Monday, February 28, 2011

Knockspell #5

Matt Finch just sent me my contributor copy of Knockspell #5.  That was very kind of him.

I contributed an article about using Scrabble tiles as monsters in your game.  I also have a way to use a random draw of tiles as a "wandering monster roll."  I think its a pretty clever little mechanic.  There are some files in the file section to the right to go along with the article too...

There are some great articles in there as well.  One is about the differences between weapons in 0e games.  Sure they all do the same damage, but what else do they do?  There's an article about magical vats and some seaborne magic items.

There are also two adventures that look pretty cool.

I don't get any royalties for my contribution; just the free PDF copy.  Go check out the issue for yourself.  I don't believe that you'll be disappointed!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Old School Gamer Bling - NPCs - Dwarves (pt 1)

Here's a different version of the Old School NPC Cards.

In this one, I took the exported file and brought it into GIMP.  I deleted all the empty fields to make the face of the card larger.  Then I imported each picture separately and scaled it to the card.

The result is a larger picture with still a little bit of room at the top for name and other info.

See if you like it...
click to embiggen / dowload

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old School Gamer Bling - NPCs - Swashbucklers

Over at the Wizard's site there's a page with PC/NPC portraits.  I found those via Dyson Logos' blog and wandered on over there...

An idea struck me!  I have these cool NPC cards that I bought from Paizo -- why not make my own?

Here's a deck of a dozen "Swashbucklers" based on the art I found over there.  I figure I can write the stuff the PC's "know" about the NPC on the front and I can crib my notes on the back...

Click here to download the PDF

Here's a preview!

If folks like these, I'll keep making sets to post.  Heck, I might even stat up a set with names and noteworthy bits already printed on the front if folks think that would be helpful.  

Let me know!

Old School Gamer Bling - Colored Potions

I printed up a sheet of 9 potions that you could use in your Old School game as props for your players.  It occurred to me that you might not want all your potions to be GREEN!

I'm not a Photoshop/GIMP expert, but I found this little filter called "colorize" and I transformed that JPG into nine different colors.

That way, you can print it out, give the potions to your players and they can say "I drink the pink potion" or write a little text on the card and it can be "I drink the pink BUBBLY" potion.

For help with potion descriptions, check out this handy dandy little chart from Telecanter.

click to embiggen

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Trip to See the Trollgod

My friend JD and I had the chance to go visit Ken St. Andre at a local game store, Samurai Comics in Phoenix, AZ last night.  We interrupted his Shadowfist game and he was a good sport about it.

Ken was great and it was an honor meeting him (officially).

I think, in the distant past, it is highly likely that JD met Ken at the original Flying Buffalo Games when he was 8.  It's entirely possible that in high school, I was in the same room with Ken, but I'd have been too shy to say hello then.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics and if you ever get the chance to meet this gaming legend, be sure to stop and say "Hi."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MMMM Art - Aqueous Orb

Jef created another bit of art I'd like to share.  Here's his take on the aqueous orb...

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Massive Monograph of Malignant Malefactors Update

A few months ago, I announced that I was planning to take the 0e Monster Book that Matt Finch had put out via the OGL and re-work it into a new book with new features, new monsters and art.

I'm pleased to announce that Michael over at is helping me with the monsters.  He's started at the back (Z) and is working forward, while I began at A and am working backward.  We've each completed three letters so far, so only 20 more to go.

We still have plans to integrate more monsters too.  Bat over at Ancient Vaults has offered to include some of his monsters when we're ready and Al over at Beyond the Black Gate has already given me permission to add a few of his critters to the book!  Thanks again to both of them!

Michael has shared a really cool idea about potentially "crowdsourcing" part of the book so, stay tuned for that!

Last, but not least, a very talented friend of mine, Jef, has contributed some art to the book.  I'm attaching a very rough preliminary sketch below.  He's still planning to add a lot more details.  There will be more tantalizing art to come!

An imp taste testing the wizard's brew...

PS: if there are any other artists out there who would like to contribute to the book, please drop me a line at wilmanric (gmail) and I'll get back to you.  I'm just looking for clean line-art in an "old school" vein.  I think Jef epitomizes the style well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Old School Gamer Bling!

I whipped these up quickly using Trading Card Maker.  You can design a card once and then tell it to print out nine copies -- that's how you get a whole page.  I found the picture on the interwebs and I'm sure it belongs to someone...  I can't even find it again now...  :(

I figure I'll write on the cards to give them clues about the nature of the potion.  Eventually, I'll write the name of the potion itself.  When it's used, they can tear up the card.
click to embiggen

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Relationship Maps

Over at Hack & Slash, -C posted a relationship map.  I haven't read his entire post (yet) but that map triggered an impulse in me to GO FIND THIS MAP!!!

Here it is.  It's from a FATE-based game that I started and never finished about 5 or 6 years ago.  I really had grand plans for a kind of guided-sandboxy thing, with a big reveal at the end if the heroes ever found out the big secret...  :)

click to embiggen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mechanoid Hamster Overlords

Forget T2...  Forget the OGRE...

In the Apocalyptic Future, my deathbots will be hamster powered!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Old School Gamer Bling

I'm a big proponent of "do it yourself".  I think that's the spirit of the OSR.

I like props/minis/stuff at my game table and I always have.  I don't particularly like the 4e approach where every character ability/spell/power/etc. is a card, but for unique magic items I like that a lot.

To that end, I have embraced Paizo's "gamer bling" cards.  They're great, but they don't always fit what I have in mind.  I've purchased several decks of their cards and I've used them (mostly) with Savage Worlds.

But what to do with my CotMA game?  Make them yourself!

Check out this site:  You build the cards and then export them as a PDF file for printing.

You can sign up for a free account and make cards that suit your fancy.  You can distribute them to your players as they find magic items and other loot.

Here are the cards I've given to my players to represent the loot they've found.  Enjoy!

Playtest Report - My Previous Ideas

In the past week or so, I've put out some new ideas on this blog that I didn't have a chance to try until Thursday night. At my regular CotMA LL game, we/I implemented some of these mechanical changes and I must say that the results were (preliminarily) good.

So, When a Big Party Searches for Secret Doors...

I implemented the chart that I created based upon the probabilities of rolling multiple d6's. One of my players was unable to attend, so I just shaved his character off the chart and the probability went from 92% success to 88% success.

This chart is a winner. It keeps the spirit of the d6 roll in place, but it allows the party to collaborate on the search and the DM to make one definitive roll.

Verdict: Thumbs Up!

So, How Long Until the Next Random Encounter?

This table was also very useful. At the beginning of the night, I rolled the d% and discovered that an encounter would happen in 4 turns. I marked it on my "bubble" chart like so (see the red vertical line?):


As time went by, I ticked off the circles. When we arrived at the line, the encounter occurred.

My brain immediately started working. What should it be? Where would the party likely be in 4 turns; what would the monster be doing? How would I lay out the minis? Etc.

Although the encounter was random, I was able to plan it a little better than I normally can. I was able to fit the roll for the type of random monster into my narration at the table -- it wasn't abruptly done at the time of the random encounter. I had everything gathered together and ready when the time finally arrived. The arrival of the monster was seamless because I had foreshadowed it in my narration.

Another unexpected benefit was closer tracking of time within the dungeon. After all, if time never elapsed, the encounter would never happen. When the encounter concluded, I rolled to see if the noise attracted another monster (d8) and then I rolled for when the next encounter would occur and made another mark.


Verdict: Two Thumbs Up!