Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

The World of Skarynth is released

This is how bad I am at self promotion. I forgot to post here. Well, it’s been a couple of years since I released anything and here it is.

That’s right. It’s finally released after years of messing around and months of editing and hesitating I finally pulled the trigger. Check it out on DrivethruRPG. You’ll need the core book and the addendum to Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Depending on the reception, I may do a hardcopy via Lulu. And oh yeah. Did I mention? It’s PWYW.
Enjoy!

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?

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.

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

And so 2019 in gaming begins…


Tonight is our groups first gaming session after the holidays and the FLGS finished up their inventory, so it’s time to get the year rolling. To be honest, I don’t remember which of the games that we’re supposed to play. It’s either Call of Cthulhu (Horror on the Orient Express) or 5E (Dragon Heist). But I’ve also my own little bit to-do.
I’ve been geared up to run an OSR game again for a long time now. I’ve done a lot of little things for White Box but then I just got my copy of Advanced Labyrinth Lord. So it’s time to put it up to the group which one they want to play. No mater their choice it’s going to be fun. Oh and in case you were wondering..They are going to start…

Man, I’ve been anticipating this for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes folks.
Til next time. Roll dice. Kill monsters. Take their stuff. And have fun out there!

Episode 2: DM Notebooks

Ah yes. Episode 2 of Playing It Wrong is release into the wild. This time I rant about my DM Notebook. This isn’t my campaign or adventure notes. And it’s not even my DM screen. This is a notebook that I have with various system neutral charts and tables from all sorts of sources. The thing that I notices is that there’s a bunch of those tables, while neat, I wasn’t even using. So it’s time to slim that thing down. I mean why carry extra stuff around. I probably already do carry too much stuff. Heck, it’s thicker than most of my OSR core books (except Dungeon Crawl Classics). So here you, give the episode a listen and share your thoughts.
Episode 2: DM Notebooks

Five DM Tips

Matt Finch of OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, and now Uncle Matt’s RPG Studio had this little interview with Jim Wampler of Mutant Crawl Classics and Marvin the Mage. Yeah it’s long but well worth the watch and, of course, I thought this was a good idea.

So here you go. My five DM Tips:
1. Yes and…: Yep I agree with Jim Wampler on this one. I blogged about it before on the old blog that has long gone away. Always give the players the opportunity to do something. You don’t have to say, “Yes, and..” There’s always, “Yes, but..” or “You can try.” So avoid giving the players a flat out “No”.
2. No Plan Survives Contact with The Enemy: That’s an old military saying. To apply it to gaming. No adventure survives as written when the PC’s get involved. The same is true for rules. Don’t be afraid to improvise and change things. No game designer can ever anticipate all of the crazy plans players come up with. The same goes for your tightly plotted adventure or the fascinating NPC that you came up with.
3. Sometimes it’s more important to know the players rather than the rules: At first this seems like a bad thing but it’s easy look up rules. But knowing what the players like, dislike, and what makes them angry or upset and then use that familiarity to customize the adventure will lead to better sessions.
4. Preparation beyond reading the adventure: Have a full set of tools on hand to improvise when the PC’s leave the plot train. See No 2 above. It’s makes your job easier and keeps things moving rather than everyone running for snacks while the DM comes up with an encounter.
5. Kill Batman Do NOT have a Batman NPC to show up, kill the monsters for the characters, and then slip of into the night. Don’t have this guy bail them out if things get tough. Murder Batman.