January 10, 2017
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.
January 9, 2017
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.
December 15, 2016
You’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’….
November 23, 2016
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!
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).
September 15, 2016
Something Pathfinder (or most fantasy RPGs, including D&D) doesn’t touch on is the frequency with which Medieval weapons broke. My research indicates weapons, especially swords, broke frequently, primarily due to the poor quality steel most blacksmiths had to work with during the Medieval period. But even weapons made of high quality steel could still break with ‘robust’ use.
It bothers me that, barring unusual circumstances, RPG characters can often use the exact same weapon purchased at creation all through their adventuring careers, when history suggests it was actually fairly rare for a weapon to be used so long, let alone be passed on to one’s heirs.
To reflect this, I am considering using the following rules next time I run a game:
- Standard weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1 or 2.
- Masterwork weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1.
- Magic weapons have a percentage chance of breaking on a natural attack roll of 1:
- +1 weapons have a 5% chance of breaking
- +2 weapons have a 4% chance of breaking
- +3 weapons have a 3% chance of breaking
- And so on
The purpose of these rules is to further complicate the logistics side of the game, to encourage players to carry multiple weapons (for backup), hopefully discourage the tendency of Pathfinder characters to hyper-specialize in a single weapon, thus injecting a touch more verisimilitude in the game.
If these rules seem unduly harsh to you, you may consider having normal weapons break on a natural 1, masterwork weapons having a 50% chance of breaking on a natural 1, and magic weapons break only under extraordinary circumstances.
August 25, 2016
Here’s a simple little funnel occupation table and an accompanying equipment table. The idea is a Vault somewhere needs something and has to send a bunch of expendable citizens out to the wasteland to find it. Death and hilarity ensues.
July 16, 2016
The MCC Kickstarter is down to the last 3 days, so if you were thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, now’s the time. The KS campaign has already cleared several stretch goals, plus there’s an add-on for the funky dice you need for DCC/MCC, as well.
I got the chance to play a little Dungeon Crawl Classics a few weeks ago, doing a 0-level funnel (Sailors of the Starless Sea). The numerous charts for DCC had always been a turn-off for me, but I found in practice they weren’t so bad after all (for 0-level characters, at least). Plus, the adventure just had a really cool, funky vibe to it: weird magic, non-traditional monsters, and lots of opportunities to get your 0-level funnel dudes killed off. 🙂 Alas, none of my characters survived, but I had a blast playing.
As I’m impatient for post-apocalyptic goodness, I’m already kicking around ideas for my own version of a DCC PA game, though it would be all-funnel, all the time. I’m thinking 0-level wasterlanders with laser guns and atomic grenades. Sure they can die fast, but they can also kill things fast. Just don’t get too attached to your characters.
June 24, 2016
For anyone who is interested, the MCC Kickstarter has (finally) gone live. If you don’t know, MCC is to Gamma World what Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) is to D&D. Here’s the cover:
I’m in for the full color hardback version. I just hope they add an option for the funky dice, too – those can be hard to find sometimes.
And here’s the link to the Kickstarter campaign. Cheers!