Here’s the first draft of my own take on Bards and Barbarians for my upcoming Labyrinth Lord game. I wanted to put my own spin on these. Heck, there’s a lot of other very fine versions out there. They just didn’t quite do it for me. Yeah. I’m weird. I like bards as jack of all trades and barbarians without armor and that’s the way I roll. I want to keep them simple but still give them their own feel. Or course, these are beta versions so there might be a change or two before the dice hit the table. Hell, there’s probably a typo in there too.
barbarian and bard
I don’t even remember when I first stumbled up Elf Maids & Octopi. I don’t remember what I searching for or if it just popped up on G+ feed somewhere. But it’s one of those blogs that I feel we don’t hear enough about.
Why? Well, there’s a bunch of free stuff. It’s not run of the mill vanilla type stuff but it’s not far out gonzo that most folks would scratch their heads and say, “What the hell?”
There’s all sorts of weird and useful random tables and charts. Ideas and inspiration to add a tweak of weirdness to your game. But hey, don’t sit here and read about it. Just follow that link above and check it out for yourself.
I talked last week with the players in our little group and they decided they wanted to totally old school and go with Labyrinth Lord! So here’s a bit of a rambling post about what I need to do, some thoughts on the new Advanced Labyrinth Lord book, and other stuff! Yeah I got the Orcus cover because Orcus.
First up some thoughts on the book itself. Glen “Old Man Grognard” Halstrom reviewed on his Youtube channel and it’s pretty spot on. Now there is one thing about it that kind of bugs me. And that’s the spell section. The most minor beef that I have is that the spell list is at the end of the spell chapter. I know that’s minor but hey it just makes a little more sense to me to have at the beginning. Another and more annoying thing is the layout of it. OK, spells are alphabetical by class. No problem. But if you open up the book in the middle of the spell chapter, it’s hard to figure out where you are in the spell lists. Am I looking at Illusionist or Magic-User spells? There is a header at the beginning of each section but I don’t think that it stands out enough if you’re quickly flipping through the book looking for a spell. Which is one of the many reasons that I grabbed up a hard copy of Necrotic Gnome’s B/X Essentials Magic-User and Cleric Spells. BTW, I got the monster book too.
So what else do have to do? Well, I need to tweak my White Box House rules and make them more in line with Labyrinth Lord plus pull a couple of other things from other games like Swords & Wizardry. I happen to like the Swords & Wizardry two-weapon fighting rules better along with a little tweak to those. Don’t worry you’ll see these posted here when I get them done. I’m going to pull some of the classes from James Spahn’s Class Compendium. I’m not planning on doing race as class but there may be a exceptions for really odd races or unique racial classes. Still working on that list too. And James West’s Black Pudding is just awesome for so many things.
And speaking of classes, I want to home brew a couple. I’ve got soft spot for bards and an odd fascination with barbarians. I’ve got various versions of each and none quite did it for me. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them or that they didn’t emulate former versions of the classes. I just have a different idea in my head. So there’s another thing you have to look forward to.
I’m starting them off with Keep on the Borderlands but I want to spruce it up a bit and throw in some extra encounter areas from other small adventures that I’ve collected over the years. Additionally, I need to get off my butt and flesh out my world of Zoong out more. The good news is that I found my ancient notes form many years ago at the bottom of box. So there’s a bunch of nearly forgotten old stuff that I’m going to mix in with the new. Once more blog fodder, folks. Stay tuned for that.
And there’s a host of other little things that I want dust off and/or improve. Like finally getting around to clearing out and organizing my gaming bag.
Along with that I just have to bring my little box of index card wonders. I just love this box.
Of course, I still have to put together my GM Screen and Notebook. So yeah. Dozens of little projects to get done. And before any one asks, we haven’t really decided on when we are starting so I need to get to work on this along with all other projects on my plate.
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!
It’s another Wednesday and another shout out to something cool. One of my goals for this isn’t just to shout to the big names or cool kids but also the off the beaten track things that probably most people haven’t seen nor heard.
So that leads us this week to The Delvers. I stumbled upon this while was looking for more Labyrinth Lord resources after I got my hard copy in the mail. So what and who are The Delvers. Well, lot’s of folks try to define the OSR and think this fits well into how I define. It’s just a family playing Labyrinth Lord. Dad’s DMing and the rest of the family is playing and having a good time. An actual play podcast that doesn’t have any big names or anything. Just ordinary people getting together, playing and having fun.
And that dear readers, is what I think it’s all about. Their podcasts are available on Itunes and Google Podcasts (where I’m listening). Enjoy!
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
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.