Some Inspiration for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells


I’ve my hard copy for over a week and well the inspirational thoughts are bouncing around inside my head again. Some of you may remember my earlier rants on doing a gonzo space opera game and I did run it for a while with Savage Worlds. But now I’m thinking about how cool it would be to revisit that universe using Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. More about that much later. There’s way too many things bouncing around inside my head. Instead the bulk of this post is throwing out there a couple of things that really inspired my for the campaign and hopefully might inspire you too.

First and foremost, a favorite of mine is Farscape. Lets’ see you’ve got humor. Crazy weird aliens like crazy. A big wild universe. I won’t go through the whole background, setting and so forth. If you’re reading this then you’ve got Internet access. How ever if you’ve never seen Farscape, give it watch. If you’re short on time, may I suggest watching the pilot episode to get the general idea then follow up (and skip a lot) and watch the three parter, Liars, Guns and Money. They rob a bank. And you’ll probably go down a Farscape wormhole. No pun intended.

The second also aired on the SciFi Channel (when it was called that). And that’s The Lexx. Now The Lexx was much weirder. Heck one of the main characters was an undead poet assassin. NO really. It had a real Heavy Metal mag vibe. Heck, you’ve got villains named the Divine Shadow, a Bio-Vizer, and Gigashadow. Once again it’s a crew of misfits on a really big ship. While it is inspirational, the overall plot can be a bit difficult to follow. Like I said before, I won’t go into the whole universe here.
And to wrap thus up I’ll pull up a couple of old collages. May this inspire you!

and

What’s Cool Wednesday: The Funky Grognard

Once again, it’s one of those “I have no idea who this is but they have some neat stuff online” type posts and that’s the whole goal of What’s Cool Wednesday. If it weren’t for going down a search results rabbit hole, I would have never found this.
So what we got. Old school stuff. Check. Local Convention stuff. Check. Cross Posting over at Goblin Stomper. And the occasional interesting Youtube video.
So go ahead and check it for yourself. The Funky Grognard
I know this isn’t a long post. These aren’t supposed to be long posts. It’s for you to go out and find interesting stuff too.
Have fun folks!

What’s Cool Wednesday: Follow Me and Die!

This it’s Larry Hamilton with all the things that he does. Not only is he one of the OSR Anchorites, he’s got a bunch of other stuff going on as well.
I know some of you may be saying to yourself, “This talks about a lot about Anchor.” Yeah, I do. Anchor was just one of those that jump seemed to happen and a lot folks jumped on board. Myself included. But it if weren’t for Anchor, there’s many a cool person that I would have never encountered if it weren’t for Anchor. So check out some of them.
Any way on to Larry, an even tempered gent who talks calmly and sincerely about gaming. And that’s a nice thing. As I’ve said before, calm and reasonable voice often get drowned out in this day of the social media. Larry’s got more than just an Anchorcast, he’s got his own blog. Not only that he’s producing solid stuff on Drivethrurpg and he has his Patreon.
Now I do have to say that I am a bit jealous since his logo is by the talented Satine Phoenix. With that go ahead a take moment to check out Larry’s stuff.

Magical Aging & Level Drain in Old School Games

I’ve been thinking about these for a while. Let’s face it level drain has been debated to death. No put intended. And I’ve said before that I don’t mind it. But I will admit that it is really harsh. And then there’s magical aging. This is usually due to the old Haste Spell when the target ages a year. I always thought that it was kind of meh. And if the target was an elf, then it’s a who cares. To an elf, what’s another year. With the upcoming Labyrinth Lord game, I decided to think about these two and came up with a couple of ideas that I wanted to simple and still have that old school feel about them and that I could convert on the fly.
Level Drain: Instead of draining levels, monsters with this ability do extra damage (1d6/Level Drained). This damage is special and must tracked separately. It will not heal naturally. Potions will not work. Only a character employing healing spells who also has the Turn ability can attempt to heal the damage. For any healing spells to actually work, the caster must make a turning attempt (for each spell cast) and must successfully “turn” the creature that caused the damage.
Magical Aging: For each year that a character is magically aged, a Saving Throw versus Spells must be attempted. On a failure, the character permanently loses 1 point of Strength, Dexterity or Constitution (determined randomly).
So those are my quick thoughts on that. I’ll give the players the option on the level drain if they want to go hard core old school or something gentler. We shall see.

Return to Zoong. At faster than I thought.

So I thought I had about six to prep for my upcoming Labyrinth Lord campaign (starting off with Keep on the Borderlands). Now it looks like I may be starting as early as this Thursday. So it’s time to into overdrive and get the necessities done.

First up. The campaign area/”world” map. For this whole campaign, I want everything to feel as much as possible like back in the day. So it was time break out the colored pencils. I grabbed the hex paper from incompetech. I don’t remember where I found those icons so many years ago and started filing stuff in.
I had also planned on typing out all my old notes and making the all pretty. That plan is down the drain. So we’re going really old school. Scribbled a bunch down in a composition notebook and will fill in as need be and as inspiration hits.
I was going to do a custom character sheet. And I still might. But in the mean time, I’ve made this very simple and handy spell cheat sheet so players don’t have to refer back to a book every time they cast a spell. Spell Cheat Sheet
And I was going to be do more thinking about some old house rules but I’ll throw them out here:
God Call: Characters can call on their god for aid whenever they want (even after death). The chance that the god intervenes starts a t 5%. Every time the character levels up this increases by 1%. Every time a god call is attempted the chance decreases by 1%. But there’s a downside and that Wrath. This starts at 100%. Every time a God Call is attempted this increases 1%. So first time. 100; second, 99-100; third, 97-100 and so on. Wrath is when the god is had their fill of the character’s pleas and will kill them outright or if they’re already dead; it’s no happy after life and there’s a good chance a divine heavy is going to claim all of that charcter’s gear. To be clear, it’s one percentile roll. Low good things happen. High, bad things happen.
I’m still playing around with some ideas on dealing with undead level drain but I’ll get to that later.
Enjoy!

What’s Cool Wednesday Gothridge Manor

This goes way back and further than I can remember. Back in the early days of wandering around the internet and stumbling upon OSR blogs on Blogger. I don’t remember how many times I stopped by the blog, read a post and moved on. I’m sure I’ve some issues of old Manor Zine somewhere on the hard drive. Just part of my habit of virtually hording OSR material. Move ahead to the present.
Well, good old Gothridge Manor is alive and well and still producing. The blog has just move to new digs: Gothridge Manor, and of course like many of grognards there’s a podcast on Anchor too, and don’t forget the Patreon.
As bonus check out the Happy Whisk while you’re at. Because you can’t have the Manor without the Whisk.
Enjoy folks and have fun out there. Remember, be excellent to each other!

Variable Thief Skills for your Basic Games

I constantly play around with rules and since I just rambled on about Thieves’ Guilds on the good old pod cast. I guessed I should do a little rant on skills.
The thing is that in the early editions all thieves has pretty same chance to do their trademark skills. No real specialization other than creating more specialized classes. Later editions and other games (like Dungeon Crawl Classics) came up with various ways of changing this up a bit. So I sat and thought for a minutes on a quick and easy method that just feels right with those earlier days. So here you go.
The player can choose to modify their some (or none) of the character’s skills at first level. Skills may be either raise or lowered once. You can’t do both to the same skill. Raised skills: roll 1d10 and add the percentage, Lowering skills: Roll 1d10 and lower that percentage (except Climb Walls and reduce that by 2d10 since it’s much higher). Since Hear Noise is on x in d6. That should be tougher. So to raise it by one, double reductions to another skill.
Any way just a thought for a little tweak. In case a player wants to play a pick pocket or burglar or trap specialist or whatever you want to call it.
Have fun, folks! And of course the usual disclaimer, some body may have already done this better than me.

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

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