Episode 18: Lots of stuff.

More congrats to the Ennnie winners. Damn I need to buy Midderlands, Harlem Unbound and Runequest (when the hard copy comes out).
A rant about Pathfinder 2.0. Won’t call it review. My brain started hurting too quickly.
And rant about World Building. This time Cities.
And fake call ins. Yeah, I do crazy stuff.
Give Episode 18 a listen.
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Expanded Vocations for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells

Yep, I’ve ranted a lot about this game. Time for another one. Something that hasn’t been ranted about too much but does need to get a little shout out. And that’s Vocations.
Tracing the origin of this mechanic is pretty easy. And I’m pretty sure I’m on track here. The idea comes from FATE. One of its better ideas. Basically, there’s a thing called High Concept. You use it describe your character overall. And it works for SS&SS and can work for other games as well especially some OSR games.
In the case of SS&SS, it replaces the need for a long list of skills. But is should be for much more than that. And that’s how I’m going to use it in my game. Going back to FATE (and that time I ran the Dresden Files RPG), I learned a lot about dealing with this. So here’s what I’ve learned and how I’m going to apply it.
First, the Expanded Vocation should describe the character overall. This can include culture, “job”, personality, appearance, quirks and so on. Keeping with mechanics of SS&SS, the Expanded Vocation will not help the character in combat, to cast spells or do something that it the “thing” for another class. It sounds like there isn’t much left but there is. You’ve got the whole range of non-combat and professional skills, social interactions, reputation and so on. And here’s a hint for players and GM’s, take the Vocation both literally and figuratively.
Not only should the Vocation give the character a Positive Die when doing things, it should give a Negative Die for doing some things as well. I’m pull this basically straight from FATE. When the player (with the GM’s or other player’s assistance) designs a character’s Expanded Vocation, they should be able to think of three different ways they could use it to their advantage and three different ways it could be used to the character’s disadvantage. Now, I admit that this may take more time than it takes for the rest of character creation. That’s OK. One of our standard house rules is the Three Session Rule. Basically, you can change up your character if you don’t like but you can do that only for the first three sessions of a campaign. Like I said, the player doesn’t have to do it alone. The GM and the player’s should give some advice. Just don’t tell the player what they have to do. You know what I mean.
Moving right along on to bigger things. My campaign//play test begins on Thursday. Yep, you heard that right play test. I figure it’s time to let this cat out of the bag. I had a brief email exchange with Diogo and he gave a thumbs up. So after a couple years (my god has it been that long), I’m going to get something up on RPGNow. Don’t worry folks. Keeping with the tradition of SS&SS the pdf will be PWYW. The World of Skarynth is making a come back. I’ve played with this setting for a long time and SS&SS fits it and works (hopefully). I have faith that it’s going to work. Let me put it that way. Right now, we’re going to be play testing the new classes, races, spells, and monsters plus giving the setting a chance for contact with some players. So it’s play test, edit, lay out and publish. That’s the plan any way. So now that I’ve said it, I’m crossing my fingers. And don’t worry. More details will follow as things get finalized.

Episode 16: World Building Part 1

Here’s a pretty lengthy rant about how I’m going about making my D&D/OSR/whatever world.

And here’s the “working” map of Zoong including mistakes and other sloppiness. But it works for a DM’s notebook. Where are the Elves and Halflings from? Hasn’t came so haven’t worried about it yet.

And here’s the zoom in hex map from the 5E Campaign. You may recognize some thinly veiled hints about what modules I had on tap.

And you know the drill. Subscribe to the podcast. I don’t always post every I say over here and vice versa. And if you’ve already subscribed. Thanks.

More Dungeon Tiles

The stores are already stocking up on back to school supplies and that means every gamer should be stocking up on all those accessories like paper, pencils, composition books and what have you. Last time I was at the store I picked up a pack of cork tiles for about $5 for four 12x 12 inch tiles. Those of you who remember I did some way back when with some that I had just laying around the house and liked them so I’m making more. And I figured I do them a little bit differently this time around.
First I cut them to more usable sizes and here’s what I ended up with:
12 4X6 Tiles
8 3X6 Tiles
6 3X3 Tiles
4 2X6 Tiles

I just used a utility knife and metal straight edge to cut out the tiles. Then I did a base coat. I forgot my own previous warning on this. The tiles will soak up a lot of paint. That’s why the really cheap stuff is fine. When they absorb all this paint, it helps to slightly strength the tiles too. Don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny. The natural surface adds more to the stone-like look. Here’s some with a light gray base coat.

On the original ones, I basically drew/painted graph paper on them. This time I wanted them to look less organized and more like a dungeon floor but still keep sort of guide for when I use miniatures. So I made a little guide out of some old poster board.

The painting method was pretty simple. I used the guide to put four dots (one for each corner of the square) then painted it in free hand. Like I said I didn’t want them be exact.
The next step is some detail. But damn it I have to run to the store and get some more paint!

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