Thursday, 21 March 2019

Heartwarming Sandbox: Badger and Basilisk

I've shared half of this post on Google+, but since it'll soon go away, I thought putting it up on my blog would be wise. Heartwarming Sandbox is a project I've been jotting down ideas for from time to time. More similar pieces will follow shortly, some related to the project, some not.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Rappan Athuk AS&SH Campaign Data

A year ago I ran several sessions of Rappan Athuk (using AS&SH for those sweet sub-classes) - 18 sessions out of a 26-session campaign, to be precise. The sessions were 2-3 hours long each, conducted over TeamSpeak. I kept notes and maintained an ugly master sheet for XP and mortality data, of which I was just reminded by a question on Reddit (How many XP do characters bring back per session in your games?).

My answer to the question lies in the document hereby shared for all of you kind readers to see.

Most of the stuff in there should be fairly obvious, but here are some notes: In the Overview tab the PC and NPC columns show the number of characters present at a particular session, whereas in the Mortality tab the Sum columns have the number of PCs/NPCs present up to that point combined for purposes of lethality calculations (given in the mW columns). In the XP tab the "Loot XP %" value notes that over the course of these 26 sessions about 60.69% of XP came from treasure.

Excellence from the Blogosphere (Jan-Feb)

Here are a bunch of blog posts (chiefly from January and February) that I found particularly noteworthy.

  • Olav Nygård has shared a simple procedure to create "Guess who?" style investigative scenarios, along with two examples.
  • Anthony Huso is playtesting his low-level planar module for AD&D/OSRIC. His second session report is especially noteworthy because it sheds light on the importance of playtesting (the same rigorous thought process is also there in the comments while discussing the modified Incantrix class).
  • Courtney Campbell has written a good reminder about ten things you can use in a dungeon to increase your survivability.
  • After about 50 sessions (or 200 hours), Skerples presents his thoughts about the mechanical bits of GLOG.
  • Alex Shroeder shares his thoughts regarding advancement in RPGs.
  • Anne has been on fire lately. She uncovered most of the blog posts that comprised Secret Santicorn 2018, made a list of a gazillion of people making actual play reports, and analysed the ability scores we all use, love, and hate at times.
  • Dale Houston has talked about how he organises events in his megadungeon campaign using simple d6 tables.
  • Angus Warman has shared his set of GLOG-esque house rules, called Die Trying (without classes and levels, too!). While you're at it, also check out his travel rules.
  • The Lawful Neutral has blogged about the initial thoughts of a mega barcrawl and a bunch of suitable monsters.
  • Chris Kutalik made an excellent summary for his Hill Cantons sandbox campaign setting with lots of links and references.
  • Dungeons and Possums posted a great list of free resources to start playing (and running) old-school games. By the way, the blog also has a superb index, in case you want to poke around.
  • Sometimes we all need to be reminded of the other British accents, and noisms just does that using football fan interviews off YouTube.
  • Martin O. has shared 10 very flavourful bandit gangs.
  • Talysman has summarised his rules regarding search rolls and similar mechanics.
  • red_kangaroo made a memory system (for spells, languages, memories, martial art techniques, etc.) using slots similar to how slot-based inventories work. I especially like how Trauma is handled like Fatigue, eating up slots.
  • Emmy Allen has blogged about her next Ynn-like thing: the ruined market of Sharne.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Review: Eldritch Tales

Note that some of the links below are affiliate links (meaning I get a small percentage of the sale without extra cost to you).

Eldritch Tales, as its subtitle says, a Lovecraftian White Box role-playing game. It takes place in the 1920s (like the majority of games centred around the Cthulhu Mythos), where the player characters investigate mysteries and strange phenomena (just like in Call of Cthulhu or Stalkers of the Elder Dark).

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Simple Seasonal Weather Table

Just a rather lazy post for today: a weather table I originally wrote for Grim Tales, but I will probably utilise in my Heartwarming Sandbox game.

Spring
  1. Chilly, rainy, and windy
  2. Chilly and foggy
  3. Mild, breezy, and rainy
  4. Mild and cloudy
  5. Warm and rainy
  6. Hot and sunny
Summer
  1. Mild and stormy
  2. Warm and rainy
  3. Warm and breezy
  4. Warm and sunny
  5. Hot and sunny
  6. Sweltering and sunny
Autumn
  1. Chilly and stormy
  2. Chilly and windy
  3. Chilly and foggy
  4. Mild and breezy
  5. Mild and rainy
  6. Warm and breezy
Winter
  1. Frigid and hailstormy
  2. Frigid and snowy
  3. Cold and snowy
  4. Cold and windy
  5. Cold and sunny
  6. Mild and sunny

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Excellence from the Blogosphere (Nov-Dec)

As I did in one of my earlier post, here are a handful of blog posts (chiefly published in November and December) that I found particularly noteworthy.

  • Wizzzargh shared their experiences running four different OSR campaigns using different approaches to worldbuilding.
  • Zzarchov has also been talking about iterative design with regards to his own game, Neoclassical Geek Revival, showing his way of thinking through actual examples. This is the sort of thing I like to read from game designers. (Also, did you know there's a subreddit for NGR?)
  • James Smith (most known for his OSR news blog series) has recently shared a gajillion of resources for Conan and Hyboria. James has a Patreon now as well, so if you like what you see, consider supporting him.
  • Luke Gearing posted a d100 table of locations for a haunted castle (the assumption is that d20 + [number of rooms visited] is rolled each time, so you get weirder and weirder results as you keep exploring). Simple but inspiring.
  • Lawful Neutral has made an index for their blog, so you can find all the cool stuff looking at only one page.
  • Michael Raston has automated his fantasypunk augmentation generator (with links to the original posts as well).
  • Arnold K. has talked about a way to mechanise social challenges by emulating the stakes and innate complexity of combat.
  • D. G. Chapman in the meanwhile shared some ideas about implementing JRPG-style NPCs in your tabletop campaign. Furthermore, he collected all the adventures so far shared on the blog in one place.
  • Joe Fatula has recently talked about his setting with the thesis "Signs of the Wilderness is to Colonial America as Lord of the Rings is to Medieval England". Seriously, though, that blog is just amazing (my personal favourites are wilderness dungeons, difficult terrain, and an example of using the various random tables shared so far).
  • Josh has shared an impressive article about collecting herbs and using them as components for spells. While you're at it, check out this post about campfire discussions. He also shared some thoughts about a way to describe fantasy cultures by presenting one cogent detail for each sense.
  • I don't normally talk about sci-fi stuff here, but this huge pile of starship geomorphs is too damn good not to share here as well (it's made for Traveller but usable in most other sci-fi games)
  • I generally dislike podcasts (they are way too dry and drawn out in general), but Carl Bussler's The Megadungeon is something different. I'm definitely biased as I love megadungeons.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Review: Tar Pits of the Bone Toilers

"A new trade route is being sought through the Dalgarian Canyonlands, pass the friendly Kharazan, Village of Plenty. But the last two expeditions have never returned and the merchants are getting anxious for the new route, causing bags of gold to exchange hands.

Meanwhile, the ancient portal, the Maw of Ghormaug, has opened once more and invaders, ‘bone men’, are beginning to take over territory. No one is safe. Left unchecked, these lands are destined for horror and ruin, unless a brave party steps up to the challenge.

An adventure for Levels 5-8 for Labyrinth Lord and other OSR rulesets."

Disclaimer: I was sent a PDF coupon on OBS to review this product. The link below is also an affiliate link to help me buy stuff to review. Some spoilers ahead!