Wednesday, November 13, 2019

They Saved Hitler's Fangs

There's an epic GUMSHOE campaign in here somewhere:


Allegedly the V-E Day edition of the Vancouver Sun, one is tempted to assume that Comrade Leonov was being facetious about the possibility of a vampiric Adolf Hitler. However, this could be a neat hook into a number of different campaigns, from the last mission for a Weird War II commando squad to a clue for modern occult investigators into just who's behind the conspiracy they're facing.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hey, Wait A Minute . . .

From Reaper Miniatures' 2017 Bones IV Kickstarter Campaign:


From Reaper Miniatures' current Bones V Kickstarter campaign:


Nine for the Mortal Men, doomed to die . . . 

Anyway, said current Reaper Bones Kickstarter ends in about 21 hours, and there's way more cool stuff than just finally bringing their number of not-Ringwraiths up to code. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

And Now For A Word From Our Sponsor

So, I'm sure if you're at all interested in RPGs in the 21st century, you've heard of DriveThruRPG*. It's basically the Amazon of digital gaming, both in its retail dominance, self-publishing empowerment, and affiliate program, in which participants can get a small percentage of the price of any purchase made through a particular link, for example the one above. This percentage does not increase the price of a purchase, rather it comes out of DTRPG's take.

I've been using DTRPG affiliate links for some time now, usually marking them with an asterisk that leads to a footnote summarizing the above for transparency purposes. Instead of that, I've decided to make a page with that information.

And now for a demonstration: earlier this week, Lamentations of the Flame Princess* announced a sale reducing all their PDFs sold through DTRPG for just $2.00 each, or $1.50 each for their LotFP Everything Bundle* (this works out to about $82.50). This includes the full (NSFW) art version of the core rules*, Ken Hite's excellent Vietnam-War-inspired setting Qelong*, award winners like A Red and Pleasant Land* and Broodmother Skyfortress*, basically every weird, fantastic, and downright horrific book the company has ever produced - right up to their most recent Gen-Con releases*. Believe me, $2.00 is practically a steal for some of these, but the sale only lasts until the end of the month. Once it's October in Finland, it's back to full price.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

D&D Ability Scores Explained With Tomatoes

Based on a much-shared Reddit thread and brought to life by artist Max Marcil:


Also available as a PDF. And remember, if your first instinct is note that a tomato-based fruit salad is a salsa - you're the bard.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Breakthrough in Gygax/Tolkien Studies!

The question of how much Gary Gygax was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien in the writing of the first few versions of Dungeons & Dragons is one of those topics that generates a great deal of chatter on the Internet these days, usually producing more heat than light. Personally I hold to the idea that Gary was fairly indifferent to Tolkien's fiction, but included the Middle-Earth elements at the insistence of his players. However, it did occur to me recently that in addition to the occasionally-superficial borrowing of monsters and classes, there is an element of old-school play which is closely modeled by The Lord of the Rings - the Appendices, even! - than any other source I can think of.

As is well known, D&D characters who attain high levels gain the ability to build strongholds and accumulate followers. The precise rules for this vary by edition - some retroclones* being especially well-known for expanding on this playstyle - and by class, but it's a pretty universal element.

Art by Ted Nasmith
Universal in the game, at least, but perhaps not so much in the inspirational literature. I've read a bit of discussion around AD&D's Appendix N, including Jeffro Johnson's tome on the subject, and don't recall seeing this ever mentioned. As for the Appendix N works themselves, well, we have Conan famously becoming king-by-his-own-hand of Aquilonia, and maybe John Carter becoming the Warlord of Mars if we stretch the definitions some, but these both of these involve taking over an existing power structure rather than carving out a new one. For that, the best example I can think of is the later careers of Legolas and Gimli:

"After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves. . . . Legolas his friend also brought south Elves out of Greenwood, and they dwelt in Ithilien, and it became once again the fairest country in all the westlands." - The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A

Now, despite my clickbaity headline, I doubt this passage had much to do with what we call the "Domain Game" of early D&D. In fact, I would tend to think the concept as driven more by gameplay needs than anything in fantasy fiction at the time, though I welcome further examples. Still, it's a remarkable correspondence in concept, and one that I certainly wouldn't mind exploring at the table someday.

*Affiliate link.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Requiem For Google+

Well, it's finally happened. After much sound and fury, the Google+ social media experiment is officially over. Being something of a late adopter to things like this I was only on for the last couple years, but during that time I saw a number of informative, amusing or useful things, some of which I was able to salvage:

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Heroes of Terra Kickstarter Up

Well, I have to admit I doubted this day would ever come, but on this occasion I'm happy to be proven wrong - Jeremy Puckett and Blackwing Productions* have posted the Kickstarter for Heroes of Terra: The Mushroom War. I've mentioned this Super Mario-inspired Savage Worlds setting a time or two before, as previous versions of it were released. Most are still available at the DriveThru link posted above, and the newest is the Heroes of Terra Jumpstart*, which like the full book brings the setting in line with the newest edition of Savage Worlds (If you were a backer of the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, you should already have the Jumpstart wherever you're keeping the rewards from that campaign).

This Kickstarter is fairly straightforward, with PDF and POD options as well as some premium content-creation tiers. The stretch goals are all additional content, but I would say the target date is far enough out to not make the campaign too successful. Nothing that would require additional shipping is also a good sign.

Anyway, I'm eager to see what this version of the Mushroom Kingdom ends up looking like, and maybe even put a game there someday. I note with particular interest that the premise explicitly mentions the possibility of visitors from the "real" world, which would make the material easily integrated into a game of, say, international monster hunters . . .

Not your typical Yoshi.

*All DriveThruRPG links are, as always, affiliate links that earn me a little money if you use them.