All posts by Chuck

I've been a gamer, a geek and nerd for about 30 years. Any questions?

Back to School Clearance Sales!

It’s that time of year for crafty and cheap gamers to save some money.  The stores stocked up on Back to School stuff and now the extra stuff is going on the clearance shelves.

So far, my best haul is more 3×5  graph paper index cards.  Because index cards are one the best little things to drag around into gamer bag and having them also be graph paper moves them up into the DM artifact level. As I have time, I’ll hit up more stores and see what I can find.

But wait! There’s more!  With the store taking down their Back to School stuff that means they’ll soon be stocking up on their Halloween stuff. Last year, the cool find was damn fine skeletons at Dollar General.

Who knows what cheap horrors we’ll find this year.  Remember. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart!

Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells Tonight!

Tonight is the second session of my Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells game! I didn’t write anything on the first session because it was mostly character generation and getting the player’s used to the rules. And a little bit of getting the GM used to the rules too.
Overall, a good time was had. Still kicking the tires on few house rules and new classes. The game did play a lot quicker than I thought. The deadliness was right on track. The PC’s felt threatened by even the weakest of opponents. We did notice that spell casters with crappy stats are really crappy. But such it the price of arcane power. As I’ve mentioned, this is play test and there already have been a few tweaks to the new classes and races. The spells and monsters have been good so far.
So far the PC’s were hired as caravan guards and have fought off some bandits and degenerate Trogs (a new monster coming soon!) And one PC had a midnight fling with the merchant’s wife. Now they’ve “volunteered” to go into a dungeon during a suspicious stop on the caravan’s route. Things are going to interesting.
Yeah, I know this is short post and not much on substance. I got to get back to work and do a little more prep for tonight. Don’t worry, more details will follow.
Keep those dice rolling, folks!

Still Working On Those Dungeon Tiles

As with most of projects, I’m taking it slow. Also, didn’t have a chance to grab up some more paint. That’s on the to-do list for this weekend. But I had a few minutes so I figured I try a little detailing on one tile and see how it goes. So you may remember this pic.

I decided to do a little more on it. A little outlining and a little shading.

I thought about adding some “coins” or blood spots but that would just distract players. “Is that coin really there? Can I pick it up?” So I left that out. Now, I’m too happy with my meager attempt at shading. On the future ones, I may just do the outline. Oh, well. I got more time to think about it.

Episode 21: World Building Wrap Up

OK, first I should apologize. This episode is slow. Man, was I tired and I forgot a few things like names. Duh but that’s more fodder for future podcasts.
Anyway, here’s the link. You know the drill subscribe and all that.
And oh yeah. This whole thing has gotten me thinking about Lamentations of the Flame Princess again and going through some of the rules for the second edition of LotFP. A fairly complete list can be found in Eldritch Cocks and just put some of those into an OSR game or heck convince the group to do some LotFP or Frankengame. I’m thinking a Frankengame.
So till next time.

Episode 20: Call Ins and Questions

And another on is on the air. Episode 20.
This time up.
Anchor.fm waves a little cash in the direction of podcasters. Should I take the bait?
Did you like Episode 19? That’s when I did the improv virtual “unboxing” of the Vigilante City PDF. Like it? Should I do more of those?
And think it’d fun to jump on the train as make up world for a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game?
You know the deal. Subscribe. Download the Anchor.fm and leave a message. And as usual roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun.

Attack of the Mini-Clones!

Let’s see there’s Swords & Wizardry Light followed up by Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. And now James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games has come out with Untold Adventures.

So all these games are kissing cousins and largely cross compatible. And I’m sure somewhere out there that there is a a game that I missed. But since I’m a Swords & Wizardry fan, these hit my radar screen first. And yes I know Light and Continual Light have been out quite a while. Now that all the disclaimers are done. On to the meat.
These games are important right now more than any (IMHO). Why? Well, they’re cheap or even free. They’re great intro to folks who haven’t messed with any OSR games. Heck, their a great intro for kids and adults who have never picked up an RPG. For the more seasoned, they’re still great. Why? Well, sometimes the regular DM is sick or something and you need a quick pick up game. Or maybe you’re just tired of spending more time checking rules than killing orcs. These make a great change of pace and still have enough crunch to make them viable games.
So I know someone will ask. What are these games like? Well, they’re both based of Swords & Wizardry White Box. That means you only need a d20’s and d6’s. A single saving throw. Easy to read monster entries. And quick play that is very much free form. So what do I mean by free form. There’s checking if your character has the feat or the skill to do something. Just do it.
If you aren’t an OSR type but still like the D&D type games. Check them out. Enjoy.

DCC Lankhmar!


Yeah I know Kickstarter backers got the PDF’s a couple of weeks ago. Heck I backed it and am so pleased and I’ve been going over it as time allows. And yes for the few who have given the podcast a listen, I mentioned it there too. Now, I’m also going to mention here that I hate doing reviews and this isn’t going to be the normal review. Chances are if you’re a DCC fan then you probably backed the Kickstarter or you’re waiting anxiously for it to hit the shelves and your mind is already made up. This rant is more for the folks who aren’t DCC fans. Because the boxed set has stuff you can use not matter what your favorite set of rules may be.
Up first, there’s Lankhmar: City of the Black Toga. Coming in at 48 pages, it’s about 80% system neutral. Heck, a lot of could be considered setting neutral. It’s mostly various tables and charts for city events, street names, encounters, and the flavor text. So if you mix it with Vornheim, you’re going to have an interesting city for the players. Now there some NPC’s statted for DCC but it’s relatively a small section of the book. And because of DCC similiarites with other d20 based games conversion shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Next up! The Judges Guide. AKA GM/DM’s Guide. So yeah stat heavy. There’s still fluff but this deals with world overall. There’s some DCC specific spells and Patrons along with bestiary. The Carousing table is here and pretty good but does have links to DCC mechanics (but if you’re play something else that’s easy to ignore.) So if you don’t play DCC, this would probably be the least overall useful but could inspirational at least. As always, YMMV.
Finally, my favorite. The Compendium of Secret Knowledge. Why? Because it’s all the rules tweaks to DCC for a much down-to-earth and less gonzo type of Sword & Sorcery game. The big thing that’s been the buzz for a while is Fleeting Luck. Yes, it works the mechanics of DCC but once again can be easily adapted. My first thought is borrow Inspiration Points from 5E for games that don’t have a built in Luck mechanic. Oh and the thing about Fleeting Luck. It’s just that. Any of the PC’s roll that Natural 1 and they all lose it. There’s also an interesting take on the Unarmored Warrior. And nifty little thing called Benisons and Dooms. Benison is special extra for a PC. How a Magic-User that’s just a wee bit better with sword. A stealthy fighter and so on. And the Dooms. Well, they are called Dooms and there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. There’s Spell Stipulations which replace Mercurial Magic. For those who don’t play DCC, this is a catch or side effect when Magic-Users casts spells. Like I said, Lankhmar is less gonzo than your standard DCC. And of course, there’s Corruption too for when spell casting goes really wrong.
Let me say this again. YMMV. But for me, I can see using this for 5E, Swords & Wizardry, or any other retroclone. But deep down, I think really want to throw this stuff into Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. But hey. That just may be me.