What’s Cool Wednesday: Your FLGS

Man, it’s been a busy week and there have been a few ups and downs on the gaming front that I haven’t talked about. I was planning on doing this post for Free RPG day but some circumstances have made me change my mind.
You see there’s a FLGS that current group plays at on Thursday nights. There was another store but that closed. Yeah, you’ve probably heard that before. In any case, the group moved to another store. Like any it had it’s ups and downs thanks to the tough business of running an FLGS. And then it happened. The owners announced they were retiring. Great folks who worked hard. I have no problem with that. But fortune smiled on everyone. New owners! So live continues mostly as normal.
Now let me talk about the good old FLGS. Grognards will remember the days before there was Amazon or the Internet. It’s where you got all your gaming goodness. Time and technology haven’t kind. Major publishers have their stuff on Amazon or even their own web stores. Small publishers can’t afford to go thru distributors. One Book Shelf really doesn’t have an actual support program but a few publishers are part of the Bits and Mortar program. So it’s tough on those little retailers.
IHMO. Those that survive do it by being a destination. It’s where you go to hang out. Just like that friendly bar where everyone know your name. You get the idea. But those folks who run the stores still need your support.
So yeah buy stuff at your FLGS when you can. Keep that local neighborhood shop going.

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets: Returning to New Bay City

Well, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Old Skull Publishing’s games. I’m working on a couple of things for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Well, the newest game Dark Streets & Darker Secrets is running on Kickstarter with three days left. It’s a quick Kickstarter with a planned quick fulfillment. That’s because the text is already done. So check it out and back it if you want.

I ranted during the most recent episode about “The Next Campaign”. Well, this week I’ve some more time to think and go down a couple of Internet wormholes and digging through depths of the hard drive and then dark places of “The Closet” to find all my own notes for New Bay City. New Bay City is my own urban fantasy setting. It’s a fictional city on the Texas Gulf Coast that’s sort of a combination of Houston, New Orleans and Sunnydale. I’ve done two full blown campaigns there. One with World of Darkness and then with the Dresden Files RPG. I also did a couple of one shots. A rather ill fated attempt to use the Hero System and another Savage Worlds using some reskinned East Texas University stuff. So yeah. I know the place and it evolves to match whatever game system that I happen to use.
So it’s time to start reskinning and doing some little rules tweaks. So stay tuned for that. Possibly some new Archetypes. Maybe? A few other little things. Right now they’re bouncing around inside my head. Those posts are coming as the ideas come together. But right now. Check out the Kickstarter. I mean damn you even to read the rules before you back it. How cool is that?

What’s Cool Wednesday: Dreams of Mythic Fantasy

OK if you’ve been around the OSR any length of time, you should already know James Smith and his blog Dreams of Mythic Fantasy. And I know that I said I wanted to focus on the little folks and James already does have a pretty decent following. But he does really give a useful tool back to the community.
And that of course, The OSR News. It’s pretty simple. He gathers new releases, interesting blog posts and just cool stuff and then shares it to the world. That’s why it’s for What’s Cool Wednesday. So much time boosting the work of others. Now, it’s your turn to check it out. And yes he does have a Patreon. So check the blog.
Happy Gaming, folks!

The Most Exciting Campaign Ever!

Yes, that’s a click bait style headline. But it’s that time. This is a sort of what’s up and what’s next. And I’m not sure what’s next but I’ve got some ideas. Too many but here’s the main ones. But if you are weary of reading, just hop over and listen to basically the same rant on Playing It Wrong.
Zweihander: You can swing stick without hearing about this one. I many do something standard or maybe kit bash into a Bronze Age Grim & Perilous style game.
Runequest: Well, see above but with Ducks.
Maybe 5E: Who knows? Saltmarsh is coming out. Maybe WOTC won’t screw it up. Or maybe go way off track and do some odd mashup of Spelljammer and Planescape.
Old School never leaves my mind. DCC Lankhmar should be in my hands sometime. But then so should Tegel Manor. I made a little comment on MeWe about an idea of kitbashing Tegel Manor, The Blight, and Midderlands. That could be interesting.
The Great Savage Worlds Pirates Vs Cthulhu game. I think that title says it all. But then thinking about it….see Zweihander.
And then there’s the Return to New Bay City, my urban fantasy setting. I’ve ran it with World of Darkness then Dresden Files RPG (FATE). But I want to do with something else. I’ve thought about Savage Worlds but Old Skull Publishing just had to do a Kickstarter for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. So that’s bouncing around inside my head. I’ve already backed and so should you. I’ve seen the previously publicly released text and it looks great. If you like Sharp Swords and Sinister Sorcery then yep back it. If you’ve seen the recently Indiegogo fulfillment and publication of Solar Blades & Cosmic spells then go for it. The system for Dark Streets is much closer to Solar Blades. These are good games. Simple and efficient rules. Easy to tweak to your liking. Have a just an awesome feel and vibe about them. Really, check any of those out and check the Kickstarter.
So there you go.

More on Kits for BX and other games

I made a post last week about using the concept of kits for a BX game. And I’ve had some time to think more on it.
My first impression was to do the whole run of subclasses as kits. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Then I put pen to paper, looked over some rule books and traveled deep into quagmire that is my brain. While the base classes are pretty standard across the board, the subclasses aren’t. There are many an interpretation as well as my own. So lots of options.
This all doesn’t mean I’m not working on a crunchier way of doing this. But I’ve got the quick ersatz way of doing it right now and like many good things it’s pretty simple.
If you’re running a game that only has the four basics and don’t really feel like adding in more classes. Start by talking to the players and negotiate a little. At first level, the characters would start off as the base class. Let’s face it. Most of the subclasses have pretty much the same abilities as the core classes plus some extra bennies. And after that bit haggling and discussion, the GM and the player should have some idea on what direction the character is headed. At second level, the character is headed down that special path then at third they start getting whatever cool stuff added in.
Now, I do want to make an exception for the so called specialist wizards. You want to be illusionist. Hunt out and learn illusion spells. Necromancer. Same thing. And there’s always spell research.
As far as clerics go, this should be something at first level. Because in my humble opinion, all of the cleric’s abilities derive from their faith. Now they may pick something cool based on divine quests.
So there you more rants and thoughts on another project that I’ve got on the fire. And more specifics are on the way.

What’s Cool Monday? GM’s That’s Who

This week I wanted to do something special. Not mention one specific person but a whole cadre of folks that keep the RPG hobby moving along. And that of course the GM.
The faithful GM is often the only person at the table who owns the rule book. Who buys extra minis, adventures and other gaming tidbits to keep the game going. The person who spends time outside of the game coming up with more adventures, NPC’s, monsters, magic items, campaign settings, house rules etc. The person who usually works their schedule around everyone else’s to make sure that game happens. The person who lugs extra stuff to the game and probably extra pencils, dice and mini’s, just in case a player forgets theirs. The person who might rearrange their home to make room for the game.
During the game, the GM is referee, den mother, therapist, story teller, arbitrator, and if all else fails the poser that gets the story/plot actually moving. They try to keep the game going and smooth over any ruffle feathers between the players.
And with that rant, thank your GM. Maybe buy them soda. An extra set of dice. Or may be jump on the plot train. Support them. Support the other players. And just plain have a good time and try help everyone else at the table have a good time.
It may be a thankless part of the hobby but for me personally I wouldn’t give it.

What’s Cool Wednesday: Smoldering Wizard

Here you go. Smoldering Wizard, a simple blog with stuff. So what do you get? Good old fashioned straight forward blogging. Basically, you get stuff you can use. Now, this may seem like I’m down playing it. I’m not. The no frills approach is refreshing. It’s house rules, class tweaks, play sessions and sharing good times gaming are what makes it worth it.
Go check out the blog. And remember. Roll dice and have fun.

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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