Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Worlds Apart now a PWYW pdf at OBS

Worlds Apart, my take on a fantasy version of Mongoose's version of Traveller, is now a Pay What You Want product at OBS.

This is my first test to see how PWYW does with a older (2.5 years) product that has a few supplements. I'm hoping it gets the game into more people's hands, I'll get tipped a bit for the core rules, and people will pick up the supplements to enhance the experience. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Meet Avit - The 1st character in the 2nd Edition of Sorcery & Super Science!

Just finished creating the first character for the ICONS powered 2nd Edition of Sorcery & Super Science!, so I thought I'd share. This is unedited, but I'm too excited to wait to show you all what's going on with character creation.
Character Creation Example
I’m going to be a player in a Sorcery & Super Science! game so I need to roll up a character. I get my pair of hand-carved antler dice, a piece of paper, my trusty Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil (yeah, I’m a pencil aficionado) and away we go!

Phase 1: Origin
I roll 2d6 on the Origin table and get an 8. I’m a Master Mutant! This means that all my mutations are increased by +1 level after I roll for them, after I roll my mutations I get to choose two bonus Mutations at Average (4) level or add two Extras, I get to increase one of my Attributes by +1 (to a maximum of 8), and all my Marginal Successes when using my mutations are treated as Moderate Successes. Sweet! I’m going to be the “Best of the best, Sir!” when it comes to muties below the shattered moon.

Phase 2: Attributes
Next, I roll six times on the Attribute Table and I get the following levels for my new character’s attributes:

Exceptional (6)
Exceptional (6)
Good (5)
Good (5)
Average (4)
Poor (3)

I rolled pretty well and it looks like I’ve got a combat-oriented character ‘a brewing. As a Master Mutant, I get to up one of my attributes by +1 level, but I’m going to wait until I have an fully-fleshed view of my new character so I can put that bonus where it would best benefit the concept.

Phase 3: Mutations
The bread and butter for a Master Mutant, I hope I roll high on this one. But I don’t. I roll a 5 and get 3 Mutations. Time to switch to a different pair of dice: the antler ones have obviously lost the mojo they had when rolling for Attributes. With my new pair of Baltic amber dice in hand, I roll on the Mutation Type tables, then the individual sub-tables, and then on the Attribute Table to determine the level of each of my three mutations. Factoring in my +1 level to all my mutations because I’m a Master Mutant, this results in:

Fast Attack
Exceptional (6)
Remarkable (7)
Good (5)

Not a bad trio! Coupled with my high physical attributes, Blast and Fast Attack confirm that I should focus on a combat-oriented character, and Precognition will give be a tactical advantage to help me know when to avoid combat. It’s nice to always have a ranged attack: a big bonus. As a Master Mutant, I can choose two more Mutations or Extras for the one’s I’ve already got. First I’m going to think a bit about my character and then get back to that.

Given what I’ve generated, I think I’m going to go with a mutated animal concept. The first thing that popped into my head was an armadillo (those buggers can claw pretty quickly) so I’m running with that. With the mutated armadillo concept in my head, I choose Average (4) Damage Resistance (armadillos have leathery armor shells), and Average (4) Burrowing. These two allow me to fight better and run away better.

Since I have Blast, I need to decide what kind. I think my character has a long armored tail with a bulbous end, sort of like an ankylosaurus, except it’s composed of many small rock-like projectiles that I can launch with a quick flick. This results in my full mutation list looking like this:

Fast Attack
Exceptional (6)
Remarkable (7)
Blast (Bashing)
Good (5)
Resistance (Damage)
Average (4)
Average (4)

Now that I know my mutations, I assign my +1 level Attribute bonus to my Coordination, upping that to Remarkable (7). I’m remarkably agile and quick. Which again, if you’ve ever encountered an armadillo, they are surprisingly so.

Phase 4: Skills
A quick roll on the Number of Skills table generates 4 skills (my amber dice are doing their job), and I’ve already spoken with the GM about random or chosen skills: we’re going with random. Four quick d66 rolls later and I’m Skilled in:

Advanced Technology
Sleight of Hand
Primitive Hand-to-Hand Weapons

My wee armadillo character obviously had an unusual background. Perhaps he grew up in an isolated vault-type environment, but had to leave for some reason?

Phase 5: Description
I’ve basically worked up a description of my character already, but I need to put some polish on it. The character is a mutated armadillo with a bulbous tail, raised in a self-contained, underground, experimental genetics lab. The A.I. that ran the lab eventually ran out of power and the entire lab shut down. All of the creatures within would have perished were it not for the burrowing ability of the character, who was able to slowly work his way through a thick duraplast hatch.

Given this background, I’m going to name him AVIT, short for Armadillo, Strain V, Line I, Modification T. He’ll go by Avit. Avit learned about Advanced Technology and Computers from the A.I. learning pods, and picked up Sleight of Hand and Primitive Hand-to-Hand Weapons once loose upon the surface.

Phase 6: Qualities, Determination, and Stamina
Now that Avit is almost finished, it’s time to look towards his background and character for three Qualities. First, I think “A Rock and a Hard Place” would be a good quality: he’s been there before and will probably be again. Secondly, “The Best Offense is a Good Defense” should play well with his leathery armor and penchant for burrowing away from danger: he’s just as much a runner as a fighter. Finally, “Return to Eden” shows that he wants to find another place like his sunken vault, where life is safe and good.

Avit has 1 Determination (6 -6 mutations -1 Attribute above 6), and he has 8 Stamina (5 Strength + 3 Willpower).

All in all, Avit is a character that fights well, but also one not adverse to running away and hiding. He’s short on the Willpower component, but if he falls into with the right group of muties, he will definitely be an asset and a good friend.

Phase 7: Languages & Equipment
With a Good (5) Intellect and subject to the A.I. learning pods, I decide that Avit knows English, Spanish, and French and is literate in all three. The GM may decide that is too much of an advantage and make me “sacrifice” a language. Such a ruling would be fine by me.

Avit left the vault with many Tech items, but he’s managed to go through all of them (and had the remainder stolen), so he only has the normal choices when it comes to starting Equipment. I’ve got 200 bv. to equip him, but the GM has already told me to wait until we all meet for the first time to determine our equipment. She wants to let all of us have equipment that’s suitable to the terrain we’re in, so I’m guessing that we’re going to be someplace climatically harsh. Perhaps the Southwestern deserts, the Southeastern swamps, or the cold Northeastern lands.

Phase 8. Game Master Approval
When we finally meet, the GM nixes my three languages with three literacies and makes me “sacrifice” one language to keep English and Spanish with literacy in both, which is what I expected. She also tells us that, yep, we’re the Southwestern desert alright as we’re all meeting up in The Lucky Duchy, so time to look over that equipment list with an eye towards the hot environment…

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sorcery & Super Science! 2nd Edition

I've decided to go with Steve Kenson's excellent Icons rule-set for Sorcery & Super Science 2nd Edition. I've done a lot of work on S&SS! for FASRIP, but I just wasn't feeling the love that I need to feel, and Icons has brought that to the table.

I'm 8,500 words into it and loving every minute. Fast and fluid, I'm really looking forward to diving into the critters. I'm almost done with character creation and it's really coming together. If things go as planned, I'm thinking S&SS! 2nd edition will be our first color project. Here's hoping things go as planned!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Classified and Operation Rogue Lion on sale in print at Lulu

Since I went and put the PDFs of Classified and Operation Rogue Lion on sale, I figured I might as well put the print versions as well. So both of them are now 40% off at Lulu, meaning Classified is only $18 (136 pages) and Operation Rogue Lion is only $12 (64 pages). While you're there don't forget to hunt for some Lulu discount codes to save at least another 10%. The current one is MOREFUN, but that's only going to last for another day. I suspect there will be another replacing it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Classified and Operation Rogue Lion PDFs on sale ($5, and $3)

Occasionally I pick up one of our titles and flip through it. Its nice to revisit your work with a fresh eye. I did that today with Operation Rogue Lion and holy hell if it isn't a good adventure. I'm not one that toots my own horn much, but it's really good and I've decided to get it into more people's hands. I've put the Classified Core Rules on sale for only $5 and Operation Rogue Lion on sale for only $3.

If you haven't check them out, and if you're at all interested in spy-themed rpgs, please give 'em a shot! Classified is an OSR retro-clone of the old Victory Games Bond rpg, and Operation Rogue Lion is a brand-new adventure for the system.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Advanced Adventures #32: The Palace Beyond is now available!

I'm pleased to say that AA#32: The Palace Beyond is now available in print form from our website and in PDF form from RpgNow! This adventure written by Jasper Polane explores a 3-dimensional space unlike most other adventures and should pose quite the challenge to your players.
The Palace Beyond is an OSRIC(tm) module designed for 4-6 adventurers of levels 6-9.

The Palace Beyond is ancient, and the race that built it is long gone. The palace exists on many levels of reality, and it is said it is everywhere and nowhere at once. It connects different parts of the world: it is possible to walk through a magic portal, into one of the palace’s corridors, turn around a corner, and then walk through another portal to end up in a far away land. But now the palace is deserted, and the magic that made it possible is slowly crumbling. Its pocket dimension is collapsing, and large sections of the palace have already fallen into Nothingness.

If you enjoy this adventure, look for future releases in the Advanced Adventures line from Expeditious Retreat Press.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Apparantly I'm one of the reasons why 2014 was the best year ever for tabletop rpging....

So the folks over at Topless Robot put together a list of some of the great rpg stuff that came out in 2014 and I managed to land in a #4 with Classified. Our retro-clone of the wonderful game designed by Gerard Christopher Klug way back in the early 80's made the list and I'm very happy to see that. I think the game is great for spy stuff and (IMO) particularly shines in one player-one GM play.

One minor correction to the article is that Classified (and the mission Operation Rogue Lion) is available world-wide via distribution, not just at Lulu. But that's not very important, really, and I'm glad to see other people enjoying what I had a hand in creating.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Update on A Magical Society Guide to Place Names

Two weeks ago I hit 200 entries for the Magical Society Guide to Place Names and I just penned the 300th. Progress is coming along nicely and I'm starting to get the itch to get on with the synthesis/writing part of the work and out of the data collection part. However, that'll have to wait as I'm only a little more than half done with all of the various place names in the scope of the work. Adding new words has slowed down some, so I'd be surprised if I hit 600 entries. 500 entries will probably be where I end up and that should be plenty to make a nice useful list for a GM's campaign world.

...and now I'm thinking perhaps A Magical Medieval Society: Guide to Place Names should be the published title. I am only focusing on a relatively short time period and location, after all. I'll have to think about it.

...and now I'm thinking that I could turn this into a new chapter for a 3rd Edition of Western Europe like I did with the warfare chapter for the 2nd edition. It's been 7 or 8 years since the 2nd edition, so that may not be a bad idea either.

...and now you're thinking that I don't know what I'm going to really do with this and you'd be right. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New 1e Spell: Dameon's Shadow Spellbook

Dameon’s Shadow Spellbook
Level: Illusionist 3
Range: Touch
Duration: 6 turns/level
Area of Effect: Special
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 turn
Saving Throw: None

This spell creates a semi-real phantasm of any of the caster’s spellbooks. The phastasm glows with a soft light (equal to three candles) and allows the caster to memorize any spells contained within the real book. The shadow spellbook has 1 hp. The illusionist Dameon created this spell after yet another imprisonment

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Magic Hoard: Ring of Long Eyes

Ring of Long Eyes: If worn continuously for more than a week, this ring triples the wearer’s normal sight. Once acclimatized, the wearer suffers dizziness and nausea for 6 hours after removing the ring. Experience Point Value: 1,000 G.P. Value: 5,000

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Magic Hoard: Ring of Ringmastery

Ring of Ringmastery: This ring informs the wielder of any magic rings within 100 ft. The wielder can tap into the power of rings in that area, gaining their ability for his own. Additionally, the wielder can try paralyze (2-5 rounds) the bearer of any magical ring within 100 ft. if the target fails a save. The ring can only paralyze once per day per magic ring. Experience Point Value: 1,000 G.P. Value: 5,000

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Magical Society Guide to Place Names update

Work continues apace on the upcoming Magical Society guide to naming places. I'm up to 200 entries on the root table, and am guessing that I'm about 1/3 done for the list. Once I've created the list, I can then dive into construction notes, how a campaign history should influence place names, and other various and sundry issues surrounding the naming of places.

I'm totally up in the air about how many pages the final work will have. Right now it's what I call a bikini work - a work that's going to be only as big as it needs to be to cover the subject.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Note to Self: Print Promotional Products during Black Friday sales

As a heads-up to the creative folks who follow/read what I babble about, I need to remember next year to prepare some promotional products (bookmarks, postcards, maybe even a calendar or poster, and some more business cards as it appears I've run out) and have them ready to print during the Black Friday sales season. I've seen quick-print rates drop 75%.

Note to Self - be ready next year. If you've printing needs as well, you might want to be ready too.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

So I apparantly co-wrote an inpirational book...

Finally got my 5th Edition set (I waited to get all of the books at once) and it turns out that A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe is listed in Appendix D of the Dungeon Master's Guide as inspirational reading.

It's not much, but it brightened my day, and that's always worth something.

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