Monday, December 30, 2013

Blackmarsh in Hungarian!

I just got word from Adam Borbely that the translation and layout of the Hungarian version of Blackmarsh is finished. It is stated for Hungarian retroclone RPG called Adventurers and Catacomb (in English)

This is really cool and I am ecstatic that a group of RPG gamers get to enjoy Blackmarsh in their native language.

Thanks Adam!

Again if anybody want to translate Blackmarsh for their own country's gaming community, you are free to do so as Blackmarsh is 100% open content for the text and cartography. I include a art free text files in the download of Blackmarsh to make reuse and conversion easier.

Friday, December 20, 2013

What is Fudge and why?

Fudge is game developed in the early 90s on the internet by Steffan O'Sullivan. Specifically the on the old Usenet forum. The Wikipedia article has live links to the original post so you can read them yourselves.

It is a toolkit meant to be refined for a specific game. The core rules have a wealth of options that a referee can choose from to make the game he wants. Anything from extremely lite and freeform to very crunchy.

Fudge in a Nutshell sums up in two pages the heart of the Fudge mechanics.

Fudge characters are defined by attributes, skills, gifts, and faults. When there is a rating like for a Strength attribute or Piloting skill it uses the fudge scale; from low to high; Terrible, Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good, Great, Superb. If you don't like the descriptive scale you can use numbers with Fair = 0, Mediocre = -1 and Good = +1 and so on.

Fudge assumes that one attribute level = 3 skill levels, 1 gift = 6 skill levels, 1 gift = 2 attribute levels, 1 gift = 1 fault.

Coupled with this is the concept of scale. In a human focused campaign a human being has a scale of +0. It is primarily a rating of Strength and Mass which is mostly applied to the ability to deal damage and to withstand damage. Each +1 scale give the character 1.5 times the mass of a ordinary human. The rules have examples of scale equated to various real world and mythological creatures.

The elegance of this system is that the resolution of two creatures at the same arbitrary scale works the same as resolution of two humans. So if two pixies at scale -7 go at it the system work just as well as normal human combat. The same with two dragons. For fights between two creatures of different scale in general the larger creatures will do more damage and have the ability to withstand more damage than the small creature.

Action are resolved by either an opposed roll or a roll against a target difficulty.  In an opposed roll the two sides will have a skill or attribute level. For example a fighter with a sword skill of Good and a mage with a mediocre dexterity.  Both side roll 4dF generating a number from -4 to +4. For example the fighter rolls a -1 and the Mage rolls a +2. Like GURPS 3d6 roll the result is a bell curve. The result is applied to the two sides skill and compared. For example because the Fighter rolled a -1 he only gets a Fair result as Fair is one level lower than his Good sword skill. The mage in contrast has a Good result as his +2 roll is applied to his mediocre dexterity raising it to Fair and then Good. In this roll the Mage successfully dodged the fighter's sword swing.

For unopposed rolls the skill or attribute is compared to a target difficulty set by the referee. For example the Fighter has a good strength and is trying to lift the portcullis gate up. The referee rules that he need a Great result. The Figher rolls 4dF and gets a +1. This is applied to his Good strength raising it up by one level to Great. The gate is wrenched up.

The Fudge core rules gives several ways of resolving a successful combat hit. Fudge spends the most time on a wound level system. Characters can be undamaged, scratched, hurt, very hurt, incapacitated, or dead. Typically you can take 3 scratches, 1 hurt, and 1 very hurt. If you already taken all the damage you can at a particular level it is applied to the next worse level.

Again this is summarize nicely in Fudge in a Nutshell. Also the core documents are released under the open game license which means you are free to adapt and publish them for your own use.

So why Fudge? As readers of this blog know I am a long time fan of GURPS. While developed independently Steffan and those helped have strong connections to GURPS and many have written GURPS books. So while Fudge is not GURPS it shares some DNA like the bell curves and allows for attributes to be the primary component of a skill level as well as advantages i.e. gifts and disadvantages i.e. faults.

And what it comes to is that I want to publish my GURPS material along with my Dungeon and Dragon material. Since GURPS doesn't have an open license, to me Fudge is the next best thing. And the fact that Fate, a closely related game, is popular system for many doesn't hurt either.

My focus is implementing Fudge for the type of fantasy games I been running for the past 30 years. Building on the things I like about the various games I played over the years. There is a lot of inspiration from GURPS but also I am inspired by Hero System, Fate, Runequest, and other games I have played over the years. The result is I hope a fantasy game that is allows for skill based character with a moderately detailed combat system using the fantasy tropes of the world's most popular roleplaying games that is easy to get into and that because of it common heritage with Fudge and Fate easy to add new elements of the referee's choosing.

And thanks to the development of the internet and the progress of technology, when I am done writing this it is easy to share it in an attractive format with the rest of you.  Like Blackmarsh and my other open projects the PDF will be free I will charging for the physical book.

I am shooting to get this done by the fall of 2014, I have some other projects to complete first that are priority like a certain English Civil War setting. In the meantime I will play one off games and then when the rules are settled enough I will start a playtest campaign. And of course I will be sharing the development when I have something usable.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Another 40% sale at Lulu

You can use the code LULUEMP2013 to buy books at 40% off on Lulu.

You can buy Majestic Wilderlands (in one of two covers) and Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

As well as OSR stuff along with Swords and Wizardry which the MW Supplement is based on. I personally recommend the Monster Book. Also have a look at back issues of Fight On!

Thanks to Tim of Gothridge Manor for pointing this out. And while you are on lulu look at his store.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Majestic Wilderlands Fudge Attributes

Here is the list of attributes I am using in the Majestic Wilderlands Fudge RPG. It is somewhat similar to how GURPS is setup.

The following the are the costs.  I started with one of the recommended point buy system in the Fudge SRD.

Here is the combat stat block from the Character sheet I made.

A very basic outline of combat is 

  • Roll for initiative 4dF+initiative..

Or if you really like how GURPS does things 
  • Go in initiative order from high to low.
  • Everybody get to do two actions on a turn. A move plus an attack, a long action or an attack/cast spell.

To Attack
  • Roll 4DF add your skill plus dexterity.

The target defends either choosing to parry, block, or dodge. Only one parry or block per turn. First dodge is at full subsequent dodges are at -2 cumulative per dodge. No defense against rear or surprise attacks.
  • Roll 4dF add your skill plus dexterity.
If the roll equals or is greater than the attackers roll then you have defended.
If it is under the difference is applied to the attacker's damage roll.
  • To do damage make an opposed roll of 4dF + weapon damage + strength vs 4dF + armor rating + shield bonus + fortitude. 
If the attackers wins then apply the degree of success as follows

+1 to +2 scratch, +3 to +4, Hurt (-1), +5 to +6 Very Hurt (-2), +7 to +8 incapacitated, +9 or better death.

Humans can take three scratches, two hurts, one very hurt, one incapacitated, one death. If you take more injury at a particular level you mark off one on the next worse levels. So if you took three scratches then your fourth scratch is a hurt. Hurt injuries causes you to be at -1 to all rolls. Very Hurt -2.

You can download a short price list with fudge stats for weapons and armor.
Note the +0 for buckler for the shield bonus is useful because it allows the use of the shield defense.

Here is a character sheet.

For magic just wing it using the spell list found here.

To successfully cast a spell roll 4dF + Thamautology + Intelligence. If you roll equal or greater than the spell difficulty you get the spell off. The degree of success acts as a penalty on the target's save if a saving throw is needed. The reason I have secondary characteristic named Reflex, Willpower, and Fortitude is to make d20 spell conversion easier. 

Each spell has a difficulty associated with it. If you use numbers then you can equate the difficulties as follows

Mediocre 1, Fair 2, Good 3, Great 4, and so on up the Fudge Scale. Note I don't plan on using the Fudge Scale just raw numbers.

Spell damage works the same as weapons except add the degree of success of the Thamautology roll instead of the weapon roll.

I had a full writeup but that was using Vancian magic and spell slots. I am in the process of switching it over to a system like the above and when I am done I will share it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Majestic Wilderlands Fudge Skills

 been asked what the skills I am using for the Majestic Wilderlands RPG.

The basic list comes from my Majestic Wilderlands supplement for Swords and Wizardry. There they are called abilities. I been running Swords and Wizardry with my supplement since 2009 so I am pretty comfortable with that set.

In the MW Supplement I have a catch all ability called Professional Skill. For Fudge I expanded that into something more concrete. Plus I had to add weapon skills which are covered by proficiencies in SnW.

Each skill has an associated attribute and a default level of -3 to +0.   Added to this your skill level. Skill levels cost are as follows.

For example Sword, One Handed is associated with Dexterity and defaults to -2. If you have a Dex of +1 and put 4 points into the skill your final levels is -2 + 1 + 3 = +2 Swords, One Handed.

This is one of the options found in the Fudge SRD and is obviously inspired by GURPS. Which make sense given how fudge is developed.

I have to stress that I haven't subjected any of this to a proper campaign so this is very much alpha level of quality. However given my experience with the list in Swords and Wizardry I have high hopes that it is diverse enough to make for interesting characters but not so huge that one gets lost in figure out what is needed for a given character.

The adventuring skills are pretty much ported over from my Majestic Wilderlands supplement.
The professional skills are from the guild categories found in my price list.

Adventuring Skills
Skill(Attribute) Default
Acrobatic(Dex) -2
Athletics(Str) -1
Climbing (Min(Str, Dex)) -2
Combat Dodge (Dodge) +0
Eavesdrop(Per ) -1
Interrogate(Will) -1
Legerdemain(Dex) -2
Locution(Int) -2
Perceive(Per) +0
Physician(Int) -3
Riding(Dex) -2
Stealth(Dex) -2
Strategy(Int) -2
Survival(Con) -2

Arcane Skills
Alchemy(Int) -3
Divine Ritual(Int) -3
Herblore(Int) -2
Research(Int) -2
Thaumatology(Int) -3

Melee Weapons
Axe/Mace/Hammer(Dex) -2
Axe/Hammer, Throwing(Dex) -3
Knife(Dex) -1
Knife, Throwing(Dex) -2
Polearm(Dex) -2
Shield(Dex) -1
Spear(Dex) -1
Spear, Throwing(Dex) -2
Staff(Dex) -1
Sword, One handed(Dex) -2
Sword, Two handed(Dex) -2

Missile Weapons
Blowpipe(Dex) -2
Bow(Dex) -2
Crossbow(Dex) -1
Sling(Dex) -2

Professional Skills
Accounting(Int) -2
Animal Handling (type)(Int) -2
Artist (type)(Int) -3
Brewing(Int) -2
Carpenter (Int) -2
Cooking(Int) -1
Farming(Int) -2
Finesmith(Dex) -2
Glassblowing(Int) -2
Hideworking(Int) -2
Knowledge (type)(Int) -1 to -3
Knowledge (Heraldry)(Int) -3
Knowledge (Legal) (Int) -3
Knowledge (Ritual) (Int) -3
Knowledge (Social)(Int) -2
Knowledge (Area, local)(Int) -1
Knowledge (Area, region)(Int) -2
Knowledge (Area, cont.)(Int) -3
Lexigraphy(Int) -2
Mathematics(Int) -2
Masonry(Int) -2
Mechanics(Int) -2
Mining(Int) -2
Natural Philosophy(Int)-3
Performance(type)(Dex) -3
Pottery(Int) -2
Tailoring(Dex) -2
Timbering(Int) -1

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Mapping with Hexes

Wizards posted an article about mapping with hexes and scale. I played with hex maps a lot over the years. In particular how to join hex maps together and how to manage a hex map when making a hexcrawl setting.

Writing sandbox settings can be painstaking work at time. Even writing tersely the quantity of locales can be overwhelming. My observation that you will have a dozen or so really good ideas and the rest you crib from whatever idea generator or random table you have.

You could limit this but you don't want to make the region so small that the player are able to move past it's bounds in a session or two. Nor you want to make the locale spaced so far apart that that you get the howling wilderness of the 30 mile hex.

I found that making your hexes between 3 to 6 miles to be ideal. If you are using 1/2" hexes on a 8.5 by 11 paper you get a region of 135 miles by 90 miles. It comes roughly to 27 hex columns and 19 hex rows. For that size three dozen locales fit nicely.

For a 22" by 17" map, the size of a Judges Guild Wilderlands map, detailing that many locales becomes a bit of chore. If that what you want to do find some good random tables to help as an idea generator.

So you start off your campaign a letter size paper full of 1/2" hexes. Then you decide to expand the campaign. How to do you make sure everything lines. The easiest method to have some overlap, generally a
hex column, or hex row is sufficient to keep everything consistent across multiple maps.

There are two types of hex grids



Of the two, the vertical hex map is by far the most popular.

The examples in this post will be using the vertical hex grid.

Hexgrids have several choices how they can be formed.

You can make the end columns even in number.

You can make the ends uneven in length.

The last arrangement is used when you sub dived a large hex into smaller hexes.

Joining Maps

If your map just going to be one page. Then you don' t need to worry about how to join two hex maps together. However with multiple maps then this issue needs some attention

For vertical hex grids the top and bottom of the map are uneven. If you don't want to overlap then you have to have one page start the first hex column high and the lower (or upper) page start the hex column low.

But there are other ways of handling the vertical joining of two hex grids and they have the virtue of making it easier to avoid mistaking in drawing features like rivers and coastlines across multiple maps.

A half overlap

A full overlap

Of the two I prefer the half overlap. It slightly spreads out the vertical coverage of each individual map and I only have to copy the top and bottom hex every other column.

The horizontal joining has several types.

If you use a hex grid with uneven numbers of hexes you can lay them side by side with no overlap.

Judges Guild in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy was one of the first publishers to deal with this issue. They used 18 hex maps arranged in a three maps across 6 maps vertically. Each Hex maps had 52 columns, and 34 rows on the odd columns (1,3,5, etc) and 33 rows on the even columns. The resulting hex grid had uneven ends on the left and right edges.

They decided to use the half overlap to join the maps on the top and bottom edge. However they messed up on the left and right edge and decided to make them overlap. Because of the even ends of the hex grid this resulted in a staircase effect as below. Each map to east was a half row south of the map to the west.

For hex grids that have even ends you can do a full overlap of the last hex column with the first hex column of the next map.

I prefer the full overlap option as it helps ensure that I am correctly drawing from one map to the next. The same reason applies to the half overlap option.

Numbering Hexes

For vertical hex grids the numbering system is XXYY where XX is the column number and YY is the row number. This is reversed for horizontal hex grids.


Judges Guild is famed for having a complete mapping system that goes from campaign level of 5 miles per hex to a regional level of .2 miles per hex and finally to a local level of 42.24 feet per hex. Each larger hex was subdivided by smaller hexes 1/25 th the size of the larger hex. Hence the odd number at the local level.

If your scale per hex is an odd number (5 miles, 25 miles, etc) it is easy to draw up a subdivided hex as shown below. You pick a center hexes and count the remaining hexes outwards. You can use the six points to draw up the six sides of the larger hex.

Hexes with a even scale (10 miles, 30 miles, etc) are not as easy to subdivide. The lines you will be drawing for the sides will be meeting in the center of hexes.

There is alternative for drawing even scale hexes but you will lose the center hex. You will have decide which form is best to use for you game.

I hope with the Wizards article you find this results for your mapping with hexes.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lower starting character in Majestic Wilderlands Fudge

This weekend I ran a another session of my Fudge based Majestic Wilderlands for my friend Dan and my wife Kelly Anne. The object this playtest is to see how characters with lower starting points work out. One of the feedback I got from previous sessions that 30 points characters felt really tough. So this time I cut the points in half and made 15 points characters.

Overall I think it went well. The players felt they were more like first level DnD characters. However they didn't get slaughtered by the some bandits I threw at them despite being out numbered.  Dan played a magic-user and cleric template, and Kelly Anne played a burglar and a fighter.

As a twist the burglar was really a swarm of rats that acted in unison and was friends with the fighter. Fudge is so straight forward mechanically it wasn't hard to figure out a way to handle this. In exchange for being limited to using only a dagger like attack, the burglar could fit through rat size opening and reform on the other side. Otherwise the character was treated as a human burglar for skills and combat.

For the adventure I used Field of Daises by Columbia Games. A short adventures involving an investigation into some missing serf boys and a atmospheric exploration of a local cave. The one of the monsters was an adaption of Harn's Vlasta or Eaters of Eyes. It is a small cat size creature (scale -2) that is noted for it leaping ability and its propensity for going for the face and gouging out the target's eyes.

Basically it had a Dex of +3 and if it hit for +4 for better it hit you in the face. If you sustain a very hurt wound it gouges one of your eyes out. What made the creature interesting was it fast speed vs its scale -2. What damage it did was based solely on its ability to score a good hit as this fudge variant the margin of your to hit roll is applied to your damage roll. If it got hit it scale -2 meant it usually got crushed by the fighter.

I have to take another look at the spell system. Like Scourge of the Demon Wolf, Field of Daises is representative of the type of adventure I ran using GURPS. Which means adventures happens over days with ample time to rest. There is rarely more than a few combat encounters per day. The DnD magic system with it limited but powerful spells may be not a good fit. All three playtest groups have been lukewarm about it use. Despite it working pretty like it does in my Swords and Wizardry games. I could tone it down to more like how the spells are in the d20 SRD.

So 15 point characters is what I will focus on in subsequent revisions of the rules. I will probably reserve a final decision on the magic system after a proper campaign.

Right now I am going to get some more options and this will come directly from OGL sections of Runequest 2/Legends. If you score a greater degree of success you get one or maneuvers. Ranging from disarming your opponent, blinding them, or bypassing their armor. I am going to adapt this to my fudge based games. You can covert every +4 degree of success into a maneuver. Some maneuvers require double or +8. If need be I will reduce it down to every +3 or even +2.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Short History of the Old School Renaissance

The Internet allows niche communities to easily communicate and grow. In this case, around 2000, people playing classic editions of DnD found that there was a great deal of other people still playing classic editions. They started getting together and doing non-commercial stuff like ODnDities.

The Open Game License allowed companies to use the d20 SRD as the basis for a game.

Troll Lord Games decided to make a ADnD RPG that called Castles and Crusade. During its development this was changed to be only ADnD compatible instead of a clone. It compatible in that you can take an original ADnD adventure or setting and use it as is and it will work with C&C.

Matt Finch and slightly later Stuart Marshall takes on writing OSRIC in the mid 2000s. They know IP lawyers and get them involved in the process. Their work relies on the twin pillars that the terms they need are open content because of the d20 SRD and that under US Law game mechanics can't be copyrighted. Their goal is to produce as close of a clone as they legally can. Their first editions was designed as a publisher reference/SRD to producing adventures and supplement.

Concurrently Chris Gonnerman produces Basic Fantasy which is a quasi-clone of BECMI DnD. However it doesn't have as great as an impact as OSRIC as it wasn't explicitly setup to allow third party publishing.

We are now in 2007.

In August Dan Proctor produces Labyrinth Lord a complete ready to run Retro Clone of B/X D&D.

In 2008 Matt Finch, one of the original authors of OSRIC, releases Swords and Wizardry a complete and ready to run clone of ODnD.

Finally in the fall of 2008 OSRIC itself is rewritten as a complete ready to run RPG as Version 2.

Before 2006 there were about 50 odd releases of various material supporting classic editions. In 3e world there was a back to the roots movement led by Goodman Games and Necromancer Games who were noted for writing old school adventures with new school rules.

These all count stuff targeted explicitly written for classic editions.
In 2006 this was nearly doubled with 48 releases.
In 2007 there was a small fall off to 44 releases.
In 2008 there was 76 releases.
In 2009 there was 125 releases

and keeps growing from there along with a huge growth in closely related games set in different genres like planet and swords or close in tenor and feel like the DCC RPG.

To recap the three factors that allowed the OSR to grow in to a substantial hobby niche are

  • The huge body of people who played classic editions of DnD.
  • The internet capability to allow niche communities to communicate and grow.
  • The use of the Open Game License to RPGs to use the most of the same terms as classic editions.
  • The inexpensive availability of Print on Demand technology.

The OSR is now a distinct niche of its own with it own industry side and hobby side similar to Fate, GURPS, Savage World, etc. Unlike the rest there is no dominant (Fate) or single (GURPS, Savage World, etc) publishers supporting it. It is solely supported by multiple publishers. This may change if Wizards decides to return to publishing older edition materials.

I know a lot of hard working publishers are not mentioned I encourage people to go to the Hoard and Horde timeline and check the dozens of excellent material that have been published over the years. Also do a search for OSR on Lulu and check out the OSR section on RPGNow.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Ballad of Bo and Sidwin

(Set to whatever country tune you think fits)

Cindarrin two, came from the south.
Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.

Reborn from a race proud
With a love of women and wine
but walking with a fierce resolve
To right evil's wrong.

To Alden village they came
Bo charm could not melt
the chill icy winds off the lake
or the huntress wintry heart.

Sidwin found the ale
And that Old Man Holt was gone.
To the Hall they went
And listend to Brill's tale of woe.

Cindarrin two, came from the south.
Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.

To the north they venture forth
Dry a an old lady's tears.
Along the way they find a sign
That pointed the way.

A ramshackle old building
Alone amid the wilds
Peering inside the door
A ghastly sign was seen

Halfing Hash for 5
Elf Stoo for 7
Manburger for 9
Wench Fries for 4

Cindarrin two, came from the south.
Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.

Bo gasped in horror
"This ain't right" he said
Sidwin brows furrowed
"I am the cheapest on the menu".

Round the building to the back.
Windows three lay high on the wall
A root cellar door on the ground
Promise a passage to chambers of horror.

To the roof Sidwin was lifted and saw a kitchen
With two dwarves covered in blood. A Minotaur of the same height.
The beast was singing with a gruff.
"Yer kin git anythin' yer wants, at Ellis's restiront.."

Cindarrin two, came from the south.
Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.

To the left was store of Grain
To the right a store of ale.
Bo knelt down and quietly opened the cellar door
"Hey! Get me down from the roof" Sidwin Whispered.

The two ventured into the darkness
Resolved to save Old Man Holt from the next meal.
By the light of an old lamp they beheld the chambers of horror
From the darkness they heard "Hey what that light?"

With no quarter given the two new dwarves were slain.
Bodies riddled with arrows from Bo's mighty bow.
Heads caved in from stones thrown by Sidwin's sling.
With the butchered body of Old Man Holt hanging. The inn will burn.

Cindarrin two, came from the south.
Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.

With oil and grease they covered the ceiling above.
The flames of righteousness lit up the old wood.
The Cindarrin two went back around to the front.
Ready to deal out judgment of doomsday.

Out came the minotaur arrows riddled his body.
Stones flew and the minotaur screamed in pain.
Two dwarves were on the brave halfling.
The minotaur roared and charged Bo

The den of iniquity burned, it evil cleansed in fire.
Alas not all righteous deeds end in life.
Sidwan and Bo could not hold forth.
First the halfling, then down went the fighting man.

Bo the fighting man.
Sidwin Butterbottom the Thief.
Halfling with a sling.
Long we remember, the Cindarrin two


Egbert throws down the parchment, "What rubbish, I can't believe somebody wrote this doggerel."

"Now, now Egbert, it was written out of respect." Conner reproached.

Egbert retorted "They are Cindarrin! They should have a song worthy of a Athoven, Movar, or Tach. Not some mud village screech."

"I am going to get some rest. John take watch, Alfred make up the bed." as Egbert left the hall.

Brill leans over to the Conner. "He is really quite the ass."

Conner nods sadly in agreement.
A lot of fun was had. You can read  gamemaster's account here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Characters for a new Monday Game

Rusty Battleaxe had to bail Monteporte due to work commitments for two weeks. So we skipped last week and Chris of Clash of The Clash of Spear on Shield is stepping in with his first game of Ephemera.

Aside from the interesting background he is having us make up two characters. A primary and a backup in case ... well we all know what happens in classic editions. The rules are the fourth printing of the Swords and Wizardry Core rules with short set of house rules outlining the options he will be using. Since my primary is going to be Bo the Fighter the most interesting is the use of the Parry rule.

In the 1974 edition there is a rule you could opt to fight defensively and your opponent has a minus to hit based off of your Dex.

Here my characters Bo the Fighter and Egbert the Magic User. I geared up Bo as best as I could on 80 gp. I guess my luck ran out after I rolled the stats. For Egbert he has a 7 charisma. Since I roleplay Luven a thief with a 7 charisma I made Egbert my backup. However to give him a bit of edge on survival I used my starting money to hire some hirelings. Alfred the Torchbearers and John the Rotund my Man at Arms. If Egbert comes into play, he has ten days to find treasure before he runs out of gold to to pay John. Alfred is paid up for 30 days.

You can download the characters from here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Majestic Wilderland RPG Part 3, Fighters

The Majestic Wilderlands Supplement was just that a supplement. Anything it didn't cover you used the Swords and Wizardry core book. In practical usage that is a bit of pain having to flip between the two. I now understand one of the primary motivations to collect all the ODnD books into ADnD 1st edition. I am just dealing with two books here and not the six+ books of the ODnD series.

So the core classes will be in now. And the first up is Fighting Men.  In Sword and Wizardry, Core that was just Fighters. In the Majestic Wilderlands that also included Berserkers, Soldiers, Paladins, Knights, and Myrmidons.

In the four years since the release of the MW Supplement, those classes have held up rather well. A major addition I made was that they all add their to hit bonus to their initiative die roll in addition to their dex attribute bonus. Coupled with that change monster received a initiative bonus equal to half their hit dice rounded down.

I also made a ability progression chart and placed at the beginning of the Fighting Men section. There was some text at the end of the explanation of ability that gave the progression for each of the SnW core classes but that quickly proved to be too much page flipping.

As for abilities, note that Athletics is used for the typical checks that high strength character get for break doors, bend bars, etc. Athletics is modified by your class bonus, if any, and your strength bonus. That why there is no chart for those actions in the section on the strength attribute.

Note that for the next view post on character classes I will be only be posting things that are changed. If it is not posted then it will be the same in the current supplement.

Ability Progression
All Fighting Men gains bonuses to the following abilities; Athletics, Intimidation, Strategy.

Fighters are warriors, trained in battle and in the use of armor and weapons. You are on the front lines of your adventuring party—going toe-to-toe with dragons, goblins, and evil cultists, hacking your way through them and taking the brunt of their attacks. The Fighter character is best-equipped to dish out damage and absorb it. You serve as the sword and shield, protecting the weak and taking down your enemies. One day they will tell legends of your battle prowess, and followers will flock to your castle stronghold where you revel in your fame, riches, and newly earned nobility. 

A Fighter gains 1D6+2 HP/Level
Use any Armor/Shield, any Weapon
The fighter’s to hit bonus is added to their initiative roll.
Against any creature of 1 HD or lower you make 1 attack per level each round. 
A character with a Strength of 13 or better will gain +5% to any earned experience.
At ninth level, a Fighter may establish a stronghold and attract a body of men-at-arms who will swear their loyalty to the character as their liege.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Majestic Wilderlands RPG Part 2, Attributes

I deviated from Swords and Wizardry on Attribute bonuses. I didn't want to use the full +1 for every two of the d20 SRD but felt the Swords and Wizardry was too minimal. So I opted for a +1 for 3 points of attributes.  This works hand and hand with the ability system that I use to resolve most non-combat actions.

For those of you use who don't have my Majestic Wilderlands supplement, the general rule is that the player has to describe what he is doing as his character. If failing has meaningful consequences then I have roll a 1d20 over a certain number. Typically a 15, 10 if it is easy, 20 if it is hard. To this roll the character can add his attribute bonus and the relevant ability bonus.

I have to stress any character can attempt any action. A cleric can lockpick, a fighter can attempt to puzzle out a magic item, a magic-user can try to bust down a door, a burglar can try to figure out a point of theology. However various classes are better at some things than others.

Also I pared down the wordage from the Swords and Wizardry original. I found the minimal description were more than adequate to explain even to a novice what the attributes represent.

I use the Lamentation of Flame Princess encumbrance system in place of tracking weight in Swords and Wizardry. I think Raggi's mechanics is simply brilliant in its simplicity and ease of use. In practice player hardly don't keep real track of it. I pay attention to the number of items they carry from time to time and it obvious when they are going to bust their weight limits. In the campaigns I ran so far, eventually the party pool their funds and either commission or buy outright a bag of holding.


The basic attributes of a character are: Strength (muscle power), Dexterity (quickness and coordination), Constitution (general health and hardiness), Intelligence (education and reasoning), Wisdom (common sense), and Charisma (leadership).  For human character attributes are rated from 3 to 18 with an average of 10.

Rolling Attributes
The roll the attributes of a new character roll 3d6 six times and arrange accordingly.

Ability Modifiers
Attributes modify ability and combat rolls. After assigning your attribute look up the modifier on the following chart.

Score       Modifier
3, 4, 5    -2
6, 7, 8    -1
9, 10, 11  +0
12, 13, 14 +1
15, 16, 17 +2
18, 19, 20 +3
21, 22, 23 +4

Prime Attributes
Each of the four main classes (Fighting Men, Clerics, Magic-Users, and Rogues) have an associated prime attribute. A score of 13 or better will give the character a +5% bonus to all experience.

Class Attribute
Cleric Wisdom
Fighting Men Strength
Magic-User Intelligence
Rogue Dexterity

Strength represents the muscle power of a character. It is the prime requisite for Fighting Men. It has the following effects.

Modifies the chance to hit in melee combat
Modifies the damage of a weapon in combat.
It modifies saving throws involving danger that can be avoided by using muscle power.
It is the prime requisite for Fighting Men. Granting a +5% to all earned experiences if the score is 13 or better.
Modifies the following abilities: Athletics and Climbing.
Modifies the amount of items one can carry before being encumbered.

Dexterity represents the overall quickness and coordination of a character. It is the prime requisite for Rogues. It has the following effects.

Modifies the chance to hit in missile combat
Adds to the character’s initiative roll.
Modifies the character’s armor class.
Modifies saving throws involving danger that can be avoided due to quickness or coordination or a character.
It is the prime requisite for Rogues. Granting a +5% to all earned experiences if the score is 13 or better.
Modifies the following abilities: Climbing, Legerdemain, and Stealth.

Constitution represent the general health and hardiness of a character. It has the following effects.

Modifies the number of hit points rolled as result of gaining a new hit dice when a character levels.
Modifies saving throws involving danger that can be avoided due the character’s health or hardiness.
Modifies the following ability; Survival.

Intelligence represents the general education and reasoning ability of a character. It is the prime requisite for Magic-Users. It has the following effects.

Modifies the number of hit points rolled as result of gaining a new hit dice when a character levels.
Modifies saving throws involving danger that can be avoided due to the education or reasoning ability of a character.
It is the prime requisite for Magic-Users. Granting a +5% to all earned experiences if the score is 13 or better.
Modifies the following ability; Accounting, Eavesdrop, Herblore, History, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Physician, Research, Strategy, Thaumatology.
Limits the maximum spell level a Magic-User can learn.

Score Max Lvl
3 to 7 4
8 to 11 5
11 to 12 6
13 to 14 7
15 to 16 8
17 to 18 9

Wisdom represents the common sense and willpower of a character. It is the prime requisite for a cleric. It has the following effects.

A wisdom score of 13 or better allows a Cleric to have one extra 1st level spell.
Modifies saving throws involving danger that can be avoided by common sense or willpower.
It is the prime requisite for Clerics. Granting a +5% to all earned experiences if the score is 13 or better.
Modifies the following ability; Perceive.

Charisma represents the leadership ability and personal rapport of a character. It has the following effects.

Modifies saves involving danger that can be avoided by using the character’s leadership ability or personal rapport.
Modifies the following abilities; Intimidation, and Locution.
Sets the maximum number of loyal henchmen the character can effectively command.

Score Max Henchmen
3 to 5 1
6 to 8 3
9 to 11 5
12 to 14 7
15 to 17 9
18 to 20 11

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Majestic Wilderlands RPG Part 1

I came out with the Majestic Wilderlands Supplement nearly four years ago. Since then I placed many sessions of Swords and Wizardry plus the MW supplement. Some with my Monday night group, some at conventions, and others at games stores like the Gold Star Anime.

The rules to my game haven't remained static. Since my adopting Swords and Wizardry and writing the MW Supplement I have added, and refined the rules I use at my tables. And now I find the need to collect together into something coherent. Eventually it will wind up as a Majestic Wilderlands 2nd edition.

Functionally it will be a complete RPG in terms of rule. Not because I have any great passion to add to the every growing collection of OSR rulesets based on the original roleplaying game. It because I would like to have a single document to hand to a player when they ask me how to make a character or need to refer to something in my game. If I do polish it and released as MW 2nd edition it will still be a supplement to Swords and Wizardry.

These irregular posts will serve to organize the material I developed over the past four years. And will appear along the with the ones developing the fudge based RPG I been working on.

First off is the list of steps needed to create a character. I developed a set of  reference cards and honed it so that even a large group can get all their characters done in 15 to 30 minutes.

You may notice that I don't give advice on all the attributes. The ones in the list are those that I found get asked about or pointed out the most beyond the obvious prime requisites. And remember in my game, any class can attempt any class. Some players when deciding to place attributes may decide to put their second highest or third highest numbers so that their favorite abilities get a boost. For example Dexterity for Stealth or Charisma for Locution.

Creating Characters

The following sequence has been found to allow groups to quickly generate characters before or during a session. To get the most of this sequence the referee needs to obtain and print out the character creation quick sheets. These quick sheets are available with the purchase of this book or freely downloadable from the author’s website.

Roll 3D6 six times.
Look at the character class summary and pick out the character class that interests you.
Arrange the six rolls accordingly.
It is recommended that the highest roll be placed in your class’s prime requisite.
Dexterity will improve Armor Class
Constitution will improve your hit points.
Charisma will improve your character’s relations with the NPCs of the setting and the increase the number of loyal henchmen you can have.
Rogues need to decide to focus on combat, or particular abilities.
Look at the character race summary and pick out the character race that you want to play. Keep in mind that humans get +15% to their earned experience in addition to their prime requisite bonus. Also keep in mind that some races come with complications when dealing with societies dominated by humans.
Modify your attributes according to race
Optionally roll 3d6 for starting experience point*.
Record your attribute modifiers, the abilities of your race and the abilities of your class.
Roll 3d6 and multiply by 100 for the number of silver pieces you start with.
First level characters start at maximum hit points.
Pull out the short equipment list and buy your weapons, armor, dungeon equipment, and starting magic items if any. If you are starting above 1st level and you are a cleric or magic-user remember to reserve some of your starting wealth for ritual spell casting.
Your character is now ready for adventuring.

* I use a modified chart based of the one at the end of Jeff Rient's Tower of Xylarten for some of my sessions.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Treasure for my Birthday and Dwarven Forge Notes

My wonderful wife, Kelly Anne got me the Ancient Treasure set from Dwarven Forge.

It is pretty cool and will come in handy along side the original Treasure Set it bought a couple of years back.

Also for all those you missed the kickstarter Dwarven Forge has started selling their game tiles both painted and unpainted. One set is $85 painted and $55 unpainted. 

If you think that the game tiles will be too unwieldy you may want to look at just some of the add ons like the Door Pack, Stairs, or Furnishing. Just use your dry erase as normal or you Dungeon Tiles and place them on top.

Finally even if you don't want any of the above. I suggest looking at their paints and brushes. They are top quality even for regular miniatures. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor for $1

Paizo is selling print copies of Badabaskor for $1. It was the first print product I was responsible for. I did the maps for all three of Goodman Games Judges Guild products.

In Badabaskor I tried to remain faithful to Bob Bledsaw's original modules. I did alter a handful of area in the dungeon but for the most part left things as I found them. The main additions was taking the original sparse entries and tying them together. Resulting in a Bandit town sitting on top of a dungeon of clerics who worshipped a demon god which was once a fortress of the Dragon Kings of a long dead empire.

Also Stephen Cobert guest stars.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blackmarsh exceeds 4000 copies!

Tenkar's reports on the downloads of the Free Swords and Wizardry Complete PDF reminded me that I forget to post that Blackmarsh exceeded 4,000 copies. I didn't make much money ($250 to date) but that wasn't the point. With the Heroes and Other Worlds version, the Hungarian translation, and numerous campaign reports from blogs, Blackmarsh has achieved the goals I set out for it. To have a straightforward high quality hex crawl setting for people to use and to reference.

At the current rate of downloads (about 75 to 125 a month) I expect 5,000 downloads will be reached in late 2014. And don't forget that the print copy is only $7 plus shipping.

Finally I would like to say that that if anybody wants to translate Blackmarsh into their native language, I am open to have it included in RPGNow download packet. Of course the translation will be credited. Feel free to email if you have question on the meaning of any placename or term you are not familiar with.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A correction to my previous correction about Lulu's 40% off sales.

OK for real this time.

From now until Monday (Nov 4th) you can use the code FALLSALE40 to buy books at 40% off on Lulu.

You can buy Majestic Wilderlands (in one of two covers) and Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

As well as OSR stuff along with Swords and Wizardry which the MW Supplement is based on. I personally recommend the Monster Book. Also have a look at back issues of Fight On!

And to prove it here is a screen shot.

Majestic Wilderlands/Realms Characters

Yesterday I posted what a Majestic Realms character looks like. As you can see it is rooted in the Fate/Fudge family of RPGs.
Note: 4dF produces a range from -4 to 4 in a bell curve. You roll +0 or higher 63% of the time.

I picked the priest because it show all my planned elements in a single character.

I will get to this later in the post.

This part echoes GURPS the most. I picked Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Constitution. The secondary attributes are Endurance, Reflex, Will, Perception, Fortitude. Each of the secondary attributes are based off of a primary and can be raised and lowered from there. There is one derived attribute Init which is your Dexterity + Constitution.  I opted for GURPS 3rd Edition version of basing Endurance off of Srength (Fatigue) and Fortitude off of Constitution (Fudge Hit points sort of).

Skills start at -3,-2, -1, or +0. You buy skill levels and when you make a skill roll an attribute will come into play. So to swing a mace you are rolling Mace (+0) + Dexterity (+1) for a total of +1 to your 4dF roll.

Spells and Gifts
I will explain gifts when I talk about Aspects. Spells are bought as spells slots that work just like Swords and Wizardry. You memorize a spell for each slot (duplicates allowed) and after you cast it you have to rest for 8 hours plus 1 hour of study. The spell slot have to be bought in a pyramid until you have four spells in a level. Then you can have a equal number of spells in the level above. For example 4 1st, 4 2nd, 3 3rd, 2 4th, and 1 5th is a legal pyramid.  I will have copious example to make this clear. It is the system I used when playing NERO LARP and it works well at replicating DnD style vancian magic with a point based system.

Combat Statistics.
Scale is straight out of the Fudge rules. Basically each level of scale is 150% heavier and/or taller than the level below it. It is added to damage rolls and damage resistance rolls as well as strength rolls. It is a very elegant way of handling creatures of disparate size.

In combat you get up to three defenses, Dodge, Block, or Parry. Dodge is based on Reflex plus Combat Dodge skill. Block is based on Shield Skill + Dexterity, and Parry is based on Weapon Skill + Dexterity. Shields give a bonus of +0 small, +1 medium, or +2 large.

Threshold is based on your Fortitude + Armor Bonus.

OCV (Offensive Combat Value) of a weapon is Dexterity + Skill
DCV (Defensive Combat Value) of a weapon is Dexterity + Skill + Shield Bonus
Damage of a weapons is Weapon Damage + Strength.

Combat involves everybody getting two actions in the order of a 4dF+Init roll.
To Hit = +1 or better on an Opposed Roll of your OCV versus your opponent's DCV or Dodge.
Damage = An Opposed Roll of Damage versus Threshold plus the margin of success on the to hit roll.

+1 to +2 success is a scratch. You can take 3
+3 to +4 success is a hurt injury. You can take 2 and you are at -1 to all rolls
+5 to +6 success is a very hurt injury. You can take 1 and your at -2 to all rolls
+7 to +8 success means. You are incapacitated and no longer act.
+9 or better you are dead.

This I borrowed from Fate. However I use it differently. Aspects are used to define the background and personality of the character. They are also prerequisites to Gifts and Complications which are may have a mechanical impact. For example to be able to cast divine spells you need to take an aspect that says the character is a priest of some deity. I arbitrarily said that in the Majestic Realms taking this aspects gives you the ability to buy and cast divine spell slots, and it gives you the give of being able to Turn Undead. Both of which are defined by a set of rules I wrote.

In addition being a priest of Delaquain brings in some complications like being a member of church's hierarchy and having to adhere to a code. For those of you with the Majestic Wilderlands supplement Delaquian is the Majestic Realms name for MW's Mitra.

Note the "I arbitrarily said". Majestic Realms aspects are meant to reflect how the setting of the referee works. If something is not covered by a skill or an attribute then make it an aspect. The only requirement is an agreement between the player, and the referee. If a referee and his players feel it OK for one player to be very wealthy and the rest are his employees then have everybody take the appropriate aspects to make this happen.

So what about points? In the 20 years of playing GURPS I fine that most campaign start with the players talking among themselves about what they want to play. This is a result of the wealth of options that GURPS provides. There is so many that to keep things that they organize things among themselves to make complimentary characters. This is without me prompting them, it just how GURPS (and Hero System for that matter) seem to work among a group of mature roleplayers. The downside of GURPS, character creation always winds up involving searching the disadvantage list to get the bit of allowed points. Even when you have everything you already need.

In Swords and Wizardry there are no mechanics for character background other than to pick a race and/or class. If a players decides to be poor it because they wrote it down on the back of their character sheet. Or if they are a noble it because the referee and the player came to an agreement that this was OK.

I think Swords and Wizardry is little too loose and GURPS a little to formal. I think the general idea behind Fate's Aspect is a good balance between the two. So I jettison the metagame Fate point mechanics and retained the idea of Aspect as prerequisite to various benefits and complications.

Because of my experience with GURPS campaigns I am not going to bother charging points for aspects as most of the time players and their referee wind up hashing things out anyway as part of getting the campaign going.

Now a mistake of many "generic" system is that they give you the mechanics and the ideas but little in the way of worked example. I am going to provide a complete ready to run implementation of all these ideas. Largely based on the style of fantasy I been running for the past 30 years. Some of which you seen in the Majestic Wilderlands Supplement, Blackmarsh, and Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

And it going to take a while I expect to release this no earlier than next fall. In the meantime I got other projects to complete that I owe people for. But I will keep you posted and eventually release a beta.

So far it has been an interesting experience and I learn a lot about some interesting games like Fudge and Fate.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fudging Majestic Wilderlands/Realms

Last Monday I ran the third playtest of a fudge based Majestic Wilderlands/Realms*.

*I intend to write the ruleset for general DnD style fantasy rather than just my Majestic Wilderlands. The name will be Majestic Realms to reflect this.

This session featured Chris playing a fighter type, Ken playing a Burglar type, Dan playing a Fighter with a single spell, and finally Tim playing a mage. The adventure was an adaption of Brave Halfling's Ruins of Ramat.

The playtest rules featured a first draft of converted Swords and Wizardry spells. A character creation booklet with slightly more detail the most important of which was four character templates (fighter, mage, burglar, and priest) to use a base for character creation.

For preparation I mostly focused on trying to get the numbers right for the monsters. I found a  C++ program to simulate Fudge combat.  Plus I bought Hack-n-slash a Fudge DnD style RPG, along with a bunch of other Fate and Fudge supplements for fantasy. I found that the starting level I been using is probably way overpowered. But since characters were already made I decided to live it with for this session.

The basic fact of Fudge/Fate is +1 is a significant modifiers enough to turn a 50-50 contest into a 66  to 34 contest for the side with the +1 advantage.

The upshot is at the end the players agreed that 30 pt characters felt more like high point GURPS characters or high level DnD characters.

Here are the template I been using. 30 point characters.
Here is what 15 points look like as starting characters.

I will talk in more detail about the various elements of the characters in a follow up post.

Some Rough Notes.
Tim's use of spells went pretty much like it did in a Swords and Wizardry game. Only a handful of spells but when used often a game changer especially when the use of web saved the party from a pair of tentacle demons.

All the combat when pretty much as predict by the Combat simulator I wrote. The Skeletons didn't really stand a chance although injury was inflicted. The tentacle demons were going to be the toughest fight. The combat with the Huecuva went a little easier but Tim rolled really well on a Magic Missile taking it out in one shot.

The basic Fudge Mechanic is pretty solid and despite the greater number of rolls compared to Swords and Wizardry combat went fast.

Definitely need to run a lot of session similar to how the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG was developed. Everytime I ran I found something either to add that was way better than the stuff I initially thought of or something that needs worked on.  For example I gave the players the option of holding over to the next round their number of successes in liu of trying to inflict damage.

Roll20 lighting feature is pretty damn cool.

The GM Side (and showing the tentacle demon fight)

The Player Side

There is some work setting it up but the result it worth it in my opinion.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get your RPG goodness on Lulu at 40% off

From now until Monday you can use the code FALLSALE40 to buy books at 40% off on Lulu.

You can buy Majestic Wilderlands (in one of two covers) and Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

As well as OSR stuff along with Swords and Wizardry which the MW Supplement is based on. I personally recommend the Monster Book. Also have a look at back issues of Fight On!

Well I was mistaken about this the coupon is usable for ordering your books only. I.e. the ones you authored.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tegal Manor + the J Squad + Dwarven Forge = several hours of awesome fun.

Saturday saw the J-Squad return to Tegal Manor after a two year absence.

For those of you that are new, I been running a Swords & Wizardry campaign at the Gold Star Anime since 2010. The group has been inflict err playtested many of my Swords & Wizardry rules and adventures. I call them the J-Squad because most of the players names begin with the letter J. Tonight I refereed, Jay, Josh, Joe, Justin, along with Todd and my wife Kelly Anne.

Josh places a Thug, see Majestic Wilderlands supplement,  named Hazar and he happens to own Tegal Manor after buying it off of Sir Rump. The party managed to get through a third of the manor before getting side tracked onto other adventures.

And now they have returned. Marking this special occasion I pulled out the Dwarven Forge I recently got from the kickstarter.

Once again the party opted to enter through the main foyer and promptly encountered a Balrog.

And it turned out to be a ghostly butler who attempted to put away their wraps. Hazar warned the newer members of the party not look into the portraits hanging on the walls. Note: I need to make mini portraits to hang over the walls. Hazar consulted his map and the party headed down the corridor to the left.

At the end of the corridor was a Iron Door, when opened it revealed the Main Torture Chamber of Tegal Manor. In the middle there was a 10' pit. After much discussion it was decided to send one of the hirelings down the shaft. The hireling cried out that that he sees the bottom and promptly start screaming. The rope goes taunt and then slack again as the screaming stops.

Joe's Fighter, Faramir, begins climbing down and sees an hungry ogre coming at him. After swinging past the ogre, Jay's charcter, Heimdell, a dwarven runecaster, lightning bolts the ogre.

The party decides to explore the dungeon underneath Tegal Manor. And promptly runs into a 16th level Lich. I am not kidding when I say this was a completely random encounter. I rolled a 1 on a 6 sided and then a 39 on the random monster chart of Tegal Manor.

The lich fireballs the party killing Alia, my wife's character, along with Faramir and the two hirelings. Heimdell activates another lightning bolt rune and hits the lich who withstands the damage. It comes down to Justin's cleric who points his Wand of Polymorph at the Lich. I use Kelly Anne's baseball sized d20 and rolled a 3. Oh crap! The lich needs a 5 to save. Justin turns the dread lich into a kitten! With a mew and a swish of its tails the kitten lich scampers off into the darkness.

The party packs up the four bodies and head to Goodnap which has a Cathedral of Mitra and a cleric capable of Raise Dead. A week later they return to Tegal Manor and once again decide to continue exploring the second level.

They managed to quick find their way into third level of Tegal Manor. They entered a strange room filled with plants and stone work folige. On closer examination the stonework is riddled with dozens of two inch diameter holes. Out of which poured a horde snakes. So many that I had to use my giant frog miniatures to represent all the snakes.

Nominally low HD creatures, the fight proved the adage that quantity has a quality of its own. That is until Heimdell activated his Conjure Fire Element Rune.

The resulting 16 HD Fire Elemental quickly cleared out the horde of snakes.

The party explored much of the third level. Discovering and unsealing the tomb of a vampire lord. Then promptly sealing it with a Wall of Iron cast by Heimdall. They have two hours before it come down to figure out what to do about it.

They fireball four ancient barrow wights who barely had time to move. And finally wound up meeting a mother spider and her brood. And that where we called it for the night. Below is a picture I snapped just after the encounter with the Vampire Lord.

The Dwarven Forge was excellent to use. The main issue was the layout of the table. I need look at a different arrangement so that I can layout on two tables pushed together instead of three. Also I need to keep in mind where I am starting the layout from. I am used to not having much and tearing down after two to three rooms. During the session I was continually building out to the table's edge. Also I should have brought my resins because the Tegal Dungeons are mostly corridors. My one resin set has tees, corridor corners, and four ways.

As you can see I had some of the floor pieces painted as well as all of the doors. On Sunday I finished the remaining five big 4 by 6 pieces as well as 15 more 2 by 2. Only spent an hour painting after Friday's marathon. I laid out some corner and wall to paint.

The Porzony Paints are excellent to work with as well as the brushes he sent. I have to grab some more big brushes as I found it a lot more useful then I thought it would be. The doors are by far the more tedious pieces to paint. It is easy to get the floors, corners, and walls done.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The tramp of doom stopped at my door and the delivered two boxes of Dwarven Forge!

After opening them I find yet even more boxes! Those devilish Dwarves and their obsession with properly guarding treasure!

Our kitten wonders what the fuss is about.

And several hour later and many small plastic bags thrown away the long awaited treasure lies before us.

Now I need to figure how to transport this stuff to bring Tegal Manor to life this Saturday.

I use the box that Dwayne of Gamer's Closet made to pack all the walls, corners, diagonal walls, and windows pieces.  I took a couple of the smaller boxes and used those to pack the floors, doors, special walls, and round walls.  A bead tray serves to hold the various bits of furniture. Finally I will go to Jo-ann Craft store and find a bigger bead tray/container to hold the remaining pieces in the little boxes.

Overall I am quite pleased with what I got. All my door pieces operated correctly. I think they may be the best door pieces I have to date. The 4 by 6 floors were warped slightly as reported by many others but not badly. Just enough to be noticeable. I am missing a bench piece out of the hundreds that were shipped. And finally Dwarven Forge threw in a bunch of brushes that I didn't expect with the paints I ordered.

All and all it was expensive but I feel it money well spent. I will put a post showing the stuff in action when the J Squad returns to Tegal Manor on Saturday!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Digital Orc gets a A+ rating!

One of the events I attended at Con on the Cob was a session ran by Dylan Hartwell  of Digital Orc revolving around the Menagerie of the Ice Lord. Dylan is an excellent referee, incredibly enthusiastic and runs a great adventure.

One thing that gets my A+ rating that Dylan subtlety interconnects all the adventures in his product line. He does it with a light touch so each stands on its own but if you want to interconnect them in a campaign the option is there.

So head over to RPGNow or to the Digital Orc and try to give Dylan some of your business. His work deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

And remember to keep your Kirby Hand Strong!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heading to Con on the Cob! and trying out my game.

Off to Con on the Cob to fight some World War II, adventure with Labyrinth Lord, trying out the second session of the Fudge based RPG I am working on and most importantly hang out with good friends.

Despite appearances the game is no where ready for release. It just I been involved in publishing long enough that I have a bunch of ready made templates to use for prototypes. The content is pretty thin at the moment little more than lists of stuff. I did put some work into a character sheet because I find that helps novices understand a new system.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The sound of many dwarven footfalls.

Looks like the five sets I ordered from the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter will be arriving before the end of October. I won't have them for Con on the Cob but it looks I will have them in time for the monthly Gold Star Anime game on the 26th. That is nice because the party choose to return to Tegal Manor.
Shipments East of the Mississippi:  The majority of these shipments are leaving via truck throughout this week. These packages should mostly be delivered during the week ending October 25th. Tracking numbers should go out to these recipients around (or before) October 21st.
This what I estimate I am getting

- 5 Sets (Dungeon Gray) Game Tiles
- 5 x 1 Set (Dungeon Gray) Stretch Goals
- Diagonal Wall Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- Curved Corner Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Floor Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Dungeon Dressing Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- Chamber of Sorrows (Dungeon Gray)
- Grand Stair Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Castle Wall Pack (Dungeon Gray)

123 - Straight Wall
92 - 2 x 2 Floor
40 - Corner
15 - Swinging Doors
26 - Curved Corner
18 - Curved Half Floor
30 - Diagonal Wall
18 - Diagonal Floor
12 - Pillars
6 - Demon Doors
25 - Castle Window Wall
12 - Arrow Slits
14 - Barrels
15 - Up Stairs
15 - Pedestals
17 - Curved Corner Stairs
5 - Treasure Piles
10 - Narrow Freestanding Walls
10 - Freestanding Walls
4 - Lower Stair
4 - Lower Stair with Doors
1 - 4 x 4 Pool of Sorrows
1 - 2 x 2 Floor w/Grate
1 - 2 x 2 Floor w/Broken Grate
2 - Pile of Skulls
2 - Floor with Pit
2 - Secret Door (Straight Wall)
9 - Narrow Door
4 - Cell Door
2 - Dwarven Door
2 - Broken Door
2 - Metal Door
2 - Portcullis
4 - Table
4 - Bench
8 - Chair
4 - Bed
4 - Chest
10 - 4 x 6 Floor
4 - 2 x 2 Stair DN

Enough to build out this section of the manor as well as other of similar size.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Solving the Tenkar's Dilemma, the Wilderlands plus Southlands plus Blackmarsh

Tenkar is facing a choice about what to do with his proposed campaign.

Having a bit of involvement in the boxed set Wilderlands as well as being the author of Blackmarsh and Southlands. This would be my "official" opinion on the matter of combining them.

Of course there is no desert along the northern edge of Map 9 (New Map 1) Elephand Lands but there are plenty of blank hexes east of the Land of Beasts to pencil one in.  My Grand Kingdom of Blackmarsh/Southland doesn't exist in the Wilderlands but there is a rather large bit of white space to the east where it could be placed. Also I consider the Elephand lands to be the most DnDish of all the Wilderlands map as it is a polygot collection of village of different races in a forest land.

As a bonus you can see how I meant for Blackmarsh and Southland to be fit together.