Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fudging Majestic Wilderlands/Realms

Last Monday I ran the third playtest of a fudge based Majestic Wilderlands/Realms*.

*I intend to write the ruleset for general DnD style fantasy rather than just my Majestic Wilderlands. The name will be Majestic Realms to reflect this.

This session featured Chris playing a fighter type, Ken playing a Burglar type, Dan playing a Fighter with a single spell, and finally Tim playing a mage. The adventure was an adaption of Brave Halfling's Ruins of Ramat.

The playtest rules featured a first draft of converted Swords and Wizardry spells. A character creation booklet with slightly more detail the most important of which was four character templates (fighter, mage, burglar, and priest) to use a base for character creation.

For preparation I mostly focused on trying to get the numbers right for the monsters. I found a  C++ program to simulate Fudge combat.  Plus I bought Hack-n-slash a Fudge DnD style RPG, along with a bunch of other Fate and Fudge supplements for fantasy. I found that the starting level I been using is probably way overpowered. But since characters were already made I decided to live it with for this session.

The basic fact of Fudge/Fate is +1 is a significant modifiers enough to turn a 50-50 contest into a 66  to 34 contest for the side with the +1 advantage.

The upshot is at the end the players agreed that 30 pt characters felt more like high point GURPS characters or high level DnD characters.

Here are the template I been using. 30 point characters.
Here is what 15 points look like as starting characters.

I will talk in more detail about the various elements of the characters in a follow up post.

Some Rough Notes.
Tim's use of spells went pretty much like it did in a Swords and Wizardry game. Only a handful of spells but when used often a game changer especially when the use of web saved the party from a pair of tentacle demons.

All the combat when pretty much as predict by the Combat simulator I wrote. The Skeletons didn't really stand a chance although injury was inflicted. The tentacle demons were going to be the toughest fight. The combat with the Huecuva went a little easier but Tim rolled really well on a Magic Missile taking it out in one shot.

The basic Fudge Mechanic is pretty solid and despite the greater number of rolls compared to Swords and Wizardry combat went fast.

Definitely need to run a lot of session similar to how the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG was developed. Everytime I ran I found something either to add that was way better than the stuff I initially thought of or something that needs worked on.  For example I gave the players the option of holding over to the next round their number of successes in liu of trying to inflict damage.

Roll20 lighting feature is pretty damn cool.

The GM Side (and showing the tentacle demon fight)

The Player Side

There is some work setting it up but the result it worth it in my opinion.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get your RPG goodness on Lulu at 40% off

From now until Monday you can use the code FALLSALE40 to buy books at 40% off on Lulu.

You can buy Majestic Wilderlands (in one of two covers) and Scourge of the Demon Wolf.

As well as OSR stuff along with Swords and Wizardry which the MW Supplement is based on. I personally recommend the Monster Book. Also have a look at back issues of Fight On!

Well I was mistaken about this the coupon is usable for ordering your books only. I.e. the ones you authored.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tegal Manor + the J Squad + Dwarven Forge = several hours of awesome fun.

Saturday saw the J-Squad return to Tegal Manor after a two year absence.

For those of you that are new, I been running a Swords & Wizardry campaign at the Gold Star Anime since 2010. The group has been inflict err playtested many of my Swords & Wizardry rules and adventures. I call them the J-Squad because most of the players names begin with the letter J. Tonight I refereed, Jay, Josh, Joe, Justin, along with Todd and my wife Kelly Anne.

Josh places a Thug, see Majestic Wilderlands supplement,  named Hazar and he happens to own Tegal Manor after buying it off of Sir Rump. The party managed to get through a third of the manor before getting side tracked onto other adventures.

And now they have returned. Marking this special occasion I pulled out the Dwarven Forge I recently got from the kickstarter.

Once again the party opted to enter through the main foyer and promptly encountered a Balrog.

And it turned out to be a ghostly butler who attempted to put away their wraps. Hazar warned the newer members of the party not look into the portraits hanging on the walls. Note: I need to make mini portraits to hang over the walls. Hazar consulted his map and the party headed down the corridor to the left.

At the end of the corridor was a Iron Door, when opened it revealed the Main Torture Chamber of Tegal Manor. In the middle there was a 10' pit. After much discussion it was decided to send one of the hirelings down the shaft. The hireling cried out that that he sees the bottom and promptly start screaming. The rope goes taunt and then slack again as the screaming stops.

Joe's Fighter, Faramir, begins climbing down and sees an hungry ogre coming at him. After swinging past the ogre, Jay's charcter, Heimdell, a dwarven runecaster, lightning bolts the ogre.

The party decides to explore the dungeon underneath Tegal Manor. And promptly runs into a 16th level Lich. I am not kidding when I say this was a completely random encounter. I rolled a 1 on a 6 sided and then a 39 on the random monster chart of Tegal Manor.

The lich fireballs the party killing Alia, my wife's character, along with Faramir and the two hirelings. Heimdell activates another lightning bolt rune and hits the lich who withstands the damage. It comes down to Justin's cleric who points his Wand of Polymorph at the Lich. I use Kelly Anne's baseball sized d20 and rolled a 3. Oh crap! The lich needs a 5 to save. Justin turns the dread lich into a kitten! With a mew and a swish of its tails the kitten lich scampers off into the darkness.

The party packs up the four bodies and head to Goodnap which has a Cathedral of Mitra and a cleric capable of Raise Dead. A week later they return to Tegal Manor and once again decide to continue exploring the second level.

They managed to quick find their way into third level of Tegal Manor. They entered a strange room filled with plants and stone work folige. On closer examination the stonework is riddled with dozens of two inch diameter holes. Out of which poured a horde snakes. So many that I had to use my giant frog miniatures to represent all the snakes.

Nominally low HD creatures, the fight proved the adage that quantity has a quality of its own. That is until Heimdell activated his Conjure Fire Element Rune.

The resulting 16 HD Fire Elemental quickly cleared out the horde of snakes.

The party explored much of the third level. Discovering and unsealing the tomb of a vampire lord. Then promptly sealing it with a Wall of Iron cast by Heimdall. They have two hours before it come down to figure out what to do about it.

They fireball four ancient barrow wights who barely had time to move. And finally wound up meeting a mother spider and her brood. And that where we called it for the night. Below is a picture I snapped just after the encounter with the Vampire Lord.

The Dwarven Forge was excellent to use. The main issue was the layout of the table. I need look at a different arrangement so that I can layout on two tables pushed together instead of three. Also I need to keep in mind where I am starting the layout from. I am used to not having much and tearing down after two to three rooms. During the session I was continually building out to the table's edge. Also I should have brought my resins because the Tegal Dungeons are mostly corridors. My one resin set has tees, corridor corners, and four ways.

As you can see I had some of the floor pieces painted as well as all of the doors. On Sunday I finished the remaining five big 4 by 6 pieces as well as 15 more 2 by 2. Only spent an hour painting after Friday's marathon. I laid out some corner and wall to paint.

The Porzony Paints are excellent to work with as well as the brushes he sent. I have to grab some more big brushes as I found it a lot more useful then I thought it would be. The doors are by far the more tedious pieces to paint. It is easy to get the floors, corners, and walls done.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The tramp of doom stopped at my door and the delivered two boxes of Dwarven Forge!

After opening them I find yet even more boxes! Those devilish Dwarves and their obsession with properly guarding treasure!

Our kitten wonders what the fuss is about.

And several hour later and many small plastic bags thrown away the long awaited treasure lies before us.

Now I need to figure how to transport this stuff to bring Tegal Manor to life this Saturday.

I use the box that Dwayne of Gamer's Closet made to pack all the walls, corners, diagonal walls, and windows pieces.  I took a couple of the smaller boxes and used those to pack the floors, doors, special walls, and round walls.  A bead tray serves to hold the various bits of furniture. Finally I will go to Jo-ann Craft store and find a bigger bead tray/container to hold the remaining pieces in the little boxes.

Overall I am quite pleased with what I got. All my door pieces operated correctly. I think they may be the best door pieces I have to date. The 4 by 6 floors were warped slightly as reported by many others but not badly. Just enough to be noticeable. I am missing a bench piece out of the hundreds that were shipped. And finally Dwarven Forge threw in a bunch of brushes that I didn't expect with the paints I ordered.

All and all it was expensive but I feel it money well spent. I will put a post showing the stuff in action when the J Squad returns to Tegal Manor on Saturday!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Digital Orc gets a A+ rating!

One of the events I attended at Con on the Cob was a session ran by Dylan Hartwell  of Digital Orc revolving around the Menagerie of the Ice Lord. Dylan is an excellent referee, incredibly enthusiastic and runs a great adventure.

One thing that gets my A+ rating that Dylan subtlety interconnects all the adventures in his product line. He does it with a light touch so each stands on its own but if you want to interconnect them in a campaign the option is there.

So head over to RPGNow or to the Digital Orc and try to give Dylan some of your business. His work deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

And remember to keep your Kirby Hand Strong!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heading to Con on the Cob! and trying out my game.

Off to Con on the Cob to fight some World War II, adventure with Labyrinth Lord, trying out the second session of the Fudge based RPG I am working on and most importantly hang out with good friends.

Despite appearances the game is no where ready for release. It just I been involved in publishing long enough that I have a bunch of ready made templates to use for prototypes. The content is pretty thin at the moment little more than lists of stuff. I did put some work into a character sheet because I find that helps novices understand a new system.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The sound of many dwarven footfalls.

Looks like the five sets I ordered from the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter will be arriving before the end of October. I won't have them for Con on the Cob but it looks I will have them in time for the monthly Gold Star Anime game on the 26th. That is nice because the party choose to return to Tegal Manor.
Shipments East of the Mississippi:  The majority of these shipments are leaving via truck throughout this week. These packages should mostly be delivered during the week ending October 25th. Tracking numbers should go out to these recipients around (or before) October 21st.
This what I estimate I am getting

- 5 Sets (Dungeon Gray) Game Tiles
- 5 x 1 Set (Dungeon Gray) Stretch Goals
- Diagonal Wall Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- Curved Corner Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Floor Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Dungeon Dressing Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- Chamber of Sorrows (Dungeon Gray)
- Grand Stair Pack (Dungeon Gray)
- 2 x Castle Wall Pack (Dungeon Gray)

123 - Straight Wall
92 - 2 x 2 Floor
40 - Corner
15 - Swinging Doors
26 - Curved Corner
18 - Curved Half Floor
30 - Diagonal Wall
18 - Diagonal Floor
12 - Pillars
6 - Demon Doors
25 - Castle Window Wall
12 - Arrow Slits
14 - Barrels
15 - Up Stairs
15 - Pedestals
17 - Curved Corner Stairs
5 - Treasure Piles
10 - Narrow Freestanding Walls
10 - Freestanding Walls
4 - Lower Stair
4 - Lower Stair with Doors
1 - 4 x 4 Pool of Sorrows
1 - 2 x 2 Floor w/Grate
1 - 2 x 2 Floor w/Broken Grate
2 - Pile of Skulls
2 - Floor with Pit
2 - Secret Door (Straight Wall)
9 - Narrow Door
4 - Cell Door
2 - Dwarven Door
2 - Broken Door
2 - Metal Door
2 - Portcullis
4 - Table
4 - Bench
8 - Chair
4 - Bed
4 - Chest
10 - 4 x 6 Floor
4 - 2 x 2 Stair DN

Enough to build out this section of the manor as well as other of similar size.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Solving the Tenkar's Dilemma, the Wilderlands plus Southlands plus Blackmarsh

Tenkar is facing a choice about what to do with his proposed campaign.

Having a bit of involvement in the boxed set Wilderlands as well as being the author of Blackmarsh and Southlands. This would be my "official" opinion on the matter of combining them.

Of course there is no desert along the northern edge of Map 9 (New Map 1) Elephand Lands but there are plenty of blank hexes east of the Land of Beasts to pencil one in.  My Grand Kingdom of Blackmarsh/Southland doesn't exist in the Wilderlands but there is a rather large bit of white space to the east where it could be placed. Also I consider the Elephand lands to be the most DnDish of all the Wilderlands map as it is a polygot collection of village of different races in a forest land.

As a bonus you can see how I meant for Blackmarsh and Southland to be fit together.

Friday, October 4, 2013

One of Blackmarsh's map edges lines up with Hungary

I stumbled across to Adam Borbely's RPG blog in Hungarian and apparently he is translating Blackmarsh into Hungarian. Plus, if Google translate is accurate, also expanding it to support another RPG system.

This is one of the advantage of releasing a product under a open license. As a small publisher it is highly unlikely that I could arrange for the translation of Blackmarsh into any other language. But because of the open license Adam is free to do just that and also convert to use the system that he feels that it would be the most useful . Much like what happened over at Heroes and Other Worlds.

One interesting part of his post is where Adam talks about trying to come up with an equivalent name for various locales in Hungarian. The example he gives is Strangeholm, a name of a halfling village.

I used an archaic definition of strange where the word refers to a far away place. Holm is an archaic term used in Middle English to refer to an island in the middle of a river. The literal translation is Far away Island. However the village is built around a prominent hill so why Far way Island? It is a play on words. The Far away part is literal. The village is a halfling colony in Blackmarsh. However Holm/River Island is play on words due to the fact that the hill is an isolated geographical feature rising out of the lowlands. The founders found it mildly humorous to think of their hill as an "island". Hence the name Far away River Island or Strangeholm.

Hey! people used stranger rationale name their village.