Back Alley Released!


Yes, I’m behind on the old production schedule this year but that means the end of the year is going to see a whole flurry of activity. So here it it my own little supplement/fanzine for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets.
Back Alleys has three new archetypes (The Chosen One, The Average Joe, and The Face). Some nasty artifacts like Grandma’s Butcher Knife and the Necromonicon Ex Dementia. Plus a host of monsters inspired by some classic horror movies.
Enjoy! You can find it right here on DrivethruRPG.

Gamerplus.org

Yes, I know I’ve been silent for a bit. It’s that post GenCon thing. You see I take that time to sit back and do a little mental house cleaning, goal setting, and planning for the next year. So yep and things are back to their normal and crazy posts are going out again. And to get the ball rolling, let’s start off with a a new social media network for gamers, Gamerplus.org.
So yes. It’s a bare bones set up but it’s just starting out. It’s not some big corporation or anything like that. It’s normal folks getting together and trying to make something cool. Now, I know that some where out there in Internet-land, there’s some pearl clutcher trembling and whining about it. It doesn’t matter. Check it out for yourself. Who knows maybe you might find a new friend or two in the gaming community.
Like I said right now, it’s very bare bones but if it grows and garners support (right now there is Patreon), I’m sure that more bells and whistles will come about.
Like I said, go check it out for yourself at Gemerplus.org and join in the conversation.
And yes I’m there.

What’s Cool Wednesday

Yes, I know I’m behind. Not only was I really busy but it’s hard finding those hidden gems on the Internet. But something finally popped up on my radar. Who’s cool this week? How about the Blood of Prokopius? This is an awesome take 5e inspired by Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. Just give it a gander.

Fun Little Things on Drivethru
Wherein Evil Lies
Delvers of the Underchasm
Echoes From Fomalhaut #05: The Enchantment of Vashundara
Odysseys & Overlords World Map
FLOATING MAGICIANS
Far Away Land OSR Version
The City of Great Lunden
Adventures in Great Lunden
The Isle of the Amazon for Untold Adventures
Chaos Cults: Bubonica
[Vigilante City] Miscreants, Malefactors and Megalomaniacs
Dark Fantasy Magic

Skills in YARC: Part 1

Yes, I’m still playing catch up but that’s now what this post is about. It’s about skills. So let’s get down to it.
First, let’s hit the big one. Skills aren’t Old School! Well, I’d say a huge number of skills aren’t old school and a skill roll isn’t the answer to everything. I’d also say that if you include non-D&D games in the old school category then you’ve got Runequest and Traveler. Both with skills. So in my mind skills are OK. Just don’t make them too important and have take a moment to decide when to roll ’em and when not too.
So yes, I am going to do some sort of skill system for YARC but I’ve got a bunch of ideas bouncing around inside my head so I’m using this post to throw ideas out there and see what happens. So here’s the systems that have caught my fancy.
x in D6: It’s simple and easy. I believe the basic concept is pulled from the old “Open Doors” and “Find Secret Doors”. Lamentations of the Flame Princess, White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, and Swords & Wizardry Light uses it. My only problem is that it’s not very granular and there’s very little room for improvement as a character progresses. I’ve used the system before and threw in my own house rule to adjust difficulty by die type. So average tests are x in d6, but it’s very difficult it might be x in d10.
%: Hey Thief skills are already percentile based then why not make the rest of the skills based on that as well. It worked to Runequest/Basic Roleplaying. A more accurate example than the Thief skills is in the Rules Cyclopedia and look at the Mystic’s (aka Monk) Acrobatics ability. It’s (3 x Dex Score)+2% per level. While it is much more granular than the above x in d6, it’s almost too much.
Saves as Skills: I think this originated over here and was adapted to Crypts & Things (which I love). Since YARC is built on the Swords & Wizardry framework. This is a no brainer. And the one I’m most likely to use.
So there are my thoughts. I know you’re probably wondering what exactly are the skills? Well, that’ll be in Part II as bring the skill system together.

Stat Bonuses for YARC

So yes, YARC is Swords & Wizardry at its core and most of the changes are the player facing ones. And here’s another. Last time I talked about roll stats. This time it’s about what those numbers mean. First, I don’t mind modifiers and second I prefer a simpler unified bonus table. Trust me it will make sense later. I want some penalty for lower stats but to the point that it’s punishing. It basically makes sense to those who have been around the block a time or two. Strength is for Hit and Damage; Dexterity, AC; Constitution, HP; Intelligence, Additional Languages; Wisdom, Spell Saves; Charisma, Social Reactions.

Score Modifier
3 -2
4 to 7 -1
8 to 12 0
13 to 16 +1
17 +2
18 +3

Yes, one chart to rule them all. Yes I know it’s simple but that’s what it’s about. Rules should be simple and keep the action going rather than min-maxing the crap out of characters and encounters. And yes I am planning something special for the fighter. Crap I’ve written enough about them and you’ve probably already seen that.

More Thoughts on The Blight

Yes, I know I didn’t get any blog posts done last week and I was hardly around on social media. Things were busy but I wasn’t idle on the gaming front. I almost have Back Alleys done for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets, I did some more brainstorming on YARC, and the whole reason for this post more mulling on The Blight.
Right now, I mostly messing around with the gods and Gods of Castorhage and thinking of how to make the various game systems. So I figured what the heck, throw out to masses and see what happens. Of all the games I have at my disposal I’ve narrowed it down to these (in no particular order).
1. Swords & Wizardry: It’s easy to do NPC’s. It’s flexible. It’s readily available in PDF form and the players can buy the book if they want. And there’s already a ready made version of it by Frog God Games.
2. Fifth Edition: It’s the elephant in the room. The players are already familiar with it and they already have their own books. It’d be a little tougher to run improved NPC’s off the cuff. The PC’s do have a lot more umph than in the other systems so make it a little grittier will take some house ruling.
3. Dungeon Crawl Classics Lankhmar: Why? Well, DCC is cool and I should have my physical copies from the Kickstarter soon. The players are already familiar with it. The Blight is a city-based campaign so in my mind’s eye, it would make a good fit using the DCC: Lankhmar rules. Yes, I know no clerics and I would have house rule the partrons. So more prep type work on the DM’s part. I’m also aware of how crazy the magic can get. The players are already familiar with DCC and some have the books already.
4. Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Well, you can go weird and gritty without thinking about LOTFP. The players should be able to pick it up quickly. The art-free version is still available. It won’t take much to convert the Swords & Wizardry version over to LOTFP.
5. Something else? Oh. There’s plenty of other games out there. But the above are really my main choices.
So here’s a poll. Leave a comment. Let me know what you think.

What’s Cool Wednesday: Malodorous Miasma Meltdown

It’s rare that I get full on embarrassing laughs at work while listen to a podcast. Here is the guilty party. Malodorous Miasma Meltdown check it out on Anchor. Damned funny!

And this week’s funny video clip

Cool Things via DrivethruRPG
Old School Essential Character Sheet
Old School Essential Character Sheet (Ascending AC Version)

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

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