Weboken (LWC)

May 1, 2017

Nestled in the shadow of the Crater Mountains lies the hidden Halfling community of Weboken.  Prior to the Cataclysm, Weboken was an idyllic village of some 1,000 individuals, with cozy little homes built into the rolling hillsides.

 

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Weboken, during better times.

When the Long Winter came, Weboken was better prepared than most to weather the two-year long snows.  The Halflings naturally maintained impressive larders, stockpiling a vast reserve of food, “just in case.”  Their preparations served them well, for the Halflings lasted nearly the two full years of snow before they started to feel starvation’s prick.  And their isolation protected them from raiding parties during the snow’s brief intervals.

When the first thaw arrived, the industrious Halflings immediately set about replenishing their granaries and larders.  But raiders soon followed the first harvest, and that is when Weboken lost the majority of its population.  The incessant attacks wore down the poorly prepared Halflings, nearly wiping out the community.

 

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Eventually the survivors consolidated into a single, large hill.  The Halflings built their cozy little homes facing towards the interior of the hill, linked with vast open meeting chambers and a maze of tunnels.  Well hidden “light tubes” allow natural light into the hill, which is redirected by a clever system of polished metal mirrors, thus allowing Weboken to retain a portion of the charm and warmth of the pre-Cataclysmic times.  They even maintain vast, subterranean chambers to shelter their herds during winter.

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A few buildings dot the top of the hill, but most of Weboken’s surface is given over to ditches, fortifications and watch towers.  The once idyllic community is now quite formidable, at least from the outside.

Weboken is presently home to approximately 500 Halflings, and another 50 or so people of other various races.  They are prodigious farmers, being one of the few communities able to trade surplus food.  Merchants from Bridgetown and the Grimhau frequently visit Weboken during the thaws, trading weapons and tools for provisions.  There also a few nearby lumber camps, whose workers winter in Weboken, which keep the town well supplied in lumber.

By necessity virtually every adult Halfling is now a well-trained warrior, all sharing patrols and guard duty alike.  On rare occasion the community must launch punitive expeditions against larger raiding parties.  They are able to muster up to 200-300 warriors for such tasks.  Fortunately, Weboken is on good terms with all the civilized outposts of the Riverlands.

For adventurers, Weboken is a good stopover for adventuring in, and beyond, the Crater Mountains.  It’s also a good place to pick up large quantities of provisions at very reasonable prices, as well as livestock, wood and leather goods.  Unfortunately, finished goods, like weapons, armor and tools, are highly prized in isolated Weboken, so they tend to sell for a premium.

Dakka’s Story

April 28, 2017

Character background for a goblin gunslinger/alchemist character I’ll be playing in an upcoming Pathfinder game.

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Dakka’s Story

Dakka born in Firebitah tribe. Firebitah’s make fire real good. Dakka best Firebitah ever!

One day Dakka make fire in the Firebitah village. Whole village burn down. Many Firebitahs die. Other Firebitahs very angry, chase Dakka out of village. Dakka sad.

Dakka wander for long time. Make many fires to make Dakka happy. But no use! Dakka still sad.

Dakka meet the Birdeater tribe. Birdeaters eat birds! Dakka eats lots of good birds. Dakka happy.

Then, one day, Dakka make fire in the Birdeater village. Whole village burn down. Many Birdeaters die. Other Birdeaters angry, chase Dakka away. Dakka sad.

Again Dakka wander world, making many fires. But fires not make Dakka happy anymore.

One day Dakka finds human camp. Humans wear metal, have big swords. They soldiers! Dakka scared.

Dakka make fire to scare away humans. Burn down human camp. Humans angry, catch Dakka, put Dakka in cage.

Hah, stupid humans! Dakka pick lock and escape. Start fire to make humans confused. Fire burns down rest of human camp. Dakka laugh so hard, humans catch Dakka again.

Humans now VERY angry, want to kill Dakka. But the boss leader, Old Man, makes humans stop killing Dakka. He says “Hey boys, this greenskin puke seems real handy with fire. Maybe we can put ‘im to use.”

So Dakka makes fires for humans. Humans called ‘sell swords,’ teach Dakka all about war and something new called ‘guns.’ Guns make big boom, spit fire. Dakka likes guns. Dakka happy.

Humans let Dakka burn many things: farms, villages, towns, cities, castles, bridges…once even whole forest! (killing all orcs in it – orcs stupid)

One day Dakka makes itsy, bitsy fire in human camp. Really, just tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fire. But boom powder goes BOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!! Kills many humans. Kills Old Man! (Dakka sad)

Now humans VERY VERY angry, want to kill Dakka. Old Man not here to stop them killing Dakka. Dakka run. This time, Dakka run so far away, where nobody knows Dakka.

Dakka start all over now. Dakka be adventrier? Edventorar? Avendrier?…Dakka be murder-hobo!

DCC/WH40K Mashup – The Grim Dark Future Funnel

March 30, 2017

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A few weeks ago I ran a one-shot mashup of Dungeon Crawl Classics and Warhammer 40K (ish), which I called the Grim Dark Future Funnel.  The players rolled up a series of WH40K(ish) themed Level-0 characters who set about exploring a space hulk for salvage, xeno-tech and ancient relics.  The players had a strict time limit (in real time) to explore the ship before the Imperium blew it to pieces.

Not having time to map this stuff out properly, instead I just measured out inches for movement and range, and used templates for certain weapons, like grenades and flamers.  I improvised terrain using blocks of Styrofoam and a few other bits.

I allowed replacement characters to teleport straight into the space hulk, but I required a Luck roll to make sure they didn’t accidentally materialize inside another object…or person.

Highlights include the players deciding that firing automatic weapons into melee combat was an acceptable thing, accounting for a high number of funnel character deaths.  And the mad scramble to exit the ship before it blew up.  A handful of characters were oh so close to getting off the ship, but didn’t quite make it (sorry guys 🙂 ).

Here’s a link to the rules I came up with.  For small templates, use about a 1.5″ diameter, for large templates use maybe a 2″ diameter, and for flamer templates use a 12″ rule.  I bought some cheap 6″ rulers to measure movement, which is perfect for most character’s movement.  Psychic attacks are made using an opposed Personality check vs. the defender’s Will save.

A Few More OD&D Links

February 21, 2017

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I’ve come across a few more interesting OD&D links:

OD&D Referee Tools

An online generator to create OD&D characters, treasure hordes, bandit groups, monster lairs, magic swords and, most interestingly to me, castle inhabitants (including the lord, special monsters and men-at-arms).  It’s not pretty, and there are a few bugs, but overall it looks like quite a handy tool.  Should make populating an OD&D inspired wilderness a snap.

Helgacon VIII: Outdoor Sploitation Report

At the Delta’s D&D Hotspot blog is an interesting report on a con game run using OD&D and the Outdoor Survival Map.  The players start with fairly high level characters, and the goal is to explore the outdoor survival map and collect 100,000 GP within the four-hour play session.  Though it’s only a one-off game, it’s still an interesting take on how to play OD&D, and it’s a fun read.

The Oldest Dungeon Maps in D&D History

The Hidden in Shadows blog posted an interesting bit of gaming archeology: some of the original player maps of the Black Moor dungeon, an early example of player mapping in action.  Also of interest is the number of tunnels, or passageways, in the Black Moor dungeon, most of them not angled straight north-south or east-west.  What rooms there are also often of strange angles and shapes.  This all may have been an attempt to confuse player mapping, or maybe Mr. Arneson just thought straight lines and 90-degree angles were boring.

BBC Interview with Michael Mornard

January 25, 2017

Here’s an interesting interview by the BBC with Michael Mornard, one of the early players of Dungeons & Dragons.  It’s only about 9 minutes long, so won’t take up much of your time.

Cheers!

Chainmail Available in PDF

January 10, 2017

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The Chainmail miniatures wargame, grandaddy to D&D, is once again available in PDF format at One Book Shelf for $4.99.  Apparently this is the 7th printing of the 3rd Edition, so many (or all?) of the Tolkien references have been omitted or changed.  But still worth the price if you’d like to look at a piece of gaming history.  Cheers!

Edit:  I can confirm that hobbits have been changed to halflings, and balrogs have been removed entirely.  There may be other changes as well, but those are the two big ones I noticed right away.

Alien Scum: A new class for White Star

January 9, 2017
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Artwork by Ariel Perez

 

The universe teems with life, but not all of it is noble or enlightened. All manner of unsavory aliens throng the crowded space ports and hive cities of the known worlds, displaced and exploited, eking out a living any way they can.  These are desperate, dangerous beings willing to do anything to make a credit, and they’ve developed an equally dangerous skill set as thieves, thugs, snitches…and worse.

Starfinder RPG Interview

December 15, 2016

starfinderposter_360You’ve probably heard by now that Paizo is working on a science-fantasy version of Pathfinder they’re calling Starfinder.  It’s not out until August 2017, so I haven’t been paying too much attention to the game so far, not that there’s a lot information available just yet.

However, there was an interesting 6-page interview at gameinformer about Starfinder.  What caught my eye is that Paizo says they’re trying to streamline the rules.  Specifically mentioned in the interview are the lessons learned from Pathfinder Beginner Box!

Of course, at this point we have no idea just how much “streamlining” is happening, or what form it takes.  For all I know, Paizo’s idea of streamlining may actually make the game more crunchy and complex.  But for now I’m cautiously optimistic that Starfinder may be closer to Beginner Box than PF Core.

Of course, nothing says somebody can’t make a Starfinder Beginner Box.  Just sayin’….

Cheers!

OD&D Links

November 23, 2016
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The Outdoor Survival Map, Hexographer Edition

My friend Randy (TotalGMKills) sent me an email a few days ago regarding The Original D&D Setting by Wayne Rossi (Semper Initiativus Unum), an analysis of OD&D’s wilderness rules as applied to the Outdoor Survival Map.  I had already read Mr. Rossi’s PDF (indeed, I read it again the other day), but I was inspired to assemble as many OD&D related links as I could find: materials, resources and inspirations.

So, here it is, in no particular order:

No doubt there are things I’ve missed, probably even obvious things that I’ll later feel like an idiot for not having included in the first place.  So, as I find new OD&D related material, I’ll add links to it here.  I may eventually create a separate page on the blog for this list if it generates any interest.

I hope you’ve found this interesting and useful.  If you think of anything that should be added, feel free to comment and I’ll check it out.  Thanks, and cheers!

Interesting Interview with David Wesely

November 10, 2016

 

Here’s an interesting and entertaining video interview with David Wesely, creator of ‘Braunstein’ style games.  Braunsteins are an early form of role-playing game, sort of bridging the gap between wargaming and role-playing.  If you’re interested in the ‘early days’ of our hobby, it’s worth watching (be forewarned though, it is a couple of hours long).

Cheers!


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