Castle Greyhawk Webcomic

August 29, 2015

I recently discovered a webcomic based on Castle Greyhawk, featuring some of the iconic OD&D characters such as Tenser, Mordenkainen, Yrag and others.  If you’re a fan of old school D&D, you owe it to yourself to check it out.  Aside from being an interesting take on the “old days,” it’s given me plenty of ideas for my own games.

PFBB Bestiary – Hobgoblins

August 10, 2015
Come to momma.

Come to Momma.

I’ve worked up a PFBB monster conversion for hobgoblins and a hobgoblin boss.  I’m not sure if I did the class conversions properly for the hobgoblin boss, but it looks pretty close to me, at least when compared to the orc boss from the GMG.

I equipped the hobgoblin boss with a whip, mainly due to art limitations.  But I think it turns out to be a nasty weapon, allowing the hobgoblin boss to trip dangerous opponents, giving the rest of the gang a +4 bonus to attack the prone target.  A great way to cut those plate-mailed tanks down to size. :)

On a side note, if you want some additional BB monster conversions, you can download a free PDF of Wayfinder #10 magazine from  It has conversions for two gnolls, and an otyugh.


PFBB: Essential Monster Stats

July 14, 2015

First, sorry for my prolonged absence of late.  I’ve been busy with some RL things, plus I had a touch of blogging burnout.  I think I’m better now. :)

A friend has been running Rise of the Runelords at one of our FLGS, and for some reason it has sparked a renewed interest in me to run that Beginner Box campaign I blogged about some time ago.  So, reading through the BB rule books again, I finally noticed that the stat blocks given for Black Fang’s Dungeon (pages 2-15 of the GMG) are condensed to just essential combat information.

PZO1130-GoblinsIt occurred to me that it may be helpful to have these condensed stat blocks prepared for all the monsters in the BB (including the four from the supplements), so that one could easily copy and paste them into a document for ready reference.  And so I went ahead and did it: condensed stat blocks for all the official BB monsters, including a blank template so you can add new monsters, if you’re so inclined.  There’s a DOC version and an RTF version.

Note that the formatting appears screwed up when you preview it in Mediafire, but when downloaded it should be fine.

Please let me know if you notice any discrepancies, errors, or if you have any questions or suggestions.  Cheers!

Reaper Bones 3 Kickstarter

July 6, 2015

reaperbones3 This is just a quick heads-up that Reaper’s Bones III Kickstarter launches tomorrow (10 AM Central Time, July 7th), for those who may be interested.  You can usually get a pretty decent deal on a large group of miniatures.  Cheers.

Edit:  Here’s the link to the actual Kickstarter campaign.  They’ve already hit $395,000!

Zombicide Black Plague

June 21, 2015

First off, I apologize for my long absence (for anyone who cares :) ).  I took a week-long trip to D.C. to visit a high school buddy, and then I’ve been busy with RL stuff since I’ve been back.  We played a lot of awesome games on that trip (Edge of the Empire, Cthulu Wars, XCOM board game, Fun Employed, Artic Scavengers, Shadowrun Crossfire, Eldritch Horror, Netrunner, Cthulu Flux, and a bunch of others I can’t remember).  And Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the bomb.  We need one of those here in Reno.

zombicideblackplagueJust so I don’t go the entire month of June without a post, I thought I’d bring some attention to a new Zombicide game set in a medieval fantasy world: Zombicide Black Plague.  If you’re into collecting minis, you can get about 180-ish (so far) minis for $150 (plus shipping).  A dollar a mini ain’t bad, though granted many of them are duplicates.

This got me thinking that it might be interesting to do a gritty undead apocalypse campaign set in a fantasy world.  Not just zombies, but ghouls, wights, spectres, vampires and all the other undead nasties as well.  Clerics would really shine in such a setting, so you might have to tone down Turn Undead a bit (maybe make it a spell instead of an at-will ability).  When the undead hordes rule the world, it might just be the good folk who move into dungeons!

Alternate S&W Whitebox Character Record

May 22, 2015

I’ve been tinkering around with the Whitebox character record a bit more.  This version assumes armor determines a character’s movement rate, but retains the overall 20 inventory slots.

Generally speaking (and feel free to adjust to taste):

  • No armor = Move 12
  • Leather armor = Move 9
  • Chain armor = Move 6
  • Plate armor = Move 3
Click here to download.

Click here to download.

It is perhaps not as realistic as tracking weight or some other systems that use inventory slots, but I think it gets the job done and is very easy to use.

Swords & Wizardry Whitebox Character Record

May 19, 2015

I was (re)reading the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox rules and noticed that Whitebox breaks out movement based on the total weight a character is carrying, regardless of their actual Strength ability score.  It looks something like this:

  • 1-75 lbs = Move 12
  • 76-100 lbs = Move 9
  • 101-150 lbs = Move 6
  • 151-300 lbs = Move 3

The chart in the book is much cleaner than my crude replication, but it gets the point across.  Looking at the chart got me thinking about abstract inventory/encumbrance systems again.  Instead of using pounds/weight for each tier, use abstract inventory slots instead, broken down into 5 slots per tier.  A character can carry one item per slot, or 150 coins per slot.  Further, characters are restricted to carrying a single “heavy” item, such as a suit of plate mail, small treasure chest, a marble bust, or a rolled up tapestry or rug.  Really heavy items require two or more people to carry, and they count towards their limit of one heavy item (i.e. if you’re already carrying one heavy item, you can’t also help carry a really heavy treasure chest).

But, the best way to get my point across, I thought, would be to incorporate it into a character sheet.  And so, that’s what I’ve done, modeled off of an old OD&D character sheet I found posted at the OD&D forums.  And here it is:


Click on me to download.

So, starting at the top of the equipment section, as you fill in gear, you can just cross reference to see your current movement rate (and chance to drown, should you fall into water).  It’s not perfect, of course.  For one, it’s not as forgiving as the Whitebox chart it’s based on.  Also, as you consume items, inventory slots will become empty in the middle of the chart, which can end up making tracking things a little more complicated (or else you’ll have to do a lot of erasing and writing things back into the upper slots); a little judicious forethought can minimize these problems (i.e. permanent items are recorded towards the top of the chart; consumable items recorded towards the bottom).

Let me know what you think.  Cheers.



Mad Max: Fury Road

May 15, 2015

Great action movie and a nice re-imagining of the Mad Max franchise.  It’s not exactly a re-boot, but not exactly a direct sequel either.  Pretty much a non-stop car chase, with plenty of post-apocalyptic weirdness you can steal for your PA RPGs.  Go see it, whether you’re a fan of Mad Max or just a fan of good action movies.

Tales from the White Star Cantina

May 12, 2015

White Star has really gripped my imagination of late, so much so I’ve decided to start a second blog dedicated just to White Star material: Tales from the White Star Cantina.  Henceforth, most White Star related material will be posted there, and I’ll reserve this blog for non-White Star RPGs.

In the short term I’ll be reposting White Star material from this blog to the Cantina, just to get it off the ground, but in short order I fully expect to have new material: the Galaxy’s Most Wanted, Planets of Interest, advanced technologies, new classes, house rules, equipment, aliens, and more.


Modern Firearms for White Star (and Whitebox)

May 12, 2015

Modern firearms have two modes of firing: single shot and rapid fire.  Single shot attacks use standard combat rules: roll a d20, adding the attackers Base Hit Bonus and Dex modifier (if applicable) versus the target’s AC.  As you would guess, a single shot attack only uses a single round of ammunition.

Combat Pistol

Combat Pistol

Rapid Fire attacks fire several shots at once (minimum 2 shots), up to 10, 20 or 30 rounds, determined by the type of weapon used.  RF attacks are not made against AC, but instead involve rolling a d10 for each shot fired: each d10 that rolls a 1 scores a hit on the target regardless of its AC.  Roll damage for each hit scored.  Each shot fired consumes a round of ammunition.  Attackers may divide the number of shots fired between different targets.  Simply divide up the dice and roll each batch separately.

  • Combat Pistol – 1d6 damage, range 30 feet, clip 15 rounds, wgt: 3 lbs., Rapid Fire 10
  • Submachinegun – 1d6 damage, range 40 feet, clip 30 rounds, wgt: 6 lbs., Rapid Fire 20
  • Combat Rifle – 1d6+1 damage, range 70 feet, clip 30 rounds, wgt: 8 lbs., Rapid Fire 20
  • Machinegun – 1d6+1 damage, range 100 feet, belt 100 rounds, wgt: 15 lbs., Rapid Fire 30

Example:  A SMG can Rapid Fire 20 rounds in a single combat round (note: this is actually not very accurate for a 1 minute combat round, but some accommodation must be made for D&D’s abstract combat mechanics).  Assuming a player decides to go all out, they consume 20 bullets and roll 20 10-sided dice.  Each dice rolling a 1 scores a hit on the target(s).

Combat Rifle

Combat Rifle

Creatures only hurt by silver weapons still require silver bullets to harm.  For those creatures only harmed by magic weapons, it’s left to the GM’s discretion whether modern firearms are equivalent to magic weapons, or whether actual magic bullets are required.

Firearms are quite loud.  Nearby monsters should be immediately alerted when guns are fired.  GM’s may also want to consider making an additional wandering monster check every time firearms are discharged.  GM’s should also consider whether sound suppressors are available, and what the trade offs for using them should be.

One final consideration, ammunition should probably be rare or fairly expensive.  Otherwise, your players will just load themselves down with ammo and blaze away at everything, relying on “spray-n-pray” to win every battle.

Obviously, these rules should be applied sparingly against the PCs, especially at low levels.  Conversely, even low-level mooks armed with assault rifles can make effective adversaries against high level PCs.



Optional Rule: Mercenaries lose the Combat Machine ability and replace it with the Burst Fire ability, allowing them to roll d8’s to score hits, instead of d10’s.

Optional Rule:  Modern firearms can be reloaded very quickly, especially so in the context of a 1 minute combat round specified in Swords & Wizardry Whitebox and White Star.  So, you may wish to “hand wave” reloading of firearms, assuming the PCs are proficient enough to reload very quickly and keep blazing away.  This will have the effect of reducing some of the bookkeeping involved, essentially ignoring a gun’s ammo capacity.

Optional Rule:  You may want to adjust the target number to score a hit based on range.  For example, rolling a 1 to 3 if the target is adjacent, 1 or 2 at short range, a 1 at long range, and 0 at extreme range.


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