Friday, March 25, 2011


So it's been more than a week since my last post of any substance. It's really getting to be crunch time at school. I have been around a little though, commenting here and there. I played a game of Arkham Horror earlier this evening. It is an intense game. We were actually able to beat the game by closing enough portals before the dark one awoke, it was good fun although I spent alot of time at the insane asylum. I'm looking into how to make Arkham Horror a rpg, it already has many rpg elements it wouldn't take much more than a Game Master and a few rule changes to nudge it into rpg land. I might look at Call of Cuthulu for inspiration.

I really want to post some material for Krone, but its hard to keep focused on it since I have never played it and currently do not have any real plans to play it. meh. Well anyway, I am going to see SuckerPunch tomorrow and I'm pretty excited, it looks awsome.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Got caught up in a bar fight lastnight. Im a little brusied but ok. Damn St. Patricks day...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Grate in the Floor

Now look at that! GEEZE! Some scary stuff down there. This was the sticker on a playset I owned as a kid. The He-Man Castle GraySkull playset. Its in the bottom of the good guys castle, I guess showing off all the monsters they have locked down there. Really creepy though. I feel like this is a great snapshot of how I want my D&D dungeons to feel.


As Trey pointed out there wasn't a male counterpart to the Dungeon Maiden idea I posted earlier.  so here it is the Youth. (B/X rules here).

Found wandering alone, captured or fighting for his life the Youth is in terrible danger.

AC: 8, Normal Man, Hp 3, Mv: 120' (40'), #At 1weapon, Dmg:1-6, Morale 7, Alignment L,

Armed with a short sword and shield the Youth set out to find adventure. Although ill suited to the rigors of adventuring the Youth will doggedly follow the party once encountered, constantly getting in the way. If the Youth survives there is a chance they will gain enough experience to take their first character level and thereafter become a loyal follower and a useful member of the party.

There is a 10% chance the youth is in possession of a treasure map.

-I also want to say that I'm not trying to be sexist by saying the Maiden is female or the Youth is male, feel free to switch the roles around,  also I'm not be any means saying the only women in the game need to be helpless Maidens.  Women adventurers are cool by me. I just feel that the evil humanoids in my games would be even more evil if they abducted young women for their dark rituals.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dungeons & Gears


Dungeons & Gears takes place in the world of Sera. Sera was a peaceful and prosperous world until her wizards and scholars discovered a magical liquid which could be mined from Seras crust. This liquid which they named Imulsion had wondrous properties, greatly enhancing the abilities of practitioners of the magical arts. Imulsion it was said  could cure any disease, turn lead into gold, reverse the aging process and even confer immortality. Exposure to Imulsion would have negative effects on those who touched it however; blindness, madness and horrific mutations being some of the most commonly reported.

Despite the dangerous effects of Imulsion, the leaders of the Kingdoms of Sera saw it as the key to the future. Nearly a century of continuous bloody warfare ensued, each faction struggling to control this new and unstable resource. Finally after 79 years a wary peace settled over the lands, control of Imulsion was as uncertain as ever but the people of Sera had simply lost the will to fight. The long process of rebuilding had begun, or so they thought.

Suddenly the peace was shattered by a new and previously unknown threat. From deep within the earth of Sera vast hordes of inhuman monsters emerged, literally tunneling up into the heart of the human Kingdoms.  This enemy came to be known as the Locust because they came like a terrible plague to the surface of Sera.  There was slaughter on a massive scale, the human Kingdoms were tired and completely unprepared and the enemy accepted no surrender. One by one the armies of humanity fell until only isolated bastions remained.

Humanity teeters on the brink. The survivors struggle to understand their enemies, hoping that by doing so they will find a weakness.  The humans have nearly lost the war on the surface and a new stage of the conflict begins. The last defenders of humanity have begun venturing downward into a dark and unknown underworld, taking the fight to the Locust Horde.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dungeon Maidens

So I recently got a Xbox game called Conan. It was 10 bucks at Wallmart.  You play Conan, its pretty good, definitely not groundbreaking, in fact I can see many other better games influenced it. It is pretty fun though, it does feel pretty Conan-ish to me. Also Conan is voiced by Ron Perlman, which I really get a kick out of.  

Anyway I played through it almost to the end and now my pretty girlfriend Sarah started playing the game. Sarah really enjoys it, she yells alot as she hacks apart the "Stygian Dog!"(as Ron puts it). She is actually alarmingly good at it, she is way better at pulling of the combos than me. She refuses to block-ever, and she fights with matching swords whenever she can (sometimes going to great lengths to find a matching set).  One of her favorite things to do in the game is save the various scantily clad women which are scattered throughout the game.

As I watched her play today I got to thinking, why not put some scantily clad maidens in my dungeons? The more I thought about it the more interesting the idea became. Certainly there could be monentary and experience rewards for rescuing the maiden, as well as various 'story' awards. The maiden could well create roleplaying a resource managment problems for the party. Does the party calously leave her to her fate? Finish the ritual to gain dark powers? Turn back from greater exploration opportunities to escort her safely back to town? Or possibly even take her captive themselves. The maiden will certainly be a liability to the party once rescued. She will have no useful skills and has no ability to defend herself. Heres some B/X stats for a maiden, taken from the Isle of Dread and slightly modified.

Found bound somewhere, usually a particularly terrible place. Although she has not been harmed yet it is only a matter of time before something truely horrible befalls her.

AC:9,Normal Man, Hp 3,Mv 120' (40'), #At 0, Morale 9, Alignment N, Str12,Int9,Wis9,Dex12,Con12,Cha18,

there is a 50% chance the maiden will be wearing some sort of ritual jewelry. Jewelry worth chart below.
01-20 10gp
21-45 50gp
46-75 100gp
76-95 500gp
96-100 1000gp

There is also the possibilty that what seems like a maiden is really a demon or vampire or some other terrible creature....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Charlie Sheen in D&D

Oh Charlie; You lovable scamp.

It occurred to me today that Charlie Sheen is becoming a pretty good example of what I was talking about here.  He has recently claimed during interviews that he has "Adonis DNA" as well as "Tiger Blood" and that he himself is a "Warlock". Yeah really, Charlie Sheen is a Warlock. 

Without going too far into diagnosing Charlies current problems I feel confident in saying if he were a D&D character he would have 20+ in at least two of the ability scores; Constitution and Charisma.

Good luck Charlie.

Dungeons & Gears

I find most of my breakthrough moments when thinking of D&D come to me in the shower.

Anyway, I mentioned in a post before that I thought the Xbox game Gears of War was a pretty cool game, and also that I thought it would make a interesting D&D style rpg. I beat the game today and sat down to start working on making that Gears of War D&D game. Almost immediately though I started running into problems.  So much of the gameplay relies on gunfighting, and although it is a very gritty brutal and almost medival setting there are still many hightech elements. All these hightech guns and vehicles and stuff would be difficult to convert into an oldschool D&D system and I wasn't sure where to start or even if I wanted to. I started feeling pretty discouraged about the whole thing.

Then it came to me in the shower. Why not just get rid of the guns and transplant the whole thing into a Dark Ages type setting? BAM! Kind of obvious now in retrospect actually. Here are two pictures, concept art for Gears of War.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Hot Elf Chicks Hold Eachother

Ok, well technically they are Hylian but thats close enough.

Welcome to my D&D blog, I play the Pathfinder RPG actually, but on my blog here I like to kick it oldschool.

For more info about the Oldschool Renaissance (OSR) click on the links to the right to see some excellent oldschool blogs.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Superhuman Ability Scores

Something I noticed in the MouseGuard rpg rules recently struck a chord with me. In MouseGuard one of the attributes frequently used is called Nature, every creature has a Nature score. Nature represents the strength of the creatures innate abilities and is different for every type of creature.  For example an Owl's Natutre encompasses being silent, having excellent hearing, flying, and being a predator; a Mouses Nature encompasses escaping, climbing, hiding and foraging. Nature is ranked from 0-7, a high rank means the creature is very faithful to its nature, a low score means the creature acts in a way untypical for its kind.  There are ways to both gain and loose nature in MouseGuard but that isn't my current interest. What really got my thinking was that in MouseGuard your character has to stay in that 1-6 range, if your Nature drops to 0 or exceeds 6 there are possibly dire consequences for your character, Nature 0 means your character become completely unmouselike, unable to view the world in the way that his fellow mice do, you might even lose your character to the GM. Nature 7 means your character has become too focused on acting mouselike and starts losing his heroic traits.

Anyway, how does this relate to D&D? well a trend I've noticed in my own games is the eagerness of characters to improve their ability scores which is something I'm not particularly keen about. Although the methods of improving ability scores are rare and difficult I would like to take some of the emphasis off better scores and focus it more into story and character goals. To that end I propose a cap on the limits of character ability.

If a character's ability score exceeds 20 then something begins to break in their mind, eventually taking a self-destructive turn.

Strength: You are stronger than any mere mortal and you know it, you become obsessed with pushing your physical limit and proving your strength. 

Dexterity: You find it impossible to focus, you always need to be moving. Additionaly you develop a paranoia and flinch constantly without provocation.

Constitution: You begin to over-indulge in many things and refuse to take care of yourself.  You become overconfident in your bodies ability to endure the ravages you inflict upon it.

Intelligence: Your mind withdraws into itself and into a realm of pure intellect, eventually leaving the physical world behind.  Your body becomes an empty shell.

Wisdom: You increasingly become certain of radical and dangerous convictions. You are willing to die and kill to prove your beliefs. 

Charisma: You either develop multiple personalities, become a raving megalomaniac, or both.

If a characters score exceeds 20 they being to suffer from the above problems. Eventually they will either die or become NPC's as the problems worsen. The better a player acts out the characters spiral into madness the longer I will let them keep control of the character. If the player doesn't acknowledge the affliction in game then the character will become an NPC much faster.

I haven't used it yet but I really like this idea in theory. I can have exceptional villains and also explain why they are so crazy and evil.  Any thoughts?

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Murder at the Royal Wedding

More Harrow cards and their possible uses in the Dreamlands

The Crows
The Crows are a dangerous trio of notorious robbers and bandits.
When invoking The Crows a wise dreamer will have either a very large sum of treasure to secure their services or else propose a very profitable venture indeed.  Invoking The Crows is always a risky proposition, as they are extremely greedy and completely without scruples.  Although each member of the band is of course a skilled Rogue, they should not be underestimated in a straight up fight either though; they fight dirty and have an uncanny ability to put a blade in an unwary opponents back.     

The Queen Mother

The Queen Mother can be a powerful ally in the Dreamlands. This card can represent a very wise motherly figure in many Dreamscapes. Often she wields significant power and has much sway with the rulers of the Dreaming Realms.  A Dreamer which manages to earn the love or respect of The Queen Mother will have a much easier time traveling in the Dreamlands. When invoked a large royal train and majestic palanquin bearing the Queen will come into view.
Note this card does not automatically guarantee a positive attitude from the Queen, it merely grants a opportunity to earn her favor.

The Marriage
This is a powerful card to invoke and not one to be done lightly. Invoking The Marriage creates a intense union; two seperate elements forming a new whole.  The nature of that union is left up to the Dreamer but common Marriages are between two people, two groups, or two things - and all combinations in between.
Such is the strength of this card that it can even bind bitterly opposing forces together such as fire and water, light and dark or Montague and Capulet.

Adventures in the Dream Lands

Alright, So its been a little while, hope to be back up to at least a few posts a week.

So here are two Pathfinder Harrow cards the Cyclone and the Forge, and here is how they can be invoked in the Dreamlands.

The Cyclone
When invoked a slight breeze will begin blowing, a breeze which quickly becomes a howling gale, heralding a terrible storm which will become visible on the horizon.  At the center of this storm spins the Cyclone. A terrible and very destructive force, the Cyclone can shatter the normally  peaceful landscape of the Dreamlands. Although the Cyclone is nigh impossible to control a skilled dreamer can enter into the Cyclone and by subtly guiding its movements use it as a means of fast transportation across vast distances. Needless to say this is an extremely dangerous way to travel.

The Forge
When invoked a small smithy will appear. The Blacksmith is a gruff sort of fellow who does not like being interupted from his work. A skilled dreamer may be able to convince the Blacksmith to create a single item for them. The item will obviously be crafted from metal and of a excellent quaility, quite often even having magical qualities.  A magical sword  would be suitable item to ask for, but a giant metal fortress would not.  Greedy dreamers who ask for too much will be chased away by the Blacksmith`s fire sprite assistants.