Friday, February 12, 2021

The Many Crypts of Lady Ingrade and Zine Quest #3


My good friend, Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor is in his last three days of his kickstarter, an adventure zine called the Many Crypts of Lady Ingrade. Written for Old School Essential it is a series of adventures around the various crypts of Lady Ingrade. It also part of Zine Quest, an effort by Kickstarter to promote various types of RPG zines. 

Tim has tapped me to do the maps. Here is a sample below.

It represents an evolution of my black and white style. I recently stumbled on a source for old screen tone, dry transfer sheets filled with patterns and symbol that were used prior to advent of illustration software and desktop publishing. I bought a few to fill in gaps in my collection and some of them are found in these maps. The ones below are scrubland, jungle, and tidal flats. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Kickstarter Updates and Fullfilment

Fulfillment Process

Fulfillment didn't go quite as smoothly I thought it would. The main issue is that I mistakenly thought I could handle this with update posts targeted at different backer levels. Instead what I should have done, and discovered later, I is handled it with Kickstarter messages targeted at the different backer levels. 

Everybody should have a Kickstarter message from me in there Kickstarter inbox with the codes for their reward level. Around forty haven't said one way or the other that they gotten their codes so I have just sent out an email to those individuals. 

If you have answered the survey with no that you haven't gotten the codes from your update. Then look for that email or look in your Kickstarter inbox for the codes. In either case if you could let me know I would appreciate it so I can update the records indicating that you received the rewards. 

Initial Reception

So far people seem to like the rules and the cards. I have seen two reviews so far and I did a interview about the Majestic Fantasy Basic Rules.

A Land Beyond Beyond Review

A Land Beyond Beyond Interview

Thanks to Jon Salway for writing both of these.

There Might Be Gazebos Review

Thanks to Chuck for writing this.

Blackmarsh News

I been notified that the printer for DriveThruRPG is discontinuing saddle stitched books as of March. Blackmarsh uses this format. I will be switching over to a different print format by the end of February once I gotten more details of the switchover process. Likely it will be a digest sized book of 24 pages in softcover and hardback. I may try using a card format as well. I will keep folks posted. 

I also found that the price was incorrect it is $3.80 not $3.50. Printing cost change over time and apparently .30 cent was added to the cost since I first did the estimate for the Kickstarter.

Future Installments

I had Matteo M. on the discussion tab on the Majestic Fantasy RPG page at DriveThruRPG ask me this question.

Are we going to see the eXpert version of this game?

The "expert" version is going to be a series of supplements. I realize it will be a little different so there some risk it won't work out.

The next one up* is the Lost Grimoire of Magic while will have the complete details of the Magic User class, and Spells. along with some useful aids and procedures centered around magic users. There will be supplements covering Fighters, Rogues, Clerics, Monsters, NPCs (two volumes), Equipment, Treasure, and Magic Items. Finally a book around sandbox campaigns, refereeing, and various useful aids.

The point of doing it this way is that in my experience most people start out with a system and then kitbash stuff they like from other similar systems. I am aiming not only to write a quality RPG, but be a first or second choice when people kitbash their campaign. Hence breaking down it into supplements that work on their own.

*My next project will be getting the Wild North out and after that I will finish up the Lost Grimoire of Magic. Both will be Kickstarter project due to their art or editing requirements. The rules are finished and playtested, but the organization and supplemental material still remain to be written. 


Once thank I thank everybody backing this project. Your generosity is appreciated. As always if you have any question or issue feel free to reach out.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Central Mechanic of Tabletop Roleplaying Games

I participated in a discussion about how the game plays in tabletop roleplaying. The following is probably not constructive for the conversation but it does sum of my view of what make RPGs, RPGs, and why they are so different than boardgames and wargames. 

While the following is a specific series of steps, the circumstance they can be applied too is nearly infinite. Also it can turn on a dime if the circumstance the referee describes changes. Whether that change follows from what the player did a their character is sometimes debated but it still implies an inherent flexibility that all RPGs possess. 

Sub Main()
  Setting := CreateSettingAndCampaign(Referee)
  Players := CreateCharacters(Setting)
       Call RefereeDescribesCircumstance()
       For Each Player In Campaign
             PlayerAction =  DescribeCharactersAction(Player)
             Call RefereeAdjudicateCharacterAction(PlayerAction)
  Loop Until Campaign = CampaignStatus.CampaignEnds
End Sub

Sub RefereeAdjudicateCharacterAction(aAction as CharacterAction)
   Decision = RefereeDecidesAdjudicationProcess(aAction)
   Select Decision
        Case DecisionType.Failure
             Call RefereeDescribeFailure()
        Case DecisionType.Success
             Call RefereeDescribeSuccess()
        Case DecisionType.Uncertain
             Call RefereeUseSystem(aAction)
    End Select
End Sub

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Majestic Fantasy RPG Release, Wilderlands Deal, and more.

 Happy New Year everyone! It is 2021 and several Bat in the Attic Games items are happening right out of the gate. 

Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG.

I got the proof copies of the Basic Rules and and they look good. At the urging of a friend I took the time to create the cover for Hardcover version so you will have the option picking either as your budget allows.

The Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Hardcover, $19.99
The Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG, PDF, $9.99

A set of rules for creating and advancing characters from level 1 to 5. Has the Burglar, Cleric of Mitra, Fighter, and Magic User classes, plus backgrounds, combat rules, equipment, and spells. For the referee there are lists of monsters, NPCs, and magic items suitable to challenge and reward your players during a campaign. These rules feature abilities for use for when character do things outside of combat and spellcasting. Along with advice for referees on how to use the available mechanics to craft rulings. Finally, a basic overview of how to bring the world outside of the dungeon to life is provided.

A 204 page RPG compatible with the Swords & Wizardry rules 

This is a series of printed (or PDF) aids that I use to help players to quickly generate characters for the Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG. This aid is in the form of printed cards or tiles. There is an initial card that you hand the player that outlines how the character generation process works. From there, the players pick a class, a background, and buy equipment using the individual cards as a reference to fill out their character sheet. 

The print version is made using 8” by 10” coated stock. They are quite sturdy and appear to be resistant to spills and stains. The printed version has 20 cards that support up to 5 player generating characters. Five common cards and three cards for each of the classes and three spell reference cards.

Majestic Fantasy, Basic Rules,  Reference Cards (PDF)   $3.99

This is a series of printed (or PDF) aids that I use to help players to quickly generate characters for Swords & Wizardry Complete by Frog God Games. This aid is in the form of printed cards or tiles. There is an initial card that you hand the player that outlines how the character generation process works. From there, the players pick a class, a background, and buy equipment using the individual cards as a reference to fill out their character sheet. 

I have refined these cards  over the past decade while running convention and game store sessions and found that it will allow a player to completely generate a character within 15 to 20 minutes. 

These cards contain all of the information needed for assassins, clerics, druids, fighters, magic-users, monks, paladins, rangers, and thieves, for level 1 to 6. On the back of each class card is an equipment list.

Quick Reference Cards for Swords and Wizardry Complete (PDF) $3.99

Wilderlands of High Fantasy Deal of the Day

By happy coincidence, Wilderlands of High Fantasy Maps is the Deal of the Day over on DriveThruRPG.  The deal will go live at 10 am Eastern Time, Saturday January 2nd.

Note that buying this will get you the Guidebook PDF as well. There are 18 maps to the Wilderlands divided into four sets of guidebooks and maps. This deal is for the first set of five maps including the City State of the Invincible Overlord.

The guidebook has an introduction and map commentary by me,. Each map in the guidebook is detailed with the following listings: Villages, Castles & Citadels, Idyllic Isles, Ruins & Relics, and Lurid Lairs. Any statistic or rule is compatible with Swords and Wizardry and various classic editions of the original roleplaying game.

This deal on the first set is a good way to see if folks like the series without having to invest all at once. You will be credited the cost of the PDF if you decide the buy the PDF bundle later. Finally if you decide to buy print, I include the PDF of maps and guidebooks at no additional charge. The print version of each map is two 12" by 18" poster maps. They also have a generous overlap to make joining the map easy or to track features across the map boundaries.

Wrapping it Up
This weekend has been pretty busy with releases and promotions. I hope you find my offering useful and above all fun! Here is to the new year and it all its possibilities including gaming. 

I am thankful for having all of you on board and looking forward to your feedback and input. The next thing up on my plate is wrapping up the Wild North which expands the Majestic Fantasy Realms to the region north of Blackmarsh.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Good referee advice from 140 years ago

 So while reading while reading Jon Peterson's latest, the Elusive Shift he makes an interesting reference to something Charles Totten said in Strategos on page 105.

I think that a pretty good summary of how a good referee acts. 

You can read it for yourself using this link.

Strategos by Charles Totten

Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Fantasy Sandbox in Detail Part XXII

Part XXI

This is the twenty second post in a series detailing the 34 steps I recommended for making a Fantasy Sandbox Campaign. 

Today's post will cover step 28. 

Scan your descriptions for NPCs or noted monsters. Write a two sentence about each. The first a one line with minimal stats the second one sentence. This is your roster.

What I been doing for the past 15 years is using my word processor to create a roster of creatures and character that the party will encounter. This function as a quick cheat sheet for when combat ensues or the players interact with the character. I find this more useful to me than keeping these details within a room or encounter area. The player come with all kinds of plans and may arrive at the locale at an unexpected time. With a roster I can tailor the who is where based on the circumstances. 

Because this is reference for a region, I opted to organize the entires by locale. For the rules I am using Swords & Wizardry Core/Complete by Frog God Games. This is also compatible with my Majestic Fantasy RPG rules. 

Because this is focused on what need to run the sandbox with Swords & Wizardry I only include enough text to remind of what the creature and character are about. If I need more I will look at my original write that I created previously.

Finally I like to use level as a mark of experience so most character have a class and level.

Amur Forest

Spardion leads a sounder of 10 wereboars in the Amur Forest (0502). Lairs in a sea cliff cave in Hex 0503. The sounder's small amount of treasure is hidden in nearby crevice reachable only by using the Ring of Water Walking. The lair also contains a decrepit rowboat capable of holding six members of the back. On race occasion Spardion will use the ring and sneak aboard a nearly boat or ship at night close to shore along with his compatriots nearby in the rowboat. The Map is to original leader's treasure cache hidden in The Fortress of the Lich Lord (0303) in the guard barrack on the 1st level. 

Spardion (Wereboar): HD 5+2; HP 32; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Lycanthropy, Ring of Water Walking.

Wereboar: HD 5+2; HP 21; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Lycanthropy.

Treasure: Gems: 2 x 50 GP; 500 GP; Map To (23 GP; Gems: 3 x 10 GP; 2 x 50 GP; 7 x 100 GP; 5 x 500 GP); Ring of Water Walking

More details after the jump break.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Kickstarter: Layout continues for the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Basic Rules

 Just a quick update that I am in the midst of layout. I have completed about half of the pages and just finished up the monster section. Here is the last page of the monster chapter.

Here is the first page of the character class chapter which includes one of the additional Richard Luschek illustration I purchased. 

For a number of years I have been purchasing stock art and supporting different artists through Patreon. This represents the bulk of the art I use in this book. One of the artist I use is The Forge whose Patreon is located at this link. They provide most of the landscape and locale art you seen in my Wilderlands Guidebooks, and Blackmarsh.

So what I decided to do to supplement the few full page pieces is use that art to present various locales from the settings I created both published and unpublished. Below is an example from the last page of the equipment chapter.

I will do another update next week. This will also include an update of the quick reference cards. I just got notification that the second print test had shipped.