want to move some things that are normally on the DM's side of the screen to the Players' side of the screen. (I'm sure this has been done before, but it's the first time for me)

The main thing is to put some of the rolls the DM makes into the hands of the players. The first thing (and main thing in my mind) is Monster Saving Throws - in particular Spell Saves. I want to turn that into a spell attack roll of sorts, but the difficulty is based upon the HD of the monster, not the level of the PC (although we could tweak that slightly if we wanted to).

It's simple enough to turn the saves into a roll high attack for PC casters. I'm going to use S&W Whitebox for the sample table.

Saves for monsters in S&W WB are determined by subtracting the monster'sHD from 19. So, a 2nd level monster has a save of 17. Simple enough. To turn that into an attack roll, we start from 2 and add the HD.

For example, a PC magic-user would need to roll a 6 or better to successful cast a spell on a 4th level creature (2 + 4 (from HD)). A 1st level creature would need a roll of 3 or better for the PC's spell to be successful.

Simple enough. No longer is it in the DM's hands if the player's spell is successful or not - it lies in the hands of the players now.

Using this system, you could also add an optional modifier based on level comparison if you desired: if the PC is higher in level than the creature's HD, he can add +1 to the spell attack roll. Same level means no bonus. If the PC is lower in level than the target's HD, he has a penalty of -1 to his spell attack roll.

I think it makes sense putting the resolution of caster's spells in the hands of players. Combat resolution of the players' attacks have been in the hands of the players since the game started, why not spells?

Note, this doesn't change how players save against spells cast on them - the point is to put more of the game resolutions in the hands of the players, not remove it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kobold is Dead - Kobold Quarterly Closes It's Doors After 5 1/2 Years

This actually caught me by surprise (thanks to Martin Ralya for the heads up). Even though I had stopped reading Kobold Quarterly sometime last year, as much of it's content did not reflect upon my gaming needs (I'm neck deep in the OSR), it was high quality, professional published and well written. I just don't have much need for 3.5 content (and even less for 4e).

Still, it's passing is a shame. I have my 1st issue of KQ packed away. It was nice to see something rise from the graveyard that took Dragon and Dungeon from us and put their Dopplegangers on the web.

The fact that it survived 5 1/2 years is a tribute to it's quality.

From the KQ website:

It’s a fact that in every fantasy roleplaying game, whether it’s Pathfinder RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, or Castles & Crusades, a kobold’s life is short. They’re wily and quick, but they have few hit points. Sooner or later they go down — fighting. 
That day has come for Kobold Quarterly magazine. After five years of publication, Shelly and I are closing the doors on the little fanzine that could. 
There’s a FAQ at the end of this post with more information, including details for subscribers (who will have the choice of a full refund or a larger amount in Kobold Store credit) and for writers (editors will contact you about Winter submissions). 
That’s the nitty gritty. But as Kobold-in-Chief, I don’t want to talk about that right now. I want to talk about what Kobold Quarterly means to me. 
I always hoped that Kobold Quarterly would someday be my full-time gig, but it was not to be. My sincere thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the magazine, starting with our stalwart subscribers, advertisers, authors, and artists. Thanks also to those who bought only an issue or two; for us, every sale was crucial to our continuing. The magazine may be going away, but the Open Design goal of creating new ways for people to publish their RPG ideas will continue. 
This is a very sad day for me personally, and I know this comes as a disappointment to many of you. The line on small press magazines these days is, “every issue is a little miracle.” We finally ran out of miracles, but it’s been an absolutely stellar five and a half years with Kobold Quarterly’s contributors, subscribers, and readers. 
Thanks for making it more than a “product.” Thank you for making it original, surprising, thrilling, inspiring and quirky. Thank you for making it playable and debatable and fun. All adventures end, and this one has been a blast. 
And now, as adventurers do, we will gather in the tavern to hoist mugs of ale and talk about the monsters we slew and the treasures we won. And then we will begin planning and scheming for the next adventure. 
Kobolds might be easy to knock down individually, you see, but they always come in big numbers. The kobold crew will keep serving you with free articles, the free Courier newsletter, Kobold Press adventures and sourcebooks, and other projects.
We remain Small but Fierce.
Come to think of it, it's been over a year since the last issues of Fight On! and Knockspell...

A Truly Head Scratching Kickstarter - Axe Cop Doc: The Official Documentary of Axe Cop

I don't know if anyone that reads this blog reads the Axe Cop webcomic. I know I don't. I've looked at it, said "no where near my bag" and never looked back. Until now.

Yes, for those of you that love the Axe Cop web comic, there is a Kickstarter for the Axe Cop Doc: The Official Documentary of Axe Cop. They are looking to raise $55k. Yes, the "k" stands for thousands.

I forget how much the fine folks that were looking to do a Dungeons & Dragons documentary (just looked it up - $150k and raised nearly $200k) but D&D has a much wider audience than Axe Cop. Much wider. Like, a lot.

Heck, I suspect if there was a reasonably priced Kickstarter for an Order of the Stick Documentary, it would probably fund, but Axe Cop? Do we really need a documentary on the creation of a web comic written by two brothers about an axe wielding cop?

Here's the deal: a 5 year old writes it and a 29 year old illustrates it. They are brothers:

The AXE COP saga began on a Christmas visit to see my family. My Father, a man with very healthy loins, has managed to produce a variety of children, ranging from me, a 29 year old comic book artist, to my 5 year old brother Malachai, a 5 year old boy genius, with four other siblings in between. During the visit Malchai was running around with his toy fireman axe and he said he was playing "Axe Cop." He asked me to play with him, and I asked what my weapon was... so he brought me a toy flute (actually a recorder). I told him I would rather be Axe Cop then Flute Cop, and he seemed just fine with being Flute Cop. The story that followed became more and more brilliant, until I couldn't contain myself and I had to draw the whole thing into a one page comic. From there the saga continued, and over the course of my week-long visit we cranked out the first four episodes of AXE COP. I posted the comics to my blog and on Facebook and they got great responses. I decided to give AXE COP a home on the internet here and attempt to continue the saga as often as I have time to draw them, and I can get Malachai to write them.

The writing process is basically just me quizzing Malachai as he develops the saga. I'll just try to pry all the details out of him and write them all down until something like a complete little story has been formed. Everything in AXE COP started in Malachai's head, all I do is sort it out and draw it. Here is a video of the writing process. So enjoy these comics, they are a fun slice of the mind of a 5 year old boy processed through the pen of a 30 year old comic artist.
I don't think we need a $55k documentary to flesh out the above 2 paragraphs.

Despite my profession, I don't find Axe Cop to be all that offensive. I just don't find it all that funny and I certainly don't see it worthy of a $55k documentary. Maybe enough people do, but it would certainly surprise me.

Tenkar's Tavern Tankard in Hand!

Just got my very own Tenkar's Tavern Beer Stein deliver this evening. That was damn quick shipping on the part of Cafepress.

Overall, very pleased with it. In the future, I may move the art up a bit, but for a "first stein" I am very happy and I'll be using this during tomorrow night's game.

There is a slight bleed of green ink over the elf's face, but it's not real noticeable unless you look for it. I'm sure that's an artifact from the printing process and I have a feeling it's not common, but with Scott's amazing and colorful art, he probably overloaded the printer's computer ;)

Oh, the color of the stein itself is more accurately shown in the bottom 2 pics.

A Mad Mage's Privy Design - Or - The One Hundred and First Use of a Bag of Holding

Sleep deprivation and internal clock wackiness can lead to truly amazing thoughts. Today's strange thought works off of the idea of waste removal from "dungeons". In this specific instance, I'm thinking of the type of dungeon associated with mad or crazy mages and wizards. Some folks refer to these as "Fun House Dungeons", as they are often stocked with bizarre creatures and off kilter mapping, due to teleports and other such annoyances for the players.

Now, a standard dungeon may have a stream or other water source running through it. Where it enters, you (hopefully) have clean water. Where it leaves is probably where much waste material (dung and the like) will be disposed.

Fun House Dungeons generally exist in weird realities that are cut off from the external world with the exception of specific entrance / exit ways. So, probably no running water from a natural source. In these types of dungeons, I would expect a Decanter of Endless Water to solve that problem.

As for the waste? You could have a privy that teleports it to some random location (I do like the idea of a town suddenly finding itself the recipient of random poop and pee from the skies, and a quest for the heroes to find the source and stop it) but they can't all do that. Well, they could, but then we would miss out on this piece of roleplaying gold: a Bag of Holding serving as the waste receptacle beneath the privy seat.

Just think of the party's joy of finding their very own Bag of Holding being tempered by the odors emanating from within. Think of the struggles to not just empty it of its noxious contents, but the chore of cleaning it. Heck, it may never get fully clean, as it may be nigh impossible to clean an extra dimensional space. Putting your coppers in there may make merchants refuse to take the sludge tainted coinage.

Knights of the Dinner Table had their Bag Wars. The players in this situation may be stuck with Bag Chores.

Alright, maybe I need more sleep.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Playing on Empty - Last Night's Blood & Treasure Session with Keith

Two straight weeks of 12+ hours tours followed by a 17 hr tour on Monday has left me in ass draggin' mode, which was fairly obvious during Keith's session of Blood & Treasure.

I had missed the previous 2 sessions due to the long hours but now that most of my days have returned to a state of semi-normality, I made the attempt last night. I don't think it was pretty

At one point I was so disoriented I was mixing Joe the Lawyer's Blood Island session from last Saturday night with Keith's Blood & Treasure session from three weeks ago. Yes, I was sober ;)

I really felt bad that I wasn't able to contribute more last night, but I had moments where I would fade out and then fade back in. Yeah, starting work at 240 in the morning, waking at 140 am doesn't do your internal clock all that much good, even 2 days after the fact.

Here's the sad fact - I know there was a moment where I had an image that was so disturbing, I swore I'd never forget it - "cannot be unseen" as Jason Paul McCartan so aptly put it on G+ - guess it can be unseen, as I've forgotten it, and it's both driving me crazy and a relief ;)

I do, however, remember "tea bagging" one of the goblins. No, not like that ya perverts, like a real teabag. Alright, jiggling the bait may be a more accurate term.

All this tells me is I need more sleep.

The session was good and fun, with a great bunch of people - I just need to spend more time with them in a more wakeful state...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Just Ordered My Very Own "Tenkar's Tavern" Beer Stein

Cafe Press is damn amazing in what you can do to shirts, glasses, mugs, or in this case, a beer stein.

I just ordered one for myself. I got the idea after someone made the half in cheek suggestion that I make up some "My Party Got Wasted at Tenkar's Tavern!" T-Shirts.

I'll see how it looks in real life and not fake computer visualization when it arrives. If it looks good, I may ask Scott Ackerman if we could set up some things to be sold at cost by Cafe Press - no profit on my end, just one hell of a bar scene fight for folks to hold in their hands.

If nothing else, they may start appearing as contest prizes ;)

A Second Look at Maelorum, an Epic Gamebook Kickstarter

I don't usually post about an ongoing Kickstarter more than once - unless I think they are something really special. I think Maelorum could be something really special.

Do I think it will in and of itself, lead to a game book revival here in the States and elsewhere? Probably not, but it's success as a Kickstarter should lead to another Kickstarter following in its footsteps. Success breeds success.

As I type this, it at $4,749 out of a goal of $5,000 with 5 days to go. It will hit it's goal and a bit more. I'd just hate to have someone miss out on this and then go - "Shit! I should have supported it!" Which is why I'm in for 2 copies, one signed and one not. The one that is not signed I'll offer up as a prize in one of the Tavern's future contests.

See, I'm ready to help those "Shit! I should have supported it!" types ;)

From the blurb:

I want to help keep our beloved Gamebook Genre alive, but I cannot do it alone, I need your help. When published, Maelorum will start a new independant series that will add a fresh title that I hope people of all ages will enjoy. I will try to show a new generation that didn't grow up with these books just what they have been missing! 
This is a story you can interact with and change. Interactive Novels were most popular in the 80's with many series where the reader could determine the outcome of the story, and they have made a small rebound lately. Maelorum is the name of this nearly completed work, and is the result of over ten years of conception, planning, and countless dedicated, sleepless nights. It is different than any Gamebook that has come before, with a first-person navigation system as pictured above, a unique, rebooted battle system, and focuses on storytelling, full of character development, treasure to be found, monsters to be slain -- and much, much more!  
Why this book needs a kickstart: Like many innovators on Kickstart, I have taken this project as far as I can, with the resources I have. Until now this has been a one man show, but now I need help completing Maelorum. I need your help giving it the polish that it deserves. Most of the writing is done. All but one illustration is complete. What I need is professional editing services and game testing, funds for printing costs and conversion into a digital, interactive version. That's right -- this is going to be available in print and as an ebook. 100% of the funding is going towards the project. You're not just backing a project, but supporting a cherished Genre by adding a new series.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Butt Kicking For Goodness! Assorted Kickstarter Updates Through 11/13/12 - Pyramids Anyone?

More of the latest:

Backers Only - Project and Identifiers Redacted (but in it's entirety otherwise, because relying on a second Kickstarter to apparently fund part of your first Kickstarter seems so much like a pyramid scheme it makes me nervous as all shit)

Hey folks!

This is another quick update to address a few recent concerns.

While it's obvious our XXXXXX XXXX Kickstarter didn't "kick," that has had no effect on this project. It still progresses. We've smashed into walls, hit road blocks, and worked around speed bumps, but we're still moving down the road. There are several aspects of this game's creation that are outside of my control at the moment, but everything still moves apace. Some of you were worried that since the XX KS flopped, that it might mean the entire game flopped—not true at all. It means we had to take a very hard look at our schedule and business plan, pull the trigger on alternate plans we hoped we wouldn't hit but planned for anyway, and just keep working (emphasis mine - why was a 2nd kickstarter released when the first was no where near completion? why should the 2nd kickstarter ever have been a part of the business plan? see my "pyramid scheme" comment above). There will be additional products after the core rulebook—the XX KS did not change our plans, it just adjusted the order and timing.

Things have slowed in the last month, this is true. Updates have been sparse. This does not mean that work has stopped. Every day the game is closer to completion and I'm hopeful that the aspects of the game that are currently outside my control will be completed soon.

Many of you are asking for a date. I've learned my lesson there. The day I send the files to the printer will be the day I declare a date and not a moment sooner. I realize this disappoints some of you, but as one of you put it, I need to quit proceeding with XXXXXXX in the "ready, fire, aim" order.

There are many of you who are disappointed that we didn't hit our estimated release date of last April. This I completely understand. Unfortunately not everything always goes to plan. Repeatedly letting me know I missed the date doesn't help me. I know that you know and now you know that I know.

There will be a game. It will be well-written, well-edited, contain fantastic art and maps, and will have a cover that will blow you away. The XXXX XXXXXXXX has been beyond spectacular and has changed the game for the better in almost every way. None of this would be possible without all of you. I appreciate it a great deal.

For the handful of you that I hear from on a very frequent basis: give it some time (because 7 months past estimated shipping date and still counting is not enough). The game is coming. (just as soon as we find another Kickstarter project to push)

Dungeon World

It's a backers only update, but I don't really know why. The books are at the printers, and other stuff backers are due are being worked on. The PDF has been updated to final files.  This is another example of a Kickstarter being so successful that they were unable to hit their projected ship date of August 2012. Which in this case is understandable)

Monster Stock Art & Minis II

This one failed to fund, which is a shame, as the art was really good.

Here's the latest update:

With only a few hours to go, it is time to face the fact that this project won't get funded.  Even yesterday morning I had hoped making the last minute additions and some last minute momentum would push us over the goal.

Why do I think this project didn't make the goal?  I think it is mostly because the physical minis aren't as in demand for the following reasons:

The creatures in this project are less commonly used than the prior project's creatures.
People may have thought the prior set were too thin.  (In my initial survey after that project the sentiment seemed to be that backers were happy with the quality, but recently I've had a few people tell me the prior set was too thin.)
Groups are playing on-line more often now, so physical minis get less use.
The Pathfinder Bestiary Box is now available from Paizo, so there is less need.
Even though there was a higher goal, less than 1/3 of the backers for the prior cardstock minis backed this project.  I don't think the switch from $4500 to $7500 would have scared many people off, especially considering the our first couple of days of funding got us over 1/3 of the way.

The project's goal was set as low as possible.  If you take the goal of $7500 and subtract the 5% Kickstarter takes and subtract the 3-5% the credit cards take that leaves under $7000. Divide that by 100 monsters and subtract the cost to make and mail the physical products and the budget is at most $60/monster.  (All of the art is well over that amount.)  I was able to set a goal of $7500 because having the art for future use was worth some money and some of my time (even though the artists do the art, I do all of the coordination) to me.

(The prior Monster Stock Art & Minis Kickstarter had a lower goal because some art was cheaper (no line art/backgrounds) and some was already paid for.)

Next Up

I know a lot of people who wanted the stock art are especially disappointed.  But there certainly will be another project which will also offer the art as additional rewards.  I've had an idea for a product for quite some time and the art was just as important for that project... so very soon after Thanksgiving I plan to launch the new project.  I've been following up with the artists that were part of this project and I believe we'll have the same group for that one.

Thank you, and I look forward to your support on that project!  (Of course I'll post an update here when it launches.)

Race to Adventure! A Spirit of the Century™ Board Game

An interesting update, if only for an insight into the bigger picture of publishing.

Digital Proofing Begins
Update #19 · Nov. 12, 2012
Happy November, Racers!

We recently shipped out pins & patches to everyone who's owed them, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, you should be getting them soon. We aren't done with all the dice bag manufacture yet, but we shipped out a big pile of what we did have, so some of you have gotten yours already; if you're owed one and didn't get one, do not worry! We know you didn't, and we've got a mark in our "shipping, round 2!" column in our spreadsheet to make sure that you do get one sent to you when the time comes.

On the production side, things with Germany continue to be about as slow as they have been. One thing I've noticed in particular with many manufacturing companies -- whether we're talking roleplaying game books or, now, board and card games -- is that while I might typically operate on a touch-base-every-day kind of mentality, their granularity for work and deliverables tends to be no finer than weekly. That's survivable once you know to expect it -- which is why I wasn't surprised when some of my questions posed the middle of last week didn't get answers until the wee hours (by my time zone) of today, Monday morning.

Where we're at: we've paid LudoFact a little over 50% of the manufacturing cost, with another 30% coming due not too long from now (an invoice for that showed up in the morning's email). There are a lot of moving parts, and LudoFact is essentially the coordination nexus for multiple suppliers of various things, so they're working through each of those parts and getting us a chance to look at digital proofs as things become ready for that. That was also part of this morning's multi-email volley, and included things like the image you'll see at the end of the post.

To one side of the barcode on that box-back proof, you'll see a thin white rectangle with some gobbledygook inside it. This was a late addition to the back cover design; turns out the EU has some new regs regarding manufacturing showing what lot number something was produced in. It's good to comply with EU regs if you intend to be able to sell your stuff there, so we were happy to add in the little blank area that the printer can then fill in with each lot done. I mention this because it's kind of emblematic of what this process is like: tiny adjustments, tweaks here and there, double-checking to confirm I'm understanding my obligation as provider of the files correctly, and getting the new version(s) exported and sent over to LudoFact.

Given the pace of things, I'm more certain than ever that the game's probably landing early next year instead of very late this year. Not too much to be done about that; the process is on rails at this point, and our role in it is mainly to make sure we are not the source of any speed-bumps encountered. LudoFact is clearly in motion, now, at any rate -- which is what we'd hoped for once we got our actual money put down on the table. :)

We'll continue to keep you updated at least monthly from here on until the games are shipped out. Thanks so much for your support, your good faith, and your positive attitudes. It keeps us flying high!

Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting Released - Includes a Tenkar's Tavern Location! ;)

The Keranak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting was just released by DWD Studios. While intended to be used with DWD's Barebones Fantasy RPG it's generic enough to used easily with any Fantasy RPG System of your choice.

I'll be posting a review of this sometime over the next few days, but in the meantime I wanted to draw your attention to a location found within the pages of the Kernak Kingdoms Fantasy Setting:

The border town of Tenkar, named after the dwarf Reik Tenkar and the establishment located just outside the town limits known as Tenkar's Tavern. It gets 5 paragraphs in total.

How frickin' awesome is that?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mother Nature is a Gawd Damn DCC RPG Patron!

It was damn foggy this morning

Really. She has to be. No other way she can be so full of life and destruction at the same time.

I'm back from my 17 hour day in the Rockaways here in NYC, and two weeks after Hurricane Sandy it still looks like it was hit by a blizzard - a blizzard of sand. I guess her name was more accurate that anyone imagined when they named her.

I have a shitload of gaming stuff that I'm supposed to be working on for future publication once my life gets back to normality, but all that might be trumped by my desire to put a DCC Patron patterned on Mother Nature together as a fan project on the blog.

It might help me sort through the destruction that Hurricane Sandy wrought as well as the indomitable resolution of human nature to repair, rebuild, replant and basically resurrect a community after such a calamity.

So, after a piece of cake and a beer (not at the same time ;) I'm going to put my head to my pillow and think of such things and the people I met today, folks that won't let mother nature have the last word. There is some gaming material in what I witnessed today, just as years of gaming has helped me in doing my job since I came on in the 90s.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mini Review - Edge of Space (SciFi RPG Mini Game)

Matt Jackson was kind enough to offer me a copy of his latest release: Edge of Space, a rules light SciFi RPG.

It certainly is light. The whole package comes in at 8 pages, including the cover (so 7 pages for the rules themselves. It even comes in one of those single sheet, fold me into a booklet option, so you can truly take it with you. Not bad at all for a buck.

Character gen and task resolution vague remind me of traveller. Take that with a grain of salt, as I haven't played Traveller in about 20 years ;)  Choose a profession, roll for skills and you are good to go. You really will be up and running in no time. Task resolution is 2d6 plus skill level against a difficulty level, or against another roll if it's an opposed task. As I said, simple and to the point.

Combat is resolved as above using opposed rolls and success (one side or the other will be the attacker in each round, determined by a roll off of 2d6). Each successful hit inflicts a wound, which steps your through levels of damage from Health to Dead and the steps in between.

There are no weapon tables, no armor tables, no tables or lists to buy anything. There are no definitions of skills, which would be most useful, especially for the optional Psychic Troop Profession's psychic skills.

There is no setting or background material with the exception of the introductory paragraph and no sample adventure or sample character.

To me, it feels like the skeleton of a game. There is a solid system here, but without the flesh and muscles, the bones are going to have a hard time standing on their own. Could the reader / prospective GM flesh this out on their own? Certainly, but there are other systems out there that have done that for you.

If you want to play a quick session or two of scifi and your trust your GM implicitly, as he/she will have to make up many decisions and skill definitions on the fly, you have in your hands the bones of a solid system that will let you do so.

Matt, add some flesh to your creation and we'll get a chance to see what it's able to accomplish.

From the blurb:

This rules lite game allows you to put on your power suit, grab your pulse rifle and assume to role of space marines at the edge of known space. 
The Edge of Space Rulebook is designed to allow GMs to easily get an exciting science fiction game up and running in no time. Character generation takes only minutes while still providing players with wide ranging character types to flesh out their space marine squad and get ready to squash bugs in the deep blackness of space. 
So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and get ready to kick some alien butt! 
This purchase includes both a PDF version suitable for reading on your computer or mobile device and a 'PocketMod' PDF version for printing. The PocketMod version lets you print your own 4.25" x 2.75" sized game books from a sheet of paper. Small enough you can take a copy wherever you go so you are ready for immediate gaming!

Invested in the Dice - Changing Perspective From DM to Player

As I mentioned in my previous post, last night was an unexpected opportunity to sit in a game as a players instead of my normal slot as DM. I was also a bit sleep deprived and running on a caffeine high, so maybe my perception was a bit skewed, but I noticed something - dice roll results meant something to me.

When I DM, I let dice roll as they may. I'm not looking to kill PCs, but shit happens and dice are the impartial arbitrators of the rules of fate. I'm very happy with that, even if I do feel for the players when their characters get killed.

As a player, I see myself focused on every die roll. I'm not talking just my own rolls either, but the rolls of my fellow players and the GM. My PC's survival is dependent in a large part on how well my fellow PCs roll and how poorly the DM rolls.

I guess I need to switch the side of the DM screen I sit at a bit more often.

I can now understand the argument to put more die rolls into the hands of the PCs and away from the DM when possible and logical, as it makes players more involved in the whole process. I used to think turning monsters saves into static spell attack rolls based on the save number as blasphemy, but I can see how it might add to the play experience from the players' point of view.

Anything that makes players more involved in the gameplay without changing the balance of the game should art the very least be tried in my opinion.

I may have just have to house rule this into my games later...

A Boxed Magadungeon of 1E on Kickstarter? Cataclysm at the Acaeum

I need to thank James and his Dreams of Mythic Fantasy blog for bringing Cataclysm at the Acaeum to my attention. If there is one thing horribly missing in our hobby these days, it's boxed sets. That is part of the appeal of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperboria and Delving Deeper (if and when we finally see the boxed set of the second), its a box. It can sit on a shelf, it has heft and most importantly, you don't need one gigantic awkward book for the contents. Instead, numerous smaller booklets are a viable choice.

So, besides it being a boxed set, what else do we know about CatA? From the Kickstarter we get the following details:
Cataclysm at the Acaeum is a megadungeon boxed set that is compatible with the First Edition game (as well as the OSRIC system) (They are now adding the option of receiving a S&W version instead of or in addition to the 1e / OSRIC version). This boxed set will include four 36-page adventure books (each containing 4-6 scenarios), three 32-page adventure books (large scale adventure), 24+ cardstock maps and a poster map of the acaeum complex. There will also be a separate book detailing all significant NPCs, New Monsters and New Magic Items. When complete, this will be the largest boxed set produced for the First Edition game!
That is a lot of gaming. There are also some stretch goals, which is good, as it already has hit its funding goal with 27 days to go (it's currently sitting at $4770 with a base goal of $4000). It's being done by Pacesetter Games and Simulations. They have a few dungeons up on RPGNow. I may have to check one out to see the quality of product they bring to the table.

There is no PDF version being offered, and the lowest buy in is $65 (includes shipping in the states)

It looks promising, but the cover art has to go. I'm going to work on the assumption its a placeholder at the moment.

Whereupon Joe the Lawyer Took Us To "Blood Island"

Just add some tentacles and shit and we killed it! ;)

Late yesterday afternoon, Joe the Lawyer offered to run last night's game session. He knew I'd been working 60+ hours a week the last 2 weeks and was willing to shoulder the burden for me. He's also been working on his own adventure, "Blood Island" and was interested in giving it a little test.

I was on board so long as the rest of the group was, and they were, so it was time for me to create a Flailsnails character for Joe's Blood Island (in which he was running a modified LotFP Weird Fantasy ruleset).

So, I used the Autarch website to get me my 5 characters and actually landed one with a 17 strength, 18 con (19 with bonus due to being a Dwarf) and a 14 wisdom. Tenkar Calishun, Dwarven Fighter / Cleric 1/1 using the LL AEC rules was thus born. Like how I combined two rulesets to generate a character to run in a third? heh

Joe kept a great pace going last night. We had but one true casualty (well, two if you count Greg's Fighter going to negatives but getting saved by one of my CLWs) of the four of us, and the challenges were challenging. Our sole death was in the final encounter - it was basically a random sacrifice as we all ran to safety. Craig, thanks for taking the hit for the rest of us ;)

It is fun being a player sometimes :)
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