Sunday, December 3, 2017

Swords & Wizardry - Battle Chasers NPC Gully Nic'Aramus

Copyright - Joe Madureira
Gully Nic’Aramus
NPC – 3rd Level Fighter

Str 08  |  Dex 14  |  Con 08  |  Int 10  |  Wis 06  |  Cha  16
AC 0 (20) Gauntlets of Armus, Leather Armor+2 Cloak of Armor  |  Save 12  | Move 12  |  Special Parry -1, Gauntlets of Aramus
Attack Gauntlets of Aramus - 1d8 + 5 damage

History


Gully is the daughter of the greatest warrior of the Unified Territories: Aramus.  A year ago her father and a battalion of the UT's finest men vanished on a recon mission into the Wild Lands. Nearly all in the Territories had given up on Aramus and his people, all except Gully his ten-and-a-half-year-old daughter.  

Nestled in the family homestead in the quiet hills and valleys of Thorn's Glen, Gully waited with her nanny for the return of her father.  Over time, the young girl took to wearing her father's cloaks and reading his journals and essays on the ways of war.  Every night she wondered if her father would return home, or if her father's longest friend and pupil, the swordmaster Garrison would ever return to Thorn's Glen.

Six-months ago a group of bandits and bounty hunters under the command of the Sebastius Nefar raided Aramus's home in Thorn's Glen, killing a squad of the King's Guard and the faithful servant of the Aramus Family.  Luckily, Gully escaped the raid along with the sealed chest that the raiders were after.  Running through the night, the young girl was attacked again and again by the raiders - some of who turned into fierce werewolves - until she was taken under the protection of a WarGolem and an old mage. It was here that Gully discovered that the contents of the chest were her father's legendary gauntlets.

After an attack by the werewolf raiders nearly destroyed the WarGolem, Gully slipped on the gloves, and while the mage's home was destroyed she repealed the invaders single-handedly and saved the WarGolem's life.

Gauntlets of Aramus

Magical Artifact – Unique
“You hurt my friend, the only one who’s going to need protection here IS YOU!”
 - Gully
The Gauntlets of Aramus are an ancient relic the origins of which have long since fallen to dust.  Found in the house of the Aramus the legendary knight during a raid lead by werewolves, the Gauntlets are now in the possession of his ten-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Gully.  While the true limits of the Gauntlets are known to none but Aramus himself, they do have incredible power even for the lay user.
Abilities:
+5 to AC while worn and awake.  This bonus to AC is not counted for surprise attacks, backstabs, or any attack in which the wearer does not know they are going to be attacked.
Unarmed Attack:  The wearer of the Gauntlets can make unarmed attacks using a d8 instead of a d4 and receive a +5 bonus to damage.  On an attack roll of a natural 20, the wearer can push back the target 1d6 yards.
Pound and Slam:  Twice per day the wearer of the Gauntlets of Aramus can make an attack on the ground around them.  On a roll of 18 or higher, the wearer causes the ground to quake in a 30-foot radius around them and knock all targets to the ground, causing 1d4 damage.
Bonded:  The Gauntlet's of Aramus bond with their wearer, making it impossible for any but the wearer to remove them.  Once removed, the Gauntlet's will only bond with another should the original wearer give them over willingly, die, or not use them for a fortnight.



If you found this NPC interesting and would like to learn more of the Battle Chaser's world and setting take a look at the new Battle Chasers: Nightwar video game or pick up the graphic novels (aff).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Three Tips for running 80s cartoon style games

Earlier today I ran my first game for my daughter in awhile.  Since she is now 12 she tends to play solely with her friends usually at the local library or part of her middle school's D&D club (which she founded I may add).  Unfortunately with Thanksgiving break upon them the two weekly games (Saturday Library group and Thursday school group) were cancelled for various reasons and my daughter and 3 of her friends were left without a DM or a game.

so I stepped in.

What did we play? 



Using Anti-Paladin's Mini-Six system I created a new group of Silver Hawks and after playing the theme song that you all see above went at it.  However, you cannot run an 80s cartoon game without some standards of 80s cartoons.

1.  No one dies, they just go into a coma.

A hero never dies, they just go into a coma.  While not always the case (as proof see the death of Optimus Prime) the heroes never die, they just go into comas until the plot demands they come out of it and need no physical training or recovery time.

2.  Toy tie in

The heroes always get a power-up of some kind that gives them new weapons, powers, etc.  However, a part of this is always a new more bad-ass outfit.

For this I created a table of temporary "tie-in" effects that lasted throughout a single encounter, because as is the case in all 80s cartoons, that shit will only show up once.

3. The Bad Guys are there Own Worst Enemy

Whether it is through evil comrades trying to off one another in the hopes of gaining favor with the big guy who is typically either a coward, limited because of a cosmic off switch (see Mon-Starr or Mum-ra), or grossly incompetent.

For this I rolled a special dice with every bad guy roll (for this I stole from F-Age)  On doubles from the normal dice an effect from equal to the score on the special dice occurred.

  1. Fellow bad guy abandons you (will tell big bad you went down like a coward)
  2. Fellow bad guy sabotages your equipment or somehow inhibits your powers
  3. Overcome by extreme fear you attempt to escape if success you tell the big bad the good numbers were 10x what they actually were
  4. Presses perceived advantage and instead puts self in a worse situation (Heroes gain a morale dice for the next turn)
  5. Pick any combination of the first four that equals 5
  6. Big Bad appears, deems you a failure and kills you on the spot before departing after telling the heroes that they "aren't worth his/her/its time"



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Adventure Snippet - Glowing Eyes

((posted from the blogger app on my phone so not the greatest.))

Trying to force myself out of my over a year long funk.  I don't expect this one to be my highest quality adventure but, as they say, baby steps.  I expect the full version to be up on patron early next week and public release (if my remaining patrons are good with it) after Thanksgiving.

Background

For the last several weeks the small hamlet of Rowen has been griped in the embrace of a terror it can neither see or hear.  Every night since the Crossings Moon shone red in the winter sky a child of the hamlet has gone missing.  Most recently the twin daughters of the hamlet’s fishmonger, a dwarf named Gwrown Saltheft, have gone missing.  Like the other children no signs of the girls were found and searches into the nearby hills and through the old grave yard to the south of the hamlet have come up short.

Full of anguish for the loss of his daughters, Gwrown, calls in favors owed to him by both the dwarves of the Quiet Hills and the leaders of the Merchant town of Rappen.  For a full forgiveness of debts owed to Gwrown the leaders of the two settlements most find the fishmonger’s daughters or – barring rescue – avenge their deaths and bring him something to remember the girls by.

Possible Hooks

The Tavern Courier – The Leaders of Rappen are very keen on getting their debts forgiven, however, they really don’t want to waste any of their substantial wealth to find the fishmonger’s daughter.  As such the send couriers to the towns, waystations, and thief dens within 20 miles of Rowen to recruit a party of abled body and foolhardy adventurers to look into the manner, promising gold and a small plot of land in return for the proof of the girls’ deaths. 

In truth the Leaders of Rappen do not plan to pay the adventurers at all, and the land offered is currently occupied by a centuries old vampire who is bound to the land of his old holdings.

Rewards – Old vampire ridden manor in the swamps south of Rappen.

An Old Friend’s Dying Request – A member of the group is informed that an old friend and mentor is dying and has a last favor to ask.  The group arrives in Rowen with no knowledge of the missing children or the fishmonger’s deal with the Quiet hills and Rappen.  While carrying out the last request for their friend they discover the plight of the town, and some of the grieving families band together to offer the adventurers what they can for any information on the missing children.

Rewards – 50 Gold, Town Relic (any single +1 magic item)

Taber’s Will – A Priest of the Church of Taber – the hermaphroditic deity of innocence – comes to the adventurers on the request of her deity.  Many innocent voices in the area of Rowen have gone forever silent and more will soon fall silent.  The adventurers are tasked with rooting out this evil and to increase the favor of Taber in the area.

Rewards – A favor owed to the party by Taber

Stopping the Expansion – The Hill Dwarves of the Quiet Hills have heard Gwrown’s request and have decided that they not only will accept the terms but annex Rowen as well since it is very obviously not a safe place.  A few citizens of the Quiet Hills believe that this will be the downfall of their quiet kingdom and secretly hire the adventurers to find Gwrown’s daughters – or proof of their death and the death of their killer – and bring the proof to them and Gwrown before the Hill Dwarves make it to town and annex it possibly starting a boarder conflict with Rappen.

Rewards – A Map to an old dwarven stronghold that was abandoned eons ago for unknown reasons.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Question for the Gallery

Up front information, this is a topic I've been discussing with my wife for a while and find that she is highly supportive of the concept that I am about to share, however, she has the same concerns about it that I do on the topic.

Okay, with that out of the way lets get to the background and meat of the topic at hand. I have been approached by a number of people locally to attempt to create a Titansgrave or Force Grey style web show for Swords & Wizardry / General OSR style gameplay.  This is, to me, a great idea as both shows have gone a long way to broadening the player base and the understanding of their respective systems (Fantasy*Age and D&D 5e respectively).

The big problem is that while I have been approached by people who think this is a great idea those people are not Frog God Games, or anyone with media knowledge or savvy.  In other words these are random blokes who have either seen me DM or have heard about my DMing.  This presents a pretty big issue to the concept, unlike Geek and Sundry or the Nerdist I have no budget and no ability to create or support such a show.  In other words, It would be a webcam pointed at my kitchen table if I were to attempt this.

So that brings us to the "Question for the Gallery" as the post header exclaims.  Should I move forward with this and does anyone have any ideas (outside of Kickstarter) to get something like this off the ground?  Further question, should I even try I mean, the talents behind the two examples are professionals with acting careers and facial recognition ... me?  I'm just some schlub from Yuengling Town.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

General Update

Good afternoon everyone who still follows the blog in any fashion.  It has been a very long time since I updated, and it seems as if I keep planning to relaunch and failed to start ...

First: The Projects.

Pyramid of the Lost King was a roller coaster ride here at GLG, we were two years late in delivering the product and failed to drum up any press when the title was actually released.  So while the end of May 2017 was a good month with the title making nearly $200.00 it has since died.  Between June and July we have sold all of two copies.

I was also supposed to do a demo game at a local game store in August ... however, lack of demand and sign-ups means I must likely will be sitting alone in the corner of a gaming store for a few hours.

New project-wise I am working on two things.  First is a shorter, more traditional Swords and Wizardry adventure called Mera that my playtesting group calls "kind of gothic" and is a refinement and expansion of the Patreon release of two-years ago of the same name.  The second project is actually a fiction project.  I am currently outlining a LitRPG novel that I hope to have released within the year.

Second: Life

As some may know I went back to college last August to get a degree in I.T..  I am just about to finish my first year of courses and while its going steady (I hate databases) it is eating up a lot of my time.  This is the major reason I have been missing from the blog, social media, and my online presence has pretty much dropped out.

On top of that with it being summer there are family trips, entertaining my kids, etc. 

So that's the general update.  Right now, I don't know where GLG will be in the next few months.  The failure of PotLK has been a huge blow and honestly as an organization I don't know if we'll recover.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Robathen's Coin Parts 1 -3

A long time ago I released a short story on drivethrufiction called "The Rabathen's Coin - An Arame Tale" that was meant to be the start of a series staring a mysterious thief named Arame.  Well, five years later and I have sold maybe six copies.  With that in mind I figured I might as well break it up into two or three parts and post in on the blog.

Thoughts are welcome as I am always interested in what others think of my original works.



I.

The stench of rotten fish, sweat, mildewed wood and the ocean rose up from the black waters of
the harbor in a visible mist that hung over the free trade city of Wickend adding to the already strong reek of human filth and cheap ale. The setting sun, unable to pierce the vile mist, washed over the crumbling buildings that lined the twisting streets of the Old District. From open doors and windows came the sounds of life, true life, of men laughing and boasting, of women flirting and dealing in their trades. To an outsider, the Old District appeared to be chaos and madness, to the denizens of the place it was another night.

Through the rotten mists and darkness, an outsider named Dalarcites came. Though much of his
body was hidden by a long woolen cloak edged in golden design it was obvious by his long, hawkish
nose and his golden skin that he was a Robathen; a race of priests and scholars. He was far from the
villas and mansions of the Walled Mount, far from guards paid to care and streets of well-maintained cobblestone. With the harried pace of a frightened rat, the Robathen moved through the twilight darkened streets of the Old District. His watery eyes wide in fear and darted around at every sound as clutched and fidgeted with the two ornate daggers sheathed under his cloak. He was scared but, like all men of the Walled Mount, he was arrogant and believed that his power and money would protect him against the trails of the Old District.

 As if summoned by Dalarcites' arrogant thoughts a man, of the large and bullish build of the Numbar, slid from a shadow-hidden alley. The Robathen gripped his daggers tighter, his knuckles
white and hot with pain as the decorated hilts bit and tore his soft palms, and attempted to move past the large man. The Numbar smiled and pounced on the Dalarcites, the Numbar's bullish build
hiding a catlike grace and speed. Large hands groped for the Robathen’s dark woolen cloak, found
easy purchase in the billowing cloth and threw the Robathen roughly against a wall. A startled
squeal escaped the Robathen and from the other side of the wall, he could the rough merry-making of the sailors and vagabonds of the Old District. He was going to die, Dalacrites thought. And as life flickered out of him he would hear the mocking laughter of the Old District.

“Wa – Wait!” He screamed. “Don’t kill me, please! I don’t carry much and – and I can give you a
job a well paying one.” Tears streaked down his hot cheeks as he pleaded with the Numbar. “I
swear by the golden hand of Suzil that I do not lie! I have … I am looking for a thief!”

Hot rotten breath washed over Dalarcites' pleading face. He choked at the smell and quivered
visibly as the Numbar leaned closer to him and whispered. “Tell me soft man in your pretty little
cloak, why I should lower myself to working for a dickless Robathen like yourself?” The Numbar’s
voice, as heavily accented as it was, oozed with malice and hatred. The wayward Robathen trembled and lipped silent prayers to his far off gods and prepared to meet his ancestors in the summer fields of the afterlife. “Especially,” continued the Numbar, “when what your cloak alone will buy me ale and women for a week.” The stench of the Numbar’s breath grew and Delarcites felt himself grow dizzy from the stench. The tight grip that kept him pinned suddenly became slack and weak and after a moment the Robathen heard his assailant fall heavily to the ground.

 Opening his eyes Delarcites saw a small girl garbed in the aba of the desert dwelling Quetarens before him. Her long black garment flowed and whipped in the slight breeze as her deep brown eyes surveyed the Robathen. "The Old District is not a place for those who have no stomach to fight." The girl whispered in an exotic musical tenor. She turned away from the Robathen and started to walk away. “If you wish to secure the services of a thief, follow me.” She called back to him.

II.

In days long past, when Wickend was a gleaming jewel on the coast of the God Rend, a home of
traders, artists, philosophers, and the ideas of kingless lands and freedom; the building that would
become known in later, darker, times as The Broken Donkey, was the office of the largest import
merchant in the city. Now, though, generations after the building was first erected it stood like a
badly aged old man. The walls were cracked, patched over countless times with everything from
wood to shit; the roof was now nothing more than mouse-ridden and mold encrusted hay that let
more of the elements in then it kept at bay. Tables of shoddily nailed driftwood littered the main
room. Light, what little there was, came from a single chandelier made of ship rigging and an old
wagon wheel, hung low over the tables, swaying in the feted breeze that came through windows that were little more than holes in the tavern’s walls. The chandelier's light created deep, shadows, that gave the illusion that ghosts and wraiths drank and fought alongside thief and vagabond.

 Women, wearing little more than thin linen slips, slid through the crowded tavern with a grace
often only seen in the great cats of the north, and like the cats of those cold mountains, they hunted their prey with a dangerous beauty that would put even the most careful man on edge. Men from all the nations of the known world occupied the room, laughing, drinking, boasting of great deeds, of past wars, and of the mind numbing pleasures that they could offer to the huntresses of the tavern.

The Quetaren girl moved through the entryway of the Broken Donkey. The Robathen, who had
stayed close to the girl until this point, came to a stop his eyes growing wide at the scene before him.  He lowered his hand to his dagger, afraid that the girl had tricked him. The girl, however, did not  seem to notice the Robathen as she twisted and dodged her way to a dark corner of the bar.

 "Move."

A great dark hand, the size of a man's head, gripped the Robathen's shoulder and flung him further into the tavern. Dalarcites stumbled into the tavern, and unable to control his flight found himself colliding with one of the scantily clad huntresses in the midst of her work. Together the two fell to the ground, and even through the laughter and the flirting, the boasting and ding of mugs on tables, the sound of a spilling coin purse was heard by all. The Robathen was still dazed from the push and did not notice the small tight circle forming around him as the girl, for on closer inspection she could be no older than fourteen, untangled her limbs from his and stumbled back to her feet. The Robathen started to stand, grimacing as various bruises and scrapes he suffered during his journey through the Old District rebelled against him in sudden scratchy fire. As he stumbled to his feet large meaty hands engulfed his arms and with painful tightness brought him up to the tips of his sandals. He had just enough time to regain the entirety of his senses to be aware of something
moving towards him fast. Pain flared from his face as a many ringed fist slammed against his cheek,
a moment later another fist drove him from his feet as it impacted with his soft belly.

“Try to steal from me, you Robathen cunt!” Spit the man who had been flirting with the girl Dalarcites collided into. “Think you Mount bastards can come down here and steal from us?!” Another fist connected with his face; a strange, sickly ringing filled his ears, drowning out the cheers
nd laughter that assaulted him from the gathered crowd. 

The ringing in his ears was so loud, the pain in his body so sharp, that it took him a long time to
realize that the beating had stopped, that the cheers and laughter from the gathered mass of thieves and vagabonds had ceased. He opened his swollen eyes, whimpering a little as salty blood dripped into them and burned. The crowd in front of him was parting, allowing the Quetaren girl to move past them.

“Tell me,” she spoke, her voice soft and singing, lovingly caressing words foreign to the tongues of
the Quetarens. “Are all men of Numbar as addle brained as you?”

The Numbar, the second that night to attempt to kill Dalarcites, sprang forward to grab the small
Quetaren. The girl slid backwards with cat like agility and was suddenly standing next to Dalarcites,
her dagger against the throat of one of the men holding him. “Any person with sight can see,” the
Quetaren continued, “that it was yon whore, and not this man, who was freeing you of your coin.”
She laughed, a sound born of crystals and light. “I am sure if every man, and woman, whom the girl
flirted with tonight checked themselves they’d notice that they too were lighter than when they
entered.”

The Robathen felt himself falling to the dirty floor as the men who held him, paranoid from long
years of working their dark trades, followed the Quetaren’s advice. The silence created by the small
girl’s appearance vanished, replaced by the gasps and curses of the collected tavern patrons.
Attention turned away from the soft Robathen to the young whore who had robbed them. The small Quetaren girl lifted the Dalarcites' limply hanging arm, an arm that felt numb and heavy to its owner, and led him to the dark corner of the tavern.

“Tell me, Robathen,” The Quetaren whispered as she sat. “Who are you and wha tjob is so important you would risk yourself in the Old District?”

 “I am Dalarcites, an importer of … exotic wares.” He looked away from the beautiful eyed Quetaren for a moment and once more took in his dim and dank surroundings. “I heard from one of the men I deal with that the best thieves in Wickend can be found in the Old District.” He sighed as he looked up back at the Quetaren, the hopelessness on his face clear even through it ruin, “but so far all I have found is thugs and brutes.”

 The girl nodded. “Your friend would be right,” she said, a touch of pride in her musical voice. “The best thieves do frequent the Old District, but they are not easy to find. Why have you come, Dalarcites, to secure the services of a thief?

Dalarcites looked at his savior with pleading eyes. “Something valuable to my family was lost to
me in a rigged game of chance.” He started his voice growing hard. “It was an ancient coin of black
metal, like nothing seen the Western Kingdoms, and nearly cold to the touch. The coin had brought
luck to my family for ages, and now ...” he looked down, his face darkening in shame. “I have lost
three ships full of cargo to storms since the coin was taken, and those that do make it to harbor …” he trailed off lost in violent memories of his recent black luck. After a long moment, he spoke again, his voice far more steady than even he would have given himself credit. “I can pay enough gold so that whoever this thief may be he can have his own villa behind the walls of the Mount.”

 The Quetaren girl looked at him, brown eyes smiling out at him from under her veiled face.
“What need do I, one who comes and goes from the Mount as she pleases, in that much coin? In the
kind of imprisonment?” She stood, and despite her diminutive height, she appeared larger than
before, something more akin to the stalkers of the jungles then to the desert rats her mysterious people were commonly compared to. “My price,” she spoke at length, “Will be generous, but not as steep as some here would charge you.”


“How will I know you have done it?” He asked suddenly. “How can I be sure you won’t just promise me and leave?”

The gaze she gave him was hard and piercing, stripping away at him like the sand winds of her
legendary home. “Remember me Robathen. Remember me and know that Arame of Quetar always
keeps her word.” She moved away with a silken fluidity. “And you will know the deed is done
when I stand next to your bed, the coin in my hand.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[Kickstarter] Mapforge

MapForge – battlemap creation software for tabletop RPGs project video thumbnail
Mapforge is an exciting new map creation tool that is currently in its final 3 days of funding over at kickstarter.   While nearly all the map creation tools I've encountered thus far are private use only Mapforge will have a commercial license for releases.





My goofing around with the prototype video:




Mapforge will be available for both PC and Mac (and I'm hoping either an eventual Linux release or easy WINE set-up).  There will be purchasable add-ons both in the commercial and private sectors of the hobby with the commercial generally looking to cost about $14.00 more than the private sector versions.

No word yet if you can upload your own tiles (I'd like to be able to use the lovely tiles +Frank Turfler makes for his patreon)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Toys

Not something I normally do but:

My son has been getting really big into the 3.75" style action figures since Christmas when his aunt picked him up a set "Army of One" figures (See far right).  Since than he has primarily gotten Lenard's the Corps (far left), along with a few True Heroes Sentinel 1 (middle right).  Today he received a Kong Skull Island Sam Jackson with Skull Crawler figure (middle left).

Out of all them the Lanard figures have the best articulation with swivel arms, elbow twist and bend, waist swivel, and t-legs with knew bend.  The Kong Skull Island figures are repainted Lenard The Corps figures with custom mold heads that - to various degrees - resemble the actor.  In fact Sam Jackson and the Corps figure next to him share the same body.  The biggest problem with the Corps are the "fodder" toys.  These are the Corps and Kong skull island who can only move their arms are the shoulder and the legs at the waist.  They look cool and are well sculpted but as a toy ... they don't work as more than a quick death or setting decoration.

The problem here is in the heads.  The typical Corps figure has a slightly larger than average head lending to the action cartoon style of the figures. With the Sam Jackson head being more proportional to a human head  it gives the illusion that the Kong Skull Island toys are slightly smaller. 

The True Heroes toys are more closely designed to classic 6" action figures like first run Toy Biz Marvel/DC superheroes, or Kenner's old Super Friends.  They have basic up and down arms, elbow bend, t-legs and bending knees.  Outside of that they're paint jobs aren't as well defined as the Corps figures, but are slightly more sturdy ... they feel heavier.  Were True Heroes comes through is in the vehicles which aren't pictured here.  They're better built, larger, and have a lot more variety than the Lanard.  My suggestion - and what I have been doing for my son - is to buy Corps figures and True Heroes vehicles.  Outside of the above the biggest disappointment with the True Heroes is the price.  Two figures for around $7.00 is pretty good, but Lanard's the Corps give you 3 figures for the same price and feature the better articulation, etc.

Finally the "Army of One" figures and/or their Navy "Seal Team" reprints are a collection of the worst aspects of both the Lanard "fodder" figures and the True Heroes figures.  The "Army of One" figures are pre arranged and you can usually move either just the arms or just the legs.  The ball joint elbows or hinge elbows of The Corps and the True Heroes is missing here, making the characters very, very limited in what you can do for them.  My son usually uses these guys as "the fallen" when he plays.  Further the painting is horrible on the figures, if you look closely you can see the makers flesh-tone painted over a beard that should have been there with no regard, and spots of overly thick paint or too little paint can be seen all over the toy.  The sad thing is that these guys cost a prime amount, almost as much as a GI Joe two-pack but features none of the reason or fun as to why to buy.

Lanard's Corps and Kong figures are exclusives to Wal-Mart in the United States (and I think K-Mart in Canada). While True Heroes is the house brand of Toys r' Us (get "TRU" Heroes).  Army of One I have only found on amazon and at super markets so take that as you will.