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Showing posts from 2015

Artist Spotlight - Danny Prescott

Note:  This is something I rarely get to do but think I should do more often.  I also encourage the other OSR/Gaming bloggers out there to look into do this as well.

There are a number of artists that I have worked with in the last few years.  Most notably is +Frank Turfler who, as I said in my Three Toadstools interview, is my go to artist.  However, today I wanted to spotlight another gaming artist who does some really amazing work, and who I would love to see more of.  That artist is +Danny Prescott, or Herbanicus over at deviantart.

There isn't much to say, so instead here are a few of my favorite works by Danny and why:

This is Danny's newest piece.  A collection of different examples of fantasy women of different callings, sized, and personalities.  I enjoy the mix of styles in these six images, ranging from a very Weird Tales Swords & Sorcery still to pre-renaissance wood cuts.  I am also a huge fan of the different clothing types and the lack of the typical fantasy…

Mini-Review: Mutants & Marvels

I've had Mutants & Marvels(aff) in my collection for a long time now.  I remember picking up the 1.0 version when it was a "New Product" over at drive-thru rpg ... hell, I even had the thing printed at the local Staples and bound for later use.
Then I promptly forgot about it.
This week I picked it up again when a friend stated he wanted to run a one-shot of a Fasrip he found.  Low and behold it was the second edition of Mutants & Marvels!  All I can say is that I wish I had looked this over more when I first picked it up way back when as it would have saved me a lot of trouble with finding a simple and easy to play supers rpg.
Simple and easy is the main draw of Mutants & Marvels(aff).  Since I first started to play rpgs back in the early 2000s, I have searched for a supers game that I could get into.  I have tried Mutants and Masterminds, Icon, Paragons and Prowlers, Champions, Mighty 6, and a host of others.  Hell, I even tried to build my own system when…

Mini-Review: White Box Chivalry by Barrel Rider Games

At this point in the long game of the OSR, +James Spahn and Barrel Rider Games need no introduction.  James has made a name for himself in quality material. His White Star Sci-Fi setting for Swords & Wizardry White Box has not dropped below 5th place on RPGnow's hottest 100 listing since the day after its release nearly a year ago, and many of his over products dot the list on any giving day.  I suspect, his newest product White Box Chivalry (aff) will be on the top 10 before I wake up in the morning; and for good reason.

White Box Chivalry is a 13 page box that adds knightly conduct, appointments, and life to the various fantasy worlds of Swords & Wizardry White Box.  While mostly tables, White Box Chivalry is nicely detailed, and doesn't miss a beat in its explanation on the hows and the whys behind how a player-character could stumble into knighthood.  All-in-all, its a good read and is easily implemented into any pre-existing game.

Unfortunately, it does have some…

Patreon Supported Adventures the Bards of Ur

Released to the public earlier today VIA RPGnow, TheBards of Ur is a 5Next adventure for 5 characters in the mid-levels of play.

The Bards of Ur are the biggest troupe in the land. Their strange black-and-white make, their leather, spiked clothing, and strange heavy music is all the rage in every town they pass through. However, their music is the key to breaking the chains to a Demon Lord who has been imprisoned for a thousand years.  The young of the villages they visit vanish and in their wake calamity strikes, as crops go bad, livestock die, and dark fiends haunt the fog enshrouded forests of the land.

The music, the missing youths, the chaos, it is all part of The Bards of Ur's plan to unleash their Demon Lord who will drag the world into his demonic domain to reclaim his throne.

Can these minstrels of metal mayhem be stopped?

Since I release not everyone has an RPGnow account or would be interested in using it for The Bards of Ur, I am putting up a copy here for everyone to …

Patreon Supported Adventures - Love's Restroration

My newest adventure for the Eldritch Modern Supplement for Swords & Wizardry is now available on Patreon.  Typically what would happen is my Patrons would get the adventure as part of their patronage and at the end of the month they would vote on the adventures released that month and pick one for a general free release VIA the blog ... that didn't happen this time, and essentially there is a quick Modern Paranormal adventure on my Patreon page that is available for anyone who wants it.

Love's Restoration
If you like the adventure I would suggest joining my Patreon page but it is not required nor begged it is your decision. If you like the adventure but don't want to join Patreon I also have a donation system through paypal if you'd like as well.  None of it is required, however, so if you want, grab the adventure and enjoy it with my blessing and hope that you and your crew will have many future adventures in the Modern Paranormal setting of Eldritch.

5 Things I would Like in the Future of Fantasy Grounds

With yesterday's announcement that Smite Works, the creators of +Fantasy Grounds, had acquired (the still in testing) Tabletop Connect VTT, I started thinking about things I would like to see in the future of Fantasy Grounds. Some of these are connected with Tabletop Connect, but most aren't.

Also look for a video around Saturday that look at the differences between the two VTT and some thoughts on what I think Smite Works may incorporate from the Tabletop Connect platform ... this all depends on if I can get the Windows laptop to screen cast.

The List

1.  Season Passes for Organized Play Recently FG "sold" a Dungeons & Dragons 5e Adventurer's League module on their site to the public. This was amazing because, despite WOTC supporting and accepting FG Adventurer's League games into the official rankings, there has been no digital support for the adventures.  What this means is that all the conversion work was done on the part of the Adventurer's Leagu…

Quick Annoucement - Everything within a Name

I was informed today that the name I have been recently using for my S&W modern supplement was copyrighted. This, obviously means I cannot use it and rightfully so as I would hate for someone else to come along and start to use Usarm without my knowledge or consent. The reason I share this is because a lot of posts have gone missing from Google+. This is due to my inability to change the link name back to the blog to something that doesn't hamper the copyright of another developer. I am in no legal trouble that I am aware of and for the moment the game will go back to being called Eldritch Shadows or Basic Modern ... at least until something else that is much more cool and invoctive of the system (and totally legal) can be found.

Conversely, if anyone happens to know HOW I can find out if a name is copyrighted or trademarked (preferably for free) please let me know.

On a side-note, despite this unpleasantness it was a great day at the beach!

Patreon Supported Adventures - Old Fey Bargains: A Short Scenerio for Eldritch Shadows

Introduction Fey Magic is a short adventure, a romp, to fill in the gaps between campaigns or major story points within a large, Eldritch Shadows game. This adventure is suitable for players of the third or fourth level and should take about on night of play. Fey Magic is an investigation adventure, requiring players to think and travel on their own accord. While some rolling is required this romp is more suited to discussion, roleplay, and critical thought. Summary Alister MacCuinn's family has always been fortunate. Since the late 1800s they have prospered in the New World, leaving Scotland as poor dirt farmers only to become the most powerful coal family on the Eastern Sea board. When coal lost its throne to oil, the MacCuinn's found in their mines veins of copper and far rarer material. Now, in the early years of the twenty-first century all seems good for the McaCuinn clan, except an old bargain and an ancient enemy are about to be broken, and all the good fortune of the …

Quick Shots - ROC Facility

Today I continue work on the X-Plorers' adventure "Wag the Dog". As anyone who follow my google+ stream knows I've been posting a lot of stuff for the adventure in the last two days in terms of layout as I both prepare the adventure for my Patreons and retail release. Below is the map of the ABRI Corporation's ROC2 Facility, a factory on the artificial planet of Hella where most of Act II takes place.

Patreon Supported Adventures - Forgotten Goods,

Here it is blog folk! The latest one-page-romp from Genius Loci Games! If interested you can get all my Patreon Supported Adventures in pdf form as a Patreon Supporter.
About ShadowhackShadowhackis a simplified version of the classic FASA roleplaying game, Shadowrun, that uses the Old School HackOSR ruleset as its foundation. While not complete, Shadowhack offers a good framework to fast play in a cyberpunk fantasy world. To play Shadowhack all you need is a bunch of d12s and the Shadowhack PDF file. Introduction Forgotten Goods, is an introductory one-page-romp for Shadowhack meant for 4 to 6 rookie Runners and should not take more than a single session of play. The adventure begins with the players getting a gig from a Decker named Westend who wants them to retrieve an off-line datacore she claims as her own tech from a storage unit in Old Town. What should be a simple milk run soon unravels as the Storage Facility has become the home for a cult of Ghouls who are very interested in …

Briggian Werewolves and the Eldritch Shadows

Recently my library 4e game "The World" ended with the characters discovering what was causing the glitches in the game world while at the same time breaching the main server farm in the real world. The ending was bitter sweet as Carlos, Remy, and Cher were trapped in the game world while Carlos' in game elf lover, Myr, and Remy's soul-partner, the pseudo-dragon Krynn, were dataported and trapped in the real world. The players hope to revisit the 4e game someday, and some talk has already been given over to travelling to Ireland and trying to access the original server farm to rescue Carlos' group.

Starting next Sunday though the library group starts a new game ... again run by me (under protest, mind you!). This time around I've gotten them to agree to play my OSR modern game "Eldritch Shadows". Given the stereotypical make-up of my group (2/3rds female and middle-aged ... remember I said stereotypical, I am poking fun at myself and my group) I was …

Patreon Supported Adventures - Incursion of the Horeshead Nebula

Good morning folks! Today marks the first Patreon supported adventure in the overly long month of May! This one-page romp is inspired by the classic Universal film The Last Starfighterand is suitable for players of any level. If you would like to help support the creation of free adventures and one-page romps please visit my Patreon page. Incursion of the Horsehead NebulaA White Star Compatible Star-Pilot Romp for 4 - 6 playersIntroduction Outside the known universe a war rages between the forces of the Void and a Rag-tag alliance known as the Remnant. The Remnant, the last survivors of universes destroyed and consumed by the Void. Our universe is the last in a once sprawling multiverse and with its end so to does everything else. In the black between planes of existence the Remnant fight to secure and destroy the Void Incursion Gates into our universe … sometimes, just sometimes, a few humans those with skill tested through an innocent looking game known as Space Gauntlet are recruit…

Savage(?) Bruman

So on the recommandation of +Frank Turfler I've been trying to learn the Savage Worlds system ... In some places it reminds me of Cortex and in others ... yeah, still working on it.  Since, however, I am one that learns at least in part through application I've attempted to convert the Bruman of the Valsuum White Star adventure over to Savage Worlds.

Savage Bruman Bruman are small rat-like creatures who live in vast underground tunnel networks and cities, drawing as much as they can from the depths of dying Valsuum. The Bruman are tradesmen and merchants who are always looking for a deal and willing to trade in nearly everything. Bruman are cunning and rarely tell the truth unless it benefits them financially. Because of their cut-throat nature in trade and business the Bruman are often looked at suspiciously by the other races of Valsuum.
Fade into the Background: Bruman have an excellent ability to fade into the background granting them a +2 to all Stealth rolls. Bad Rep: Du…

White Star Compatible - Valsuum - Sky Riders

Sky riders are a simple single person sky ship typically used in close aerial combat, scouting missions, and by Sulfurate surveyors for quick conveyance from one location to the next.

Sky Rider
Armor Class...................................................................................................................................6 [13]*
Hit Points...............................................................................................................................................15
Shield Strength........................................................................................................................................0

3.5 DMG released Marking the End of the 3.5 Core Wave

For the past 3 weeks WotC has been releasing the core books for the 3.5 edition of Dungeons & Dragons through DnDclassics and OBS. This today marks the release of the final book of the 3.5 Core books with the Dungeon Master's Guide.

What comes next is anyone's guess, but I have a feeling this will go one of a few ways:

Wizards will follow up with the secondary core set of 3.5 and move on from there with the various core setting books for the 3.5 edition (Forgotten Realms, Eberron, ETC).Wizards will finally release the d20 Modern books to wide release through OBS and may even include some of those long sought after "proofs" that never made it to the public (I'm looking at you d20 Supers!)Finally, what I think is most likely, is that Wizards will move on to a slow release of another edition of the game ... my bet would be 2e. Wizards seems committed to correcting the mistakes of its past and fully embracing the online media culture of the 21st century in such a …

ETU: Off Radio

I love Urban Fantasy and while I prefer it to be more Butcher than Lovecraft I can take it either way. Pinnacle Entertainment, the folks behind Savage Worlds released an anthology of Modern Supernatural Horror/Urban Fantasy stories back in 2009 ... I found out about it last October.  Of the stories in the Anthology one was offered up for free during the East Texas University Kickstarter. That one being Off Radio.

Off Radiois closer to the Pinebox, TX and 12 Minutes to Midnight campaigns than to the ETU campaign. It follows a local cop who goes "off radio" to solve a series of strange murders that are occurring around a local college.  Despite its sparse page count, Off Radio packs a heavy punch and its all thanks to the characterization. While still broad strokes the few characters presented in story are characterized beautifully, and the feeling of dread and the simple guilt of a fallen man radiate in every page.

I highly recommend it.

A Cortex License? Really?!

I've never hidden the fact that MWP's Cortex system is the 3rd  in my top three rpg systems (d20, d6, Cortex). While I have a love affair with Classic Cortex (It was the first physical book I bought from OBS) I see nothing wrong with Cortex Plus. So color me surprised when I ran across this earlier today.

I don't know how long the Compatibility license has been available but so far I have only been to find a few projects (here, here, and here). Now the question is will the third parties pick this up or will it waste away from lack of support?

Fund Raiser Reminder

Hey everyone! Just a quick reminder that the Fantasy Grounds Open Table fund raiser has about 19 days left. If I am able to upgrade to the ultimate license I have a lot more wriggle room in being able to run and develop games for the VTT platform as well as connect with the community and run teaching sessions for rule systems and FG itself.

For anyone who may not know the Ultimate license allows the holder of the license to host games with anyone who has the FG program. This includes DEMO versions of FG which are freely available at no cost.

Quick Review - Star Temple of Saturgalia

White Star+James Spahn's sci-fi adaptation of Sword & Wizardry's White Books rules have been a resounding success and is probably the hit of the year. So no surprise that in exactly 1 week from its release we see the first 3rd party adventure being released on OBS.

The Star Temple of Saturgalia  by Darrel Miller of DM Studios is a small 6 page adventure for low-level heroes and is very much the traditional dungeon crawl style adventure with some mild outer space/world travel and random encounters.

From OBS:

You and your team have been sent, or forced to go, to the Star Temple of Saturgalia. There you hope to find the fabled Star Amulet that may turn the tide in the Space War. Ignite your Star Saber, strap on your blaster, and prepare to avoid the Imperial Customs - you're going on an adventure. Prepare to enjoy a couple of hours of FUN!!!
An adventure crafted for OSR games, and is compatible with Sword and Wizardry and White Star.
The adventure is rather straight forw…

Opinion Piece - 5 Things I would like to see from WotC in the next 2 years

Been thinking a lot lately on what I would like to see from WotC in the next few years to raise awareness of the brand and to bring D&D and other WotC owned material to new and old audiences.
1. Audio Plays/Dramas
Paizo and Big Finish have done an awesome job with their Audio Dramas of the "Rise of the Rune Lords" adventure path. However, as I have said in my reviews (here and here) they could have been better. I think WotC has the ability to do that with its amazingly large and varied settings and adventures from nearly 40 years in the business. I think the best route for them would be through Graphic Audio
Graphic Audio's Tag Line is "A Movie for the Mind" and it truly is. The narration, vocal cast, music, and sound effects are top notch and I think they would bring a lot of awesome to the D&D brand.
2. An official Meta-movie
I have often said that "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" is the best Dungeons and Dragons movie ever made. Why? Because i…

CAH:S3 - Wasteland 2010

Spectum Games has just released the newest setting for it phenomenal "Cartoon Action Hour" roleplaying game. I've rarely spoken of CAH before but it is a system I am a huge fan of ... just one that I don't have the time or the players for.

Wasteland 2010 is very obviously a homage to Thundarr the Barbarian one of the greatest cartoons to be born out of the 1980s. I've only had the chance to quickly skim the pdf but from what I've read I've greatly enjoyed.

Now if only I could find a group!
One of the major themes I wanted to get across in Eldritch Shadows was that there was more to the world than the players knew (not the characters, the players). From the player perspective there are four magic using classes, the Priest, the Crusader, the Council Mage, and the Street Mage. Those are what are present to the players at the beginning of a game and logic then dictates that the world of the game follows suit. Not true, one of the threats in the Shadows are the "One-Trick Ponies", those magic-users who are weak as hell but have compensated for it by becoming really good at one thing.

One-Trick Ponies are too weak to be considered Council material, and don't have the same bag of tricks that a Street Mage would have. However, they make up for it quantity over quality. One such One-Trick Pony is the Summoner. Unlike a Council or Street Mage the Summoner cannot use any other spell except for Monster Summoning I spell. The difference is in duration, amount, and pre…

Eldritch Shadows - Vampires

I am currently writing a new adventure for Eldritch Shadows featuring a staple of the Modern Fantasy/Paranormal Genre: The Vampire. Thoughts and feedback are always welcome.
Background Vampires have existed since the dawn of time. As the He created all life in the universe the Adversary sought to counter and corrupt His creations. The Vampire was the first, but mostly certainly not the last. As humans basked and grew in the light of day the Adversary children sought and controlled the night. As humans where made in His image the Vampire was a dark parody of that image; a sickness, and hunger brought forth from the depths of humanity. The Adversary sought to create a predator to hunt, to tempt, to seduce, to rend, to tear, and to destroy. However, while the Adversary sought to slap Him in the face, sought to make a mockery of His creations, one thing was overlooked: free-will.
Free-will still existed and while the Adversary still had a margin of influence and control on his creation…

Barrel Rider Games White Star released

Just after midnight on the 4th of May, +James Spahn's Barrel Rider Games, released their Sci-Fi system/supplement for Swords and Wizardry White Box: White Star. It is currently available in pdf but will be making an appearance soon in physical form.

I picked my copy up this morning and it is quite good from what I've read so far and +Jason Paul McCartan's editting and layout skills in the production are top-notch. If space opera style sci-fi is your thing and you haven't already picked it up (and I doubt that as it is already #1 on RPGnow) you should do so.

Question of the Day - Will there be an OSR version of Frigga's Chosen?

Received an e-mail yesterday VIA drivethrurpg about Frigga's Chosen. The e-mailer asked if there would be an OSR version of Frigga's Chosen at some point in the future since I am mainly an OSR developer. It was an honest question, Frigga's Chosen was the first time I released an adventure for 5e without a proceeding OSR version of that adventure.

So the answer?

Maybe.  I hate to say it but the market (for me at least) isn't really there anymore. The OSR - and Swords and Wizardry in particular - are my first gaming loves, but I do need to at least break even for the stock and professional art that I purchase. Assault on the Southern Horn, if not for the 5e version, would still be very much in the red.

So, for anyone else wondering, that's the answer. Once Frigga's Chosen has shown it is something that will at least break even I can move forward, until then it sits in the wings and I keep my fingers crossed that it does.

Short Stop - A 1-Page Romp for Eldritch Shadows!

This was released about a week ago on my Patreon page for my Patrons and served as a gap between "The Night Train Comes" and the upcoming "Lake Fall" adventures. All three adventures will be part of the supplement when it comes out with final rules updates and the like. For now, enjoy! The Feral Aeon This short scenario can be played at any time. However, it was originally designed to fill a small gap between “The Night Train Comes” and “Lake Fall” adventures when the players stopped at an interstate rest plaza for pizza and coffee. What are Aeons Aeons are small spirits of knowledge that resemble little more than motes of light twinkling in and out of existence like the glow of fireflies in a summer night. While initially harmless and utterly harmless, the pure amount of collected knowledge that floods into them drives them to madness, making the a danger to all things they encounter. Despite this dangerous nature Aeons have become a powerful tool to Council Wiza…

Eldritch Shadows - Oh the Interesting Paths!

As I reported before, during MEPAcon I was able to get Eldritch Shadows out into the wild and play it with a good sized group. During this session, Eldritch Shadows was played in its intended form, that being a Paranormal or Urban Fantasy setting heavily influenced by Jim Butcher, Patrica Briggs, and Simon R. Green. It was a lot of fun, and the personality of the modern setting, the focus on exploration and investigation over combat ( +Reese Laundry correct if I'm wrong but outside the final boss, there was only 4 combats in the entire 4 hour block, right?) made for some great interaction between the characters and between the characters and the world of the game.

(Although the best bit was the crowd we formed during the police stand-off section who got a kick out of the police assuming the Mage had a teaser when he used a sleep spell on the FBI agent).

So imagine my surprise when last night I ended up using Eldritch Shadows to run a game about teenagers in a Magic Academy ... Yep…

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Players Handbook now available on OBS

This morning, to little fanfare, Wizards of the Coast released a pdf of their most popular version of Dungeons & Dragons on Drivethrurpg. This is the first time a non-basic rules book (B/X, Rules Cyclopedia, BECMI) has been released to pdf through OBS since WotC lost their fear of the digital market two-years ago.

This release could mean a number of different things. The most hopeful is that WotC has finally fully embraced the digital market and gotten over their fear that all pdfs will be sold once and than pirated ten billion times. The other is that the sales for the collector's editions that have trickled out over the last two-years have finally begun to slump and WotC is looking for a new revenue resource for its older material.  Personally, I think it is a bit of both. The overwhelming success of the Elemental Evil Player's Guide on OBS has shown that the market isn't only there but utterly enthusiastic. My only hope is that the EEPG's print-on-demand success …